If there’s one thing about hiking that we all can agree on, it’s that the unity of thrill, challenge, and beauty is undeniably unique to hiking as a sport and pastime. No two trails are the same, and not all trails are created equal. If you want to make the most of your hiking life, you need to seek out the best hikes in the world, here’s a few to keep your mind on:

The Heart and Soul of America’s East Coast

If there’s one single geographical feature (besides the coast, obviously) that defines the eastern regions of the United States of America, it’s the Appalachian Mountain Range. The Appalachians, and the trail that runs from the State of Georgia up to Katahdin Mountain in Maine, are the life goal of many veteran and aspiring hikers alike. With an incredible span of climates and cultures along the length of the Trail, the Appalachian Mountains represent one of the most achievable long-term hikes in the world. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges; the northernmost half of the trail is considered quite difficult, especially the titanic Katahdin Mountain with its famous Knife’s Edge trail.

Some hikers take on this grand journey over the course of many years, in parts. Others devote the approximately 6 months needed to hike the whole thing in one go. There’s no doubt, though, that the Appalachian Trail is one of the best hikes in the world.

A Nexus of Spiritual and Personal Achievement

O Snail,

Climb Mount Fuji

But slowly, slowly!

–Kobayashi Issa

This famous haiku serves as a reminder that persistence and patience are powerful forces. It calls on the name of Mount Fuji for a reason; Mount Fuji is no minor experience. Challenging but achievable, the trails of Mount Fuji are hallowed ground for spiritual people worldwide, but they also serve as a symbol of personal achievement, peace-seeking, and internal growth for the non-religious alike.

With airy heights, dense forests, and pure white snow, Mount Fuji uniquely towers in the distance of one of the world’s most vibrant cities: Tokyo. Experience one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, then follow it up with one of the best hikes in the world.

A Monument to Earthen Might

The Matterhorn. Possibly the most famous mountain in all of Europe, certainly the most famous of the Alps, the Matterhorn represents an iconic beauty that has no true equal. Like a stone crown, it rises amid snow and ice to call to hikers worldwide. With well-established resorts and townships surrounding the summit, intrepid hikers can recruit seasoned guides to help them traverse the rocky pathways around – and on – the Matterhorn.

Though this particular hike is known as one of the more challenging in the world, with many trails requiring climbing experience, its well within the ability of amateur hikers to visit and enjoy thanks to the extensive trail systems around it. If you feel the call of the frozen alps, make the Matterhorn your mark.