Spectacular Strolls: Best U.S. States for Long Scenic Walks to Clear Your Head

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Spectacular Strolls: Best U.S. States for Long Scenic Walks to Clear Your Head

Walking is an effective form of low-impact exercise. Along with burning calories, it’s a great way to relax, take in nature, or get out of the house after a tough day at the office.

With the introduction of U.S. sports betting, a brisk, scenic walk is a great way for sports bettors to weigh their betting selections and discuss their potential parlay, prop or money line proposals with a friend or fellow sports fans. This ensures they are making calculated and smart choices when making sportsbook wagers.

Here at Gambling.com, the promotion and practice of responsible gambling is of paramount importance, and one way of ensuring that players manage their activity in the right way is to take regular breaks – what better way to take a break than enjoying some fresh air and spectacular scenic views that walking trails across the United States offer.

With this spring in their step, the researchers at Gambling.com decided to work out which U.S. states were the best for scenic long walks – where people can break a sweat and decompress. They analyzed five different routes in each state, along with statewide statistics, to rank each one about how good they are for an endorphin-boosting ramble in nature.

What are the Top 20 U.S. States for Scenic Walks?

Gambling.com can reveal that California is the best state for long scenic walks. It rated very highly in four categories, which resulted in a final cumulative score of 82.8 out of 100

The Golden State’s five analyzed walking routes received strong user reviews and had some of the highest elevation gains across the country (18.8/20 & 17.5/20, respectively). On a state level, California also had a lot of daily sunshine hours (16.7/20), along with the third-best percentage of national and state park coverage (19.2/20). 


Alaska, with a final score of 76.3, is second. The Last Frontier has the second highest score for park coverage across the country, along with the best air quality rating across its five most suitable routes (both 19.6) – unsurprising given the state’s remote location. Positive feedback from walkers also provided Alaska with a solid 17.5 rating in the user review category.

Washington in the Pacific Northwest completes the Top 3. Despite having the second-lowest score for average daily sunshine hours, the Evergreen State performs well in the four other categories – in particular, their five walking routes’ user ratings (19.6), gained elevation (19.6), and air quality (19.2).

New Hampshire (73/100) and Arizona (72.2/100) are in fourth and fifth place, respectively. The Granite State performed best in the gained elevation and air quality categories across their walking paths, while the Grand Canyon State was second in the country for the average daily sunlight hours standings (19.6).

Bottom 5 States for Scenic Walks

Legal sports betting in Louisiana went live in January of 2022. However, it’s bad news for the Pelican State, which finds itself at the foot of the rankings with a final score of 17.9 out of a possible 100 – making it the worst state for long scenic walks. The state only achieved a 0.8/20 score in the national and state park coverage ranking, while their analyzed walking paths also had the second lowest user ratings and gained elevations.

The second worst-performing state was Mississippi (24.5). Despite a strong air quality rating on their walking routes – The Magnolia State performed poorly in all others, bar a respectable grade in their daily sunlight hours.

At the start of 2023 sports betting in Ohio went live, however the Buckeye state had the third lowest collective score of all states measured, coming in close behind with 24.8/100. Ohio failed to take off in any category analyzed, with no ratings above the nationwide average.

Kansas was fourth worst for long scenic walks with a score of 26.1, while Arkansas was the fifth most unsuitable state, scoring 30.2. 

Here are the overall rankings.


Five different data points per state were measured in an index. The first three focused on specific medium-difficulty walking routes in each (5-10 miles in length). The final two were on state-wide data:

  • User Rating - from popular walk sources
  • Gained Elevation Along Each Route - from popular walk sources
  • Air Quality - from AirNow.gov
  • Average Daily (Peak) Sunlight Hours - from Turbine Generator
  • National & State Park Coverage - from Playground Equipment

All five index points were then added for each state to give a final score out of 100. All 50 states were then ranked from highest to lowest final score, and all data was collected on Jan. 25, 2023.

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