The colors were amazing, brilliant oranges and yellows, worthy of a painting but instead only captured by cameras. It was with that brilliant light that I fell in love with the wilderness. This was my first time truly outside. Not just in the woods, or a few miles from a road. I’d been backpacking in West Virginia and North Carolina before this, but never had I stepped foot in true wilderness.
When we saw a few small shelters and signs, we knew we had reached the end of the trail. This was the observation point for the Ice Field. The view from this area was… other-worldly. The way the pure ice and snow stretched out before us. Three hundred square miles of ice. That’s about a quarter of the size of Rhode Island, and we stood there in awe of this. Formations like this once covered much of North America.
The Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is the crowning jewel of old Florida. Located in the backyard of Jacksonville, Florida it is famous for its unique mission of protecting not only the salt marshes and unique ecology of coastal Florida but also preserving the local historical and cultural sites.
Are you ready to climb a mountain? How about the tallest 10,000-foot mountain overlooking Los Angeles? Just a forty-five-minute drive from that concrete jungle, the city of angels, you can find many different trails ascending to the top of Mt Baldy, the local’s name for Mt San Antonio. So lace up your favorite Keen hiking boots, fill up your Nalgene with H20 and ask yourself “Which is the best route to summit Mt Baldy?”
The Eastern Sierras is just a three-hour drive from the urban metropolis that is southern California’s concrete jungle; Los Angeles. From the numerous backcountry lakes above Rock Creek to the trails hugging the outskirts of Yosemite National Park, the rugged mountains of the Eastern Sierras are a great hiking and camping area to introduce kids to the wilderness. Hikes in the Ansel Adam’s Wilderness and beyond do not have to be hard for little feet with these simple hints on how to introduce your children to hiking in the great outdoors.
These three sites–Russell Cave, Ruby Falls, and Mammoth Cave–represent a range of karst landscapes that played varying historic roles in the southeastern United States. There’s Russell Cave, which provided shelter to people for millennia; Ruby Falls, excavated only in the 20th century and opened as a tourist site, now renowned for its stunning formations and underground waterfall; and of course the incomparable Mammoth Cave, with its seemingly endless trails.
The map of the area is wrong. The trail on the map continues due west from the pass, then descends a steep embankment down to Boulder Creek. In reality, the trail turns south and follows a sharp ridgeline gradually to the water. This way down to the creek was stunning. When I reached that ridge, I stopped and stood there in total awe of the valley unfolding before me.