This is the USA. One of the largest and most diverse countries on the planet, America is known for incredible outdoor recreation. It is, after all, the country that invented the national park.
American adventure destinations are often iconic. Places like the Grand Canyon, the Oregon Coast, the Rocky Mountains, Volcanoes National Park, the Florida Everglades, the Great Smoky Mountains... but there are scores of lesser-known and more surprising locales.
Let's take a look at four that we're sure you've never been to:
Rip-Up Allegrippis in Pennsylvania
Welcome to some of the best single-track in the Northeast, constructed thanks to a lease agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering. Allegrippis Trails offers riders more than 35 miles of flowy tracks, arranged in a series of loops to enable long, rollercoaster rides. There are more than 20 marked trails in total, constructed by local mountain bikers who are passionate about their sport and know what real riders yearn for. Best thing? Most bikers can find a trail to suit at Allegrippis—beginner, intermediate and beyond, this network is as accessible as it is exciting.
Climb Mount Marcy in New York State (Pictured)
One of the great aspects of hiking in the East versus the West is that many mountain summits, while challenging, are still attainable to the average skilled hiker. No ropes and crampons (usually) required. This is the case for Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York State. The popular Van Hoevenberg Trail to the summit is tough 14.1-mile hike that climbs some 3,500 feet—expect to get sweaty. And foul weather can strike at any time—this is a remote area that requires self-sufficiency. (Though you’ll likely see other hikers.) The payoff? Aside from bagging a state high point, you’ll marvel at a view that can stretch all the way into Quebec to the north and Vermont to the south.
Kayak the Channel Islands in California
California is rich with outdoor adventure—narrowing it to just one experience is tough. So let’s get off-radar and travel to a national park that’s one of the least visited in the lower 48 yet within 60 miles of 18 million people. Accessed via ferry from Ventura Harbor, Channel Islands National Park holds the world’s largest collection of sea caves. Hence, it’s a kayaker’s paradise. Bring your own boat or book a memorable guided tour. After you’ve explored the rocky shoreline and dipped through the caverns—perhaps spotting dolphins, sea lions and raptors—you can hike the crisscrossing trails and even camp onsite. Wondering which island to check out first? Look to Santa Cruz Island, the first stop on the ferryboat from the mainland.
Summit Mount Adams in Washington State
Let’s jump into the action with a bang—a strenuous, advanced-level summit of Mount Adams, one of the Cascade giants in Washington State. It reaches up to 12,276 feet and the hike itself (South Climb) will have you grunting through 6,732 feet of elevation gain. The out-and-back is just over 11 miles and although you won’t need technical mountaineering gear, crampons and an ice axe are recommended. Keep a close eye on the weather and don’t be afraid to turn around early if needed (there’s even a false summit). But if you have strong fitness and advanced hiking skills, this route delivers a memorable experience and jaw-dropping views.