Top nature spots to visit in 2015
Pacific Crest Trail—California, Oregon and Washington
Get inspired by Reese Witherspoon’s Academy Award-nominated performance in ‘Wild’ and explore this remote hikers paradise. The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. The landscape shifts over the course of the trail, from expansive deserts and mountain ranges, to lush forests and rugged volcanic peaks. You can travel a few miles on a day trip, hike for a weekend or join the ranks of adventurous souls who hike the entire trail over the course of a few months.
Western South Dakota
Nominated by Lonely Planet as on of the ‘Best in the US 2015’, this stunning region lures visitors with its vast natural beauty, Native American cultural sites, winding canyons and the stony faces of former presidents carved into a mountain. The National Park Service is creating the first tribal park in the southern Badlands, to bring native buffalo back to the grasslands where they roamed long before human settlement.
Greenville, South Carolina
Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is the home of outdoor adventure. You can use the B-Cycle bike share program to pedal through the town’s network of trails, or take a day trip through one of the six rugged state parks accessible from the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. Hike to the top of Table Rock Mountain for spectacular views, or visit Caesars Head State Park to spot native Hawks from September to November.
The American Prairie Reserve, Montana
Known as ‘America’s Serengeti’, this wildlife reserve is one of the biggest conservation efforts in the country, with the goal of becoming the largest national park in the lower 48. Herds of bison, grizzlies, deer, beavers, elk and antelope are being introduced to create a unique natural habitat for native wildlife. You can observe and assist this conservation project, while staying in high-end yurts and enjoying the outstanding scenery and spectacular wildlife watching opportunities it provides.
Set in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, Boulder was named the best place in the country to indulge in outdoor sports by Outside magazine and offers 45,000 acres of designated space to hike, ride a bike, climb a mountain, kayak a river, take a gentle walk along a stream or enjoy a spot of fishing. Bike paths are scattered throughout town and the nearby Front Range Foothills, while Rocky Mountain National Park and picturesque Eldorado Canyon are not far from town.
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the country and was designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1984, for its natural beauty and ecological diversity. It’s famous for its spectacular waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in North America at 2,425 feet. Whether you’re camping, white-water rafting, horse-riding or curling up by the fire in a luxurious lodge, your escape to the wilderness will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
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