Who needs mountains? It’s easy to stay healthy, enjoy nature, and get a full dose of Vitamin D by exploring trails that are just a hop, skip and a jump away from bustling city centers. From riverside pathways to secret staircases, wander through the slideshow below to discover the country’s best urban trails.

Griffith Park – Los Angeles, Ca

Located smack-dab in the center of Los Angeles, Griffith Park is a welcome refuge for city folks. The 4200-acre park is home to the Greek Theater, the Griffith Observatory, a crazy mini forest that will transplant you to Bavaria, the Hollywood Sign and more. The best hikes to try with kids are the Old City Zoo hike (literally the abandoned LA city zoo) with cages and enclosures to explore, and the Observatory hike that starts at Ferndell Park—you’ll hike up to views and a planetarium show, and back down to a killer slice of pie at Trails Cafe. After refueling, be sure to check out the Ferndell Nature Walk, which is a walk along a little waterway that has a grotto and more than 50 types of rare hanging ferns and other tropical plants. For more ideas and cool stuff you can do in Griffith Park, check out our Insider’s Guide here.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the old carousel that inspired Walt Disney to make Disneyland!  

Online: laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk

photo: Rachel Obscura via flickr

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What is your favorite urban trail? Share with us in a Comment below.

—Gabby Cullen