If you happen to be in Illinois or Indiana, you arent far from a great hiking or backpacking trail or area. A couple of top spots are Illinois and Michigan Canal and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
For specific info on finding the perfect outdoor trail, you could try Wildernet -- they have a lot of info on finding a good hiking trail.
Gorp has a great list of places to go as well as tips and guides.
also offers info on hiking and camping areas in Kentucky, Tennessee and