Philosopher Immanuel Kant said "Perpetual peace is only found in the graveyard," and for many hikers a graveyard does offer a sense of peace and calm. Cemetery planners include trees, flowers and benches for grave visitors, and many designers also include trails and paths for walking and hiking. The following trails, all with scenic graveyard views, offer a variety of paths for the novice to the most experienced hiker.
Cambridge American Cemetery, England
Take a short six-mile, round-trip hike from Cambridge University, England, to the American Cemetery and Memorial where the hillside offers a panoramic view of the university, the town and the surrounding countryside. The route takes you along grassy country roads on a gradual climb to the cemetery, which was donated by the university to provide a final resting place for World War II American soldiers killed in the Battle of the Atlantic and during air strikes in northwest Europe. Using the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW), popularly known as the "right to roam" law, adventurous hikers may elect to use a GPS and hike through fields and hills to the cemetery.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
(60 miles north of London, 3 miles west of the university)
Hours: 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m, daily
GPS Coordinates: N52 13.020 E0 03.320
Somme American Cemetery, France
The World War I Somme American Cemetery and Memorial offers scenic views of the French Picardy hills and countryside. The chapel with stained glass window tributes is open during daytime hours. Early morning offers the best lighting for the glass. Reach the cemetery by hiking along the grassy road sides to the cemetery located 14 miles southwest of Cabrai and 13 miles north of St. Quentin. Both towns offer housing, or take the Gare du Nord train from Paris for a day hike. A guide is available at the park to offer monument, chapel and historical information about the graveyard.
Somme American Cemetery
1/2 mile southwest of Bony (Aisne), France
Hours: 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
GPS Coordinates: N49 59.103 E3 12.798
Columbus Cemetery, Florida
Columbus Cemetery, a Florida Civil War graveyard, is located on the Suwannee River. Casual hiking along the Lime Sink Run Trail is available, but serious hikers may elect to make a path along the Sandhills Trail (an old stagecoach route and Native American hunting path) to the cemetery. Hiking may be combined with cycling, canoeing or rafting, and camping is available at the state park.
Suwannee River State Park
(Located at the confluence of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers)
3631 201th Path
White Springs, Florida 32060
Hours: 8 a.m. until sunset
National Cemetery Overlook, California
The National Cemetery Overlook is a new Presidio Park hiking trail and scenic resting area completed in the fall of 2009. The forest vantage point overlooks the historic San Francisco National Cemetery. Trails leading to the overlook include a running and hiking trail with an approximate 5 percent slope. Located on the southeast corner of the cemetery, access to the overlook trail include a network of other hiking and walking paths that run throughout the Presidio. The overlook trail easily combines hiking and cycling on the Bay Area Ridge Trail (a 300-mile route that takes the hiker around the San Francisco Bay). Auto parking is available on Nauman Road, or begin the hike from the rapid transit stop near the cemetery overlook.
National Cemetery Overlook
San Francisco Presidio Park
Follow signage from Nauman Road
No general curfew for hiking and camping
Rapid Transit: PresidiGo Stop #31