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A truly great trail winds into the essence of a place, so when assembling this list of the world’s great hikes we kept an eye on more than the footpath. We looked for walks that travel deeper into a location’s history and culture. Sure, there’s outdoor adventure on each of these 20 hikes, but the trails also tell a rich story. So here they are, the holy grails of trails across the world. —Doug Schnitzspahn

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About the Writer

Boulder, Colorado-based Doug Schnitzspahn knows trails. He spent six seasons building and maintaining them while working for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and Idaho (even constructing sections of the Continental Divide Trail featured in the story). He has put his outsoles to the tread of many of these classics in Corsica, Iceland, Quebec, and South America. He is also the editor-in-chief of Elevation Outdoors magazine.