The calendar shows it is time for adventure. From ocean to ocean and border to border, the United States offers rigorous hiking trails, spectacular natural environments and spine tingling off-roading experiences.
You’re looking for an adventure that challenges you to push your limits and recharge your battery at the same time. For outdoor enthusiasts who want to avoid the crowds and explore new terrain, off-roading is the perfect escape route.
East Coast Hikingâ€‹ — Maine
Maine is a magnificent place for hikers to push their limits. The boulder-filled gorges and steep grades test even the skilled athlete. Maine’s rugged Mahoosuc Range boasts majestic scenery and is often labeled the most difficult climb on the Appalachian Trail. Not recommended for younger children, this in-and-out trail is approximately seven miles.
Visit Old Speck Trail in Grafton Notch State Park for some challenging, but less rigorous day trips.
Be sure to have tires with a wider footprint if traversing Engineer Pass near Ouray, Colorado. This dirt/gravel road is mostly single lane and leaves no room for passing oncoming traffic without steady nerves and skilled backing up on the part of at least one traveler.
Expect plenty of hairpin curves, switchbacks and brilliant, panoramic views as you pass through scenic waterfalls and native wildlife on the way to the 12,800 ft. apex. Your vehicle should have moderate clearance and low-range gearing capabilities. It’s possible in wet weather, but this is not your typical mudding experience, so use caution on rainy days.
For more day trip suggestions around Engineer and Cinnamon Pass visit the Colorado Vibes website. Some trails can be deep and treacherous so take appropriate precautions.
About five hours northeast of Ouray, near Winter Park, hikers looking for a thrill might try Bail Out Trail at Snowshoe Mountain. Park authorities call this a real cardio workout for “hard core hikers only” and suggest this one isn’t for the faint at heart.
You can get some historical background on mining and enjoy a self-guided tour at Mackay Mine Hill, Idaho. According to the Mackay Chamber of Commerce, the tour takes between two and eight hours depending on your mode of transportation and the trail you chose.
One trail is shared by ATV riders, motorized and non-motorized bikes, horse riders and hikers. The altitude ranges from 6000 to 8500 feet and this family outing is suitable for all ages. Get those tires aired up, and the fuel tanked topped off for a fun day trip with stunning views and clear, mountain air.
Most of the suggested outings below take you off-the-beaten path; cell phone coverage might be unreliable and there aren’t many convenience stations along the route.
- Be sure you have plenty of water and energy treats in the backpack.
- Travel with a buddy; let someone know where and when you will be exploring.
- Know the signs of altitude sickness and be prepared to respond if you or your companions feel light-headed or weak.
- Make sure your vehicle is fueled and equipped with the right ATV tires from BikeBandit.com.
- Get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before you head out.
On foot, horseback or ATV, any day is a wonderful day to get out explore the back roads of America.