With spring in the air, it's time to get off the couch and get outside. If you need greater motivation, we've found five trails that include outstanding water features, so you'll be inspired to get to the end and either take a dip or spot a rainbow. With this in mind, members and editors at VirtualTourist.com have selected the "Top 5 Waterfall Hikes."
-Pipiwai Trail, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii
Along the Hana Highway (or "Road to Hana" as it is commonly called) there are countless picturesque spots, including Mokulau and Honomanu Bay. On the southeastern side of Maui, just off Route 330, visitors will find the Pools of 'Ohe'o, commonly known as the Seven Sacred Pools. One of the most popular attractions in East Maui, the gulch is a string of pools and waterfalls that are easily accessed for swimming, cliff jumping and people-watching. While the Seven Sacred Pools is beautiful, continuing on the Pipiwai Trail for 1.8 miles into Haleakala National Park is truly rewarding. First, you'll come across the Falls at Makahiku, which plunge almost 200 feet (60 meters). If you continue on, the hike culminates at Waimoku Falls, which drops more than 400 feet (121 meters) above you. The trail is maintained by National Park Service, so it is relatively well-traversed and you will most likely pass other people while on the hike.
-Plitvice Lakes National Park, Karlovac County, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes is Croatia's best known national park and the only natural spot among Croatia's seven
-Aber Falls, Snowdoin National Park, Wales, UK
Multiple VirtualTourist members suggested picturesque Aber Falls in
-La Fortuna Falls, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Whenever waterfalls or hiking are mentioned, Costa Rica often comes to mind, as the small country is rich with natural spectacles and rainforest. Multiple members mentioned the waterfall hike to La Fortuna, located just inside Arenal Volcano National Park. Situated in the shadow of Arenal Volcano, an active volcano which is presently in a resting stage, the trail to the falls can be completed on foot or on horseback. Along the hike, visitors pass through both pasture and rainforest with toucans, monkeys, and other rainforest inhabitants often spotted along the route. It is only a short trip from the trail head to the falls, which plummet 200 feet (62 meters) to a swimmable pool below. Another member suggested the Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike at nearby Tenorio Volcano National Park, which also looks beautiful, but is suggested only for people in relatively good shape as it is a more rigorous experience.
-Lower Calf Creek Falls, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah