10 Most Haunted Hiking Trails In America

Want to go hiking with ghosts? Perhaps spot a dog-headed creature stalking you through the trees? Or maybe you’ll go hiking and encounter the apparition of little Ottie Powel, who was just four-years-old and barefoot when he disappeared.

There are many trails in the US that have storied histories, full of creatures, witches, ghosts, demons, and more.

Most often the weird noises you hear when you go hiking are just a squirrel or bird. But what about the trails that have documented cases of paranormal activity?

Go hiking in a place like that, and you can’t just dismiss that strange sound you hear as a scampering chipmunk.

Of all the trails you can go hiking at, this list presents the 10 most haunted. All with documented cases of things that go bump in the night…and worse.

If you decide to try your luck, and go hiking on any of the following trails don’t say we didn’t warn you!

10 Most Haunted Trails To Go Hiking

1) Norton Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountains, NC

1 - Norton Creek Trail - 10 Top Haunted Trails To Go Hiking

Cherokee legend warns of Spearfinger, a witch that supposedly haunts Norton Creek and feasts on wayward children.

Fortunately for lost hikers, there is a more helpful ghost in this area.

Several hikers have reported that a mysterious floating light has led them away from danger and towards safety.

Photo credit: wikimedia.com

2) Appalachian Trail, Virginia

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Four-year-old Ottie Powell was out collecting firewood, when he suddenly vanished in 1891.

Five months later Ottie’s body was discovered near Bluff Mountain.

Some say that panic led Ottie to run in the wrong direction and die from exposure. Others claim it was due to some sort of psychic phenomena. Others still, attribute the death to the spirit of the wood, known to haunt the “forest bright with colored leaves”.

A memorial to little Ottie can still be found here. Some backpackers who have spent the night at Punchbowl Shelter have reported seeing Ottie’s wandering spirit, firewood in hand.

3) White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

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If you happen to be here during sunset, keep your wits about you.

Because that is when you are likely to encounter the ghost of the Great White Sands.

Otherwise known as Pavla Blanca.

Native legend states that the ghost Pavla Blanca was once a Spanish Maiden.

Her lover, and husband-to-be, the conquistador Hernando de Luna, met his demise in the White Sands desert in 1540.

Pavla roams the desolate sands, still wearing her flowing white wedding gown, searching for Hernando.

Photo credit: flickr/angel_malachite

4) Grouse Lake & Chilnualna Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

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Beware.

Should you catch the sound of a whimpering young boy, it may be the last thing you hear.

Tales tell the story of a young native boy who wandered too far from his tribe and drowned in the turbulent waters.

Rumor has it that modern-day hikers who try to locate the sound of the whimpering are pulled under the dark waters and drowned.

Photo credit: flickr/nijaba

5) Gold Mine Trail, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland

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In 1906 a miner was killed in an unexplained explosion.

Soon after the mine hauntings began by a group of spirits referred to as “Tommy Knockers”.

Two years after the hauntings began, a watchman reported seeing a creature crawling out of the mine shaft.

The watchman described the creature as “a ghostie-looking man with eyes of fire and a tail 10 feet long”.

If you’d like to take your chances and go hiking with the Tommy Knockers, start your hike at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center.

Photo credit: eoghann.com

6) Batona Trail, New Jersey Pinelands

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There have been over 2000 sightings of the Jersey Devil here.

The sightings date back as far as the 1700s.

Terrified hikers (those who return) report seeing a creature with the head of a dog, wings of a bat, deformed horns and a forked tail.

Hikers in New Jersey have reported being stalked by the hideous spawn tramping through the marshes.

Pineland locals often hear unnerving screams deep in the night.

If you have courage to spare, hike the 49 mile route, the Batona Trail section. It goes directly into the Devil’s domain.

Photo credit: flickr/mswern

7) Mammoth Cave, KY

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Considered one of the most haunted cave systems in the world.

Over 150 paranormal incidents have been documented here.

Many feel the haunting is due to the horrific deaths suffered by tuberculosis patients who were once housed here.

Apparitions and ghostly coughing are reported by hikers when they visit Corpse Rock, which was the stopping point before burial for dead patients.

Photo credit: flickr/yinginusa

8) Transept Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Hikers here often report seeing a woman in a white dress, dotted with blue flowers.

She paces the trail and wails uncontrollably.

This spirit is known as the Wailing Woman.

If you can get past her, and make it to the North Rim, you’ll notice some creepy archaeological ruins.

Photo Credit

9) Spruce Railroad Trail, Olympic National Park, WA

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Brutally murdered by her husband in 1937…

Hallie Latham Illingworth now haunts the murky depths of Lake Crescent, and the nearby Spruce Railroad Trail.

Known as the Lady of The Lake, she wanders the 8-mile trail loop.

It was local fisherman who discovered her mummified corpse.

Puzzlingly, the fisherman went missing soon after.

They were never found.

10) Iron Goat Trail, Stevens Pass, WA

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At this trail you’ll go hiking along a 5.7 mile loop.

The loop presents a gentle grade for hikers, but a terrifying history for everyone; nearly 100 lives ended in a railroad disaster in 1910. The worst in US history.

The disaster was caused by an avalanche derailing two passenger trains.

The tracks were moved elsewhere after the tragedy, but hikers can still delve into the black tunnels. Some say they’re abandoned but others say they are stalked by the ghosts of the fallen, searching for a way out.

Photo credit: flickr/mantisofdestiny

Your Next Step

Gather your courage and take a stroll down one of the hiking trails on this list.

But the question is…

Do you dare go hiking alone?