I’ve been asked to put a piece together for BACKPACKER magazine about great hikes in city parks.  Ever been in a city for a long weekend or a business trip and wanted to get some hiking in?  Do you live in an urban area with a bangin’ city park?  Can you get lost in a forest as easily as you can get lost on your streets?  Then I want your help!!

I’ve put together a list of large urban areas with amazing city park systems; now I’m looking for the best hike or route in these parks.  I want info beyond what I’ll find on the parks Web site or in a guidebook – we’re looking for info that only a local (or frequent visitor) would know.

Where’s the best trail to take to get away from the crowds?  Coolest spot to watch the sunset?  How about the longest running route in Central Park?  Where can you see amazing plant life, uncommon to city life?  Best way to spend your lunch hour?

Below you’ll find a list of cities and their parks.  Leave your suggestions in the comments or feel free to email me at adrienne@backpacker.com.

Cities and parks:

Boston, MA – rowing the Charles or urban wilds

Seattle, WA – Discovery Park

Philadelphia, PA – Wissahickon Valley Park

Los Angeles, CA – Griffith Park

New York, NY – Central Park (best connection of trails to run)

Chicago, IL – Chicago Lakefront

San Francisco, CA – Golden Gate Park

Austin, TX – any of the parks, including the 10-mile Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail; Zilker Metropolitan Park

Phoenix, AZ – Piestewa Peak at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve

San Diego, CA – Balboa Park

Jacksonville, FL – Hanna Park

Nashville, TN – Radnor Lake Natural Area; the Warner Parks