How to find serene hiking trails away from the crowds

In recent years, the appeal of hiking has surged as more individuals seek the tranquilly and beauty of the natural world. In fact, data published by Statista shows that 36% of Brits go hiking weekly. However, this increase in popularity often means that many well-known trails are now frequently crowded, detracting from the peaceful experience many of us go hiking for in the first place.

So, what can you do to find the hidden gems of the hiking world, where you can enjoy the many wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature away from the hustle and bustle of crowded trails?

In this article, we’ll explain how to find serene hiking trails away from the crowds.

Explore lesser-known areas.

One of the most effective ways to escape the crowds is to venture into lesser-known hiking areas. While iconic trails have their appeal, many equally stunning yet underappreciated paths offer serene landscapes with far fewer footprints.

Remember, some of the most peaceful hikes aren’t always the ones found in guidebooks or top ten lists. Make the most of online websites like National Trails that focus on off-the-beaten-path experiences. Many hiking apps like AllTrails often feature hidden gems that aren’t as widely marketed; you just have to dig a little deeper.

Take on a challenge.

Shorter, gentler routes tend to attract the most people, whereas longer and more challenging trails typically separate the wheat from the chaff. As a result, long routes are often less crowded, offering you more opportunities for serene experiences. Moreover, the inherent reward of completing a challenging hike can greatly enhance the feeling of accomplishment, which only serves to enrich your experience. But remember that it’s important to prepare adequately for difficult trails, so ensure you always have comfortable and durable walking boots to wear, as well as the right level of physical conditioning.

Hike at off-peak times.

Timing can significantly impact the solitude of your hiking experience. If you hike during off-peak times—think weekdays, early mornings, or late afternoons—you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of encountering large groups. Early morning hikes give you the bonus of greater chances of witnessing wildlife and the breathtaking beauty of the sunrise. You should also consider the seasons. Try hiking in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn to access a quieter experience, with most trails being less crowded compared to the summer months.

Go out of your way.

Trails that take extra effort to access, such as those that require a four-wheel drive to reach the trailhead or those that are only accessible by boat, are naturally less crowded. The added difficulty in reaching these trails deters most people away, leaving them quieter and more secluded. You can take advantage of this fact to enjoy a more peaceful hike, provided you have a safe way to access them. But it’s not just about getting there. Always ensure you have the necessary equipment and skills to navigate these areas, as they might be less well-maintained than more popular public routes.

Connect with local hiking communities.

You’re probably not the only person in your local area who loves the great outdoors. Why not try engaging with any hiking communities in your local area? They could be a gold mine for discovering the best serene trails nearby. Local hikers are often willing to share their favourite secluded spots with those who share a genuine appreciation for nature. Look for local clubs or social media groups you can use to connect with fellow hikers. Not only can you uncover less-travelled trails, but you may also make some new friends.


Finding serene trails away from the crowds isn’t just about escaping people; it’s about reconnecting with nature in its most unspoiled form. With a little planning and exploration, you can enjoy the serenity you crave on the hiking trails.

Explore lesser-known areas, choose your timing wisely, opt for longer or less accessible trails, and connect with local hikers. Remember, the journey to finding these hidden gems is as rewarding as the destinations themselves.


Sign up to Staffordshire Living’s monthly newsletter by entering your email below and receive all the latest news, events, special offers and competitions direct to your inbox.
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.