6 Natural Adventures to Visit This Summer
June marks National Great Outdoors Month and National Water Month. The beauty of our nation’s forests and parks are that they are filled with breathtaking views, unbeatable hiking trails, and diverse wildlife. The summer is the season to get outdoors and connect with nature. Here are 6 forests, parks, and preserves that we are replanting in and that are full of adventure.
Known for its mountainous scenery and rivers and lakes, Sierra National Forest offers some of the most scenic landscapes and lots of trails. A few noteworthy trails include Rancheria Falls trail — a one-mile trail east of Huntington Lake that leads up to Rancheria Falls (perfect for summer), Pacific Crest Scenic Trail — a 30-mile trail that cuts through Sierra National Forest in the John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas — and Kings River Trail, meandering along the river below granite formations.
Withlacoochee State Forest attracts more than 1 million visitors every year, and for good reason. The forest is bursting with hiking, biking, horse and bird trails, camp sites, canoeing, and hunting areas. Start your morning canoeing along the Withlacoochee South River, then horseback on the Citrus Tract, and end your day camping under the stars.
Nestled in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon, Malheur boasts diverse landscapes and scenic grasslands, meadows, and alpine lakes. Some of the must-see attractions include Magone Lake — a lake believed to be formed by a landslide (and boasts underwater trees) — Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, and Cedar Grove Botanical Area.
If you want to explore multiple ecosystems and see an array of habitat, then the Big Thicket National Preserve is perfect. The Big Thicket is home to all types of wildlife and habitat. It has hiking trails and waterways that cut through each habitat. It also offers ranger-led programs and activities for kids.
Bayfield County Forest is filled with national treasures, wildlife adventures, and more. The County Forest offers dogsledding in the winter, kayaking in sea caves, island cruises, biking, horseback riding, and more. It is the ultimate family getaway whether you’re looking for historic landmarks, beaches, or trails.
Loess Hills (IA)
Located along Iowa’s western border, the Loess Hills are windblown soils that formed into dunes over thousands of years. These hills reach more than 60 feet in height and are among the tallest loess formations in the world. The Loess Hills offers a scenic byway and hiking trails throughout the park.
Monongahela is an escape if your looking for tranquility and breathtaking views. The forest is nestled in the northcentral highlands of West Virginia. It is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the U.S. It offers a nature center (with live snake shows), Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area — which contains the highest peak in the state — and the Falls of Hills Creek. A designated National Scenic Byway cuts through the forest, so you can view it the wonder from the comfort of your car.