Spot more than wildlife on these 10 eerie nature hikes with reported paranormal activity.
Wildlife, waterfalls, sand dunes, and yes, ghosts–these 10 spectacular hikes have it all. From East Coast to West Coast here is a sampling of some of the spookiest hikes with above-average reports of paranormal activity.
As if rustling leaves and howling winds aren’t enough to make you look over your shoulder twice, these locations offer some of the best nature viewing panoramas and hair-raising history lessons the wild world has to offer.
Proceed if you dare through the slideshow.
1. Norton Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Take a walk down the long lonely Norton Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains as it winds through several cemeteries.
Lost? Keep an eye out for the light orb said to lead lost hikers to safety. It is reported to be the spirit of a man murdered on the shores of Lake Fontana as he searched for his daughter. But be wary of the witch disguised as an older woman.
She lures children from the trail and removes their livers with her stone finger after singing them to sleep.
2) Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Take a stroll through Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, home to over 150 documented paranormal occurrences. These include phantom coughs and the apparitions of ghostly slave guides.
3) The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail has been host to several eerie events particularly due to the story of Ottie Powell, a four-year-old who disappeared from the area. He seems to spark the most paranormal activity.
Spend a night at the Punchbowl Shelter in Virginia and you may be added to the list of guests to witness his apparition. If you’re a thru-hiker be sure to check out the Greenleaf Hut in New Hampshire, home to the footsteps of Ben Campbell.
Ben died while making his way back to the White Mountains area from Scotland and all reports indicate his spirit made it.
4) Ghost House Trail, Big Ridge State Park, Tennessee
This 1.2-mile trail traverses the heavily forested land just north of Knoxville. Most activity is centered around the Hutchinson family home, which still partially exists deep inside the park.
The presence around this home was once strong enough to chase its neighbors away. It doesn’t end there though.
The area was also host to Indian scalpings and the hanging of a young witch by her father. Visitors can still hike to the Hutchinson father grave in Norton Cemetery where he reportedly shows up in pictures.
Keep extra treats on hand for the phantom dog as well.
5) Transept Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona
There is plenty to see while visiting the Grand Canyon, but if you happen upon the North Rim be sure to check out the Transept Trail.
Don’t be alarmed by the cries of the Wailing Woman. It’s just the apparition of a sad soul who lost her husband and son to a hiking accident.
How will you know it’s her? Visitors and rangers report seeing her in a white dress with blue flowers.
6) Spruce Railroad Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park has multiple ghosts and paranormal activities to its credit but for a truly spine-chilling hike take a trip down Spruce Railroad Trail.
The eight-mile trail is said to be haunted by Hallie Illingworth, or “The Lady of the Lake.”
In 1937, Hallie was murdered by her husband and her body was found mummified in the lake years later.
7) Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
The Great Sand Dunes are a marvel of Colorado’s rich landscape and diversity but if you visit this park, make sure you look to the sky.
The park is home to over 60 reported UFO sightings. It doesn’t end there, however.
Unexplained cow mutilations are an ongoing trend for the area.
8) Grouse Lake, Yosemite National Park, California
At nearly 20 miles round trip, the hike to Grouse Lake in Yosemite is a long but rewarding one. If you’re after solitude, however, you may want to be aware of the wailing spirit of a young Indian boy who drowned in the lake.
Don’t be enticed to help him though, local legend has it that those who answer his cries suffer the same fate.
Need more? Visit the beautiful Vernal Fall. Local Indians believed the falls of Yosemite to be haunted by an evil wind called “Po ho no.” The spirit entices people to the fall then pushed them to their death.
In 2011 three hikers visiting Vernal Fall were witnessed plunging to their deaths.
9) Big Tree Trail, Oregon Caves National Monument, Oregon
Visit the Oregon Caves National Monument for a little bit of everything paranormal. The caves reportedly contain a substances referred to as “moonmilk,” produced by aliens.
A hike down the Big Tree Trail may provide you with a rare encounter with Bigfoot, where a reported sighting took place in 2000.
Not enough diversity? Stop over in the Oregon Caves Chateau where a bride-ghost frequently haunts guests.
10) Big Bend National Park, Texas
All things are big in Texas, including this haunting.
Pack your tent and spend a few nights in the Chisos (translated as “ghosts”) Mountains. Frequent reports include a wandering Indian chief, a vengeful steer, and a troop of dead Spanish soldiers.
Campers often report activity in the nightly winds.
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