I find hiking to be one of the greatest and most pleasurable outlets to exercise. America is broad and diverse with landscapes that range from rugged desert to vast mountains. The national and state park service work hard to maintain an offer and first hand glance at the incredible scenes our country has to offer. I find that most Americans do not take advantage of our park service and a lot of the wonders of nature that exist in our backyards go unappreciated. I have fallen in love with the ability to put my boots on the ground and experience the variety of beauty in the ole' US of A.
Here is a list of my top 3 favorite national parks to explore:
1) Yosemite National Park, Yosemite California
The first time I stepped from the car in this park my jaw literally dropped. The massive granite ledges carved from a glacier long past are stunning. I found myself in awe of those brave souls who chose to climb El Capitan. I was equally impressed by the Half Dome, the inspiration for The North Face logo. In addition to the impressive landscape the wildlife is abundant in this rich area. It inspired the like of John Muir so why not you?
2) Arches National Park, Moab Utah
Arches Park reminds me of life size sand castles. The sandstone that makes up the architecture of this park has been eroded over time to leave behind distinctive structures. The Delicate Arch the flagship of the park can be seen in many photos and renderings (the Utah license plate for one) is a marvel of nature. This park is situated close to Moab’s downtown so after a day of adventuring and exploring it is nice to head into town for a cold beer and some local culture.
3) Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor
Acadia is certainly the most unique park I have visited. Situated on the coast of Maine on Mount Desert Island the park is scatted among private and commercial land. The piecemeal park boundary makes access to the sights seamless. It is as if you were exploring your own backyard. The western slope of the mountains of Acadia provides some amazing views, and those trails not frequently visited. I have often found myself alone on a trail in the height of the season. Similarly to Yosemite the wildlife of Acadia is diverse and easy to spot.
I cannot recommend it enough to get out in the woods and explore the beauty of our planet. There are some many subtleties and interesting experiences that can only be consumed in the expanse of nature. It won’t take long before your new favorite pastime and not to mention exercise will be stomping around the national parks of the US.
If you can’t make it to these three here are some of my other recommendations:
1) Dry Tortugas, Florida
2) Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
3) Great Sand Dunes, Colorado
4) Grand Canyon , Arizona
5) Grand Teton , Wyoming