The Best Midwest Hiking Trails for RV Campers

The thrill of RV camping across the nation isn’t just about rest and relaxation in some of America’s most beautiful locations – it’s also about finding new areas to explore and enjoy. With the incredible options to hike in the US, from our iconic Rocky Mountains to beautiful parks on the Atlantic coastline, you may overlook the hidden treasures of the Midwest.

While there may be no sweeping mountain ranges or world-renowned national parks, the Midwest features a vast land full of forests, valleys and prairies that are bound to inspire awe. If you’re planning your next RV camping trip, learn about some of our favorite Midwest hiking trails that are sure to make your trip memorable for the whole family.

Family enjoying a view on a hiking trail in the forest.

5 Must-Hike Trails in the Midwest

Conkle’s Hollow Rim, Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, Ohio

Mossy trees and rocks in the forest of Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, Ohio

Tucked away just northwest of Ohio’s Hocking Hills State Park is the Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. Purchased in 1925 and dedicated as a nature preserve in 1977, this magnificent slice of Ohio is a must-see for any Midwest trip. With a deep gorge, possibly Ohio’s deepest, and several cascading waterfalls that hide beautiful sandstone cliffs, the scenic beauty is unforgettable.

Conkle’s Hollow Rim is a trail that takes you along the edge of the cliffs, giving you an opportunity to experience the valley from above. Taking you through forested land, past waterfalls and to some of the highest cliffs in Ohio, this trail offers a decent challenge across its 2.5 mile stretch. Not for the faint of heart, the trail runs close to some of the cliffs, making caution a necessity but rewarding you with a sight that’s well-worth the effort.

If traveling in this area, you can setup camp at Hocking Hills State Park just a few minutes southeast. With its own set of hiking trails and numerous activities, you can enjoy a full weekend of camping without ever running out of things to do. Hocking Hills State Park also has almost 160 electric sites, allowing up to 50’ units, making it perfect for a luxury RV camping trip.

Bridal Veil Trail, Pikes Peak State Park, Iowa

View of the Mississippi River from Pikes Peak State Park, Iowa

Pikes Peak State Park features some of the most naturally beautiful land in the US. Unlike many other locations, the land in the park wasn’t cleared other than for some recreational areas, leaving it largely the same as it was before being colonized. The highlight of Pikes Peak State Park is the bluff overlooking the gorge of the Upper Mississippi River.

Bridal Veil Trail takes you right to the bluff overlooks, as well as the popular Bridal Veil Falls. Though not a difficult hike, it does take you almost 200 feet in elevation throughout the mile-long path over boardwalk and stairs. Many parts of the trail are handicap accessible too! As you travel the path, don’t forget to take in the many scenic overlooks. On the trail, you’ll also come across a unique Effigy Mound, called Bear Mound, built by American Indians hundreds of years ago!

Pikes Peak State Park has 70 campgrounds, and plenty of them have either 30-amp or 50-amp electrical hook-ups for your RV. Like many parks, half of the campsites are available by reservation, and the others on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nearby towns are just a few miles away, so it’s a great opportunity to stock up on your RV cooking supplies before setting down roots to enjoy the views.

Ice Age Trail, Wisconsin

The bluff at Gibraltar Rock on the Ice Age Trail, Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a major hiking adventure in the Midwest, the Ice Age Trail is perfect. One of America’s eleven National Scenic Trails, this mostly off-road hiking trail is similar to the well-known Appalachian Trail. Created largely due to the retreat of glaciers, you’ll find unique glacial features like eskers, drumlins and moraines. The glacial landscape creates a perfect hiking opportunity for even the most seasoned veterans.

With almost 650 miles of trail running through Wisconsin, most hikers opt to pick specific stretches near campsites to enjoy, as there is no direct camping on the trail itself. However, national, state, and county forests and parks exist along most of the trail to give you a great starting point. When planning your hike, you can find this online Ice Age Trail Trail map with alerts, parking information and more.

Petrified Forest Loop, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Overlooking the forest at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

The Petrified Forest Loop trail is located in a remote corner of the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  As one of the longest trails in the park at 10.6 miles long, the Petrified Forest Loop connects to some of the park’s other popular trails. It leads to the park’s most notable concentration of petrified wood, including trees, stumps and logs. But you’re bound to find more than just natural landscape on this trail.

One of the most amazing experiences on any hike is close contact with the native wildlife. Taking you directly through the wilderness of the badlands and ancient petrified forests, it’s almost impossible not to encounter some of the local wildlife. Campers in the area sometimes find themselves waking up in the morning surrounded by buffalo!

With plenty of options for camping, and being a pet-friendly campground, consider planning a few days to enjoy the rest of the park during your visit to this Midwest hiking trail.

Pickle Creek Trail, Hawn State Park, Missouri

Rocky creek in the forest of Hawn State Park, Missouri

If you’re in the Missouri area and haven’t been to Hawn State Park, the Pickle Creek Trail is an excellent short stop on your Midwest hiking trails adventure. Less than a mile long, this rugged trail takes you along Pickle Creek. The stream, having made its way through sandstone, creates a lovely clear waterway surrounded by eroded granite boulders and sandstone bluffs.

It’s certainly not an easy hike – with slippery surfaces, mud, obstacles and steep grades, you’ll feel like a true explorer on this hiking expedition. The highly scenic hike is beautiful all year long, though if you visit during the spring you may get a chance to see the flowing rose azaleas that are worth more than a photo or two.

Hawn State Park has plenty of campsites with 50-amp electrical service. If you’re planning a weekend reservation, you’ll need to book at least a minimum of a two-night stay.

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (844) 601-1171


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