Eagan, Minnesota: Lebanon Hills Regional Park
The entrance to this suburban Twin Cities oasis awaits on busy, mall-lined Cliff Road. Traffic noise fades on trails weaving among lakes, light woods, marshes and meadows. Dozens of unnamed trail segments create an interconnected web of paths for 1-mile lakeside loops or long cross-park treks.
Ponca, Nebraska: Ponca State Park
More than 20 miles of paths traverse stands of timber, open prairie and the banks of the Missouri River in this popular state park. Most paths are grassy, wide and rated as easy or moderate, but adventure-seekers find a thrill on Corps of Discovery’s single-track path along a 50-foot cliff. (402) 755-2284;