When people talk about the longest hikes in the world, they often think of the Appalachian Trail (AT).
Why wouldn’t they? It’s an American classic. But it’s not the only long one out there.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest hiking trail in the world is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on the West Coast of the United States. However, that title is only temporary as the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) will take the record once the trail is completed. I’m not entirely sure how they judge which trail is the longest for that record because the American Discovery Trail is longer. My guess is it’s because the ADT combines with paved roads from time to time.
This list of long-distance hiking trails does not include trails in the US. Please see the link below if you want to read about those.
World’s 10 Longest Trails
This list is intended to help you think more globally about epic hiking trips. Like I mentioned above, these are the longest trails in the world outside of the US.
Trans Canada Trail (Canada) – 14,912 miles when completed (24,000 km) – The Trans Canada is a network of recreational trails that stretches from coast to coast. [Learn More]
Grand Italian Trail (Italy) – 3,700 miles (5,954 km) – The Sentiero Italia or Grand Italian Trail covers the entire length of our favorite boot shaped country.
Hokkaidō Nature Trail (Japan) – 2,849 miles (4,585 km) – (being planned) Winding around the island of Hokkaidō, this trail brings you to hot springs and tall volcanoes with views of the ocean.
Tōhoku Nature Trail (Japan) – 2,718 miles (4,374 km) – Just south of Hokkaidō, on the northern part of the main Honshu island, is the Tōhoku Nature Trail. It’s kind of a giant loop with various branches off it.
Chubu Hokuriku Nature Trail (Japan) – 2,504 miles (4,029 km) – The Chubu Hokuriku is in the center of the country, to the West and NW of Tokyo. Enjoy mountain and coastal views along this trail.
Kinki Nature Trail (Japan) – 2,045 miles (3,291 km) – South of the Chubu Hokuriku trail is the Kinki trail which loops and winds around Osaka and Kyoto. The trail follows much of the coastline on either side of the island.
Te Araroa Trail (New Zealand) – 1,894 miles (3,048 km) – This cross-country trek runs from the northern tip of the North Island all the way to the southern tip of the South Island. [Learn More]
Kyushu Nature Trail (Japan) – 1,607 miles (2,586 km) – Explore the coast and mountains of Kyushu, the ends of the trail don’t connect but it’s mostly a loop with some off-shoots. [Learn More]
Camino de Santiago de Compostella (France & Spain) – 1,570+ miles (2,526+ km) – There are multiple locations to begin this trek, but they all lead to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in north Spain. It’s not intended for recreational hiking as it’s traditionally a pilgrimage trail, but you could still walk it to appreciate the history and see Spain. [Learn More]
The Sultans Trail (Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey) – 1,400 miles (2,253 km) – Experience a variety of cultures as you pass through 9 countries. The trail connects Vienna and Istanbul. [Learn More]
More Long Hiking Trails
There is an impressive array of long-distance trails around the world. Here are a few more to consider.
Chugoku Nature Trail (Japan) – 1,374 miles (2,211 km) – This trail includes Hiroshima and loops through the region.
Great Himalayan Trail – High Route (Nepal) – 1,056 miles (1,700 km) – The High Route is a full-traverse and is estimated to take 156 days. The elevation is high, reaching over 6,000 meters, so be prepared for strenuous hiking. [Learn More]
Via Francigena (UK, France, Italy) – 1,056 miles (1,700 km) – Like the Camino de Santiago, this is an old pilgrimage route from either France or Canterbury, England to Rome. [Learn More]
Great Himalayan Trail – Low Route (Nepal) – 932 miles (1,500 km) – The full-traverse of the low route should take about 90+ days. The max elevation is over 4,000 meters, so it’s not as intense as the High Route. Although, like all the routes in Nepal, the scenery will be breathtaking. [Learn More]
Trans-Panama Trail (Panama) – 700 miles (1,126 km) – Stretching from border-to-border, the Trans-Panama Trail will take you to volcanic mountains and lowland jungle. [Learn More]
South West Coast Path National Trail (United Kingdom) – 630 miles (1,013 km) – The SW Coast Path is the longest National Trail in the UK. This is the perfect hike for those who love rugged coastlines. [Learn More]
Bibbulmun Track (Australia) – 621 miles (1,1000 km) – Stretching from Kalamunda to Albany, the Bibbulmun Track passes through forest then follows the cliffs along the south coast. [Learn More]
Israel National Trail or Shvil Yisrael (Israel) – 620 miles (997 km) – Explores Israel’s unique scenery as you traverse the country. [Learn More]
The Baekdu-Daegan Trail (South Korea) – 470 miles (756 km) – The trail covers the entire Korean peninsula, although the section in North Korea is obviously inaccessible. You can start near the DMZ, cross through scenic areas like Seoraksan all the way to the end at Cheonwangbong Peak in Jirisan National Park. [Learn More]
Kom-Emine (Bulgaria) – 434 miles (700 km) – The Kom-Emine traverses Bulgaria, following the ridge line of Stara Planina. Some of the peaks reach over 2,000 meters. [Learn More]
The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Trail (South Sudan to Uganda) – 360 miles (579 km) – The trail follows the historic path taken by Sir Samuel and Lady Florence during the late 1800s. This trail will be open to both mountain bikers and hikers. Unfortunately, it’ll be open to 4×4 vehicles too at some point. The trail officially opens in 2014. [Learn More]
Lycian Way (Turkey) – 316 miles (509 km) – The Lycian Way is just one of several 500km trails in Turkey. [Learn More]
Snowman Trek (Bhutan) – 216 miles (347 km) – Considered by some to be the toughest trek in the world, the Snowman has 11 mountain passes with some reaching over 16,000 feet. [Learn More]
Tour de Mont Blanc (France, Italy, Switzerland) – 104 miles (167 km) – Circumnavigate Mont Blanc, passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland. [Learn More]
What trail do you want to hike?