The best wild locations on the east coast

David Ferguson
 
Wild Cape Cod

The east coast has some amazing parks and wild locations worth checking out. Here are a few that are well worth the time to visit.

Cape Cod

Off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts is the forty-mile hook of land known as Cape Cod National Seashore. If you haven’t visited Cape Cod before, fair warning, it’s like nothing you have read about in a romance novel. The vast seashore spans over the land and gives one the feeling that the whole world stops right there and all that is left is ocean.

 

Waves crashing one the many miles of beach at Cape Cod Photo Credit

The view of the Atlantic from Cap Cod is like no other oceanic view on the east coast. However, beautiful as it may be, visitors to the area have their share of things to get into other than site seeing.

With more than 40,000 acres of land, Cape Cod offers and abundance of hiking and cycling trails that are constantly filled with the crisp smell of the ocean. Wineries and (as of recently) Breweries are plentiful and almost as delicious the wild cranberries that grow in the many bogs of the cape.

Cape Cod is one of the most beautiful locations in all of America and begs the question of why so many people move to the northwest, but very few move to the northeast. Whatever the reason is, Cape Cod is always and will always be worth a visit whether you are alone or with the entire family.

 

Adirondack Park

The beauty of the Adirondack Mountains Photo Credit

New York isn’t commonly known for its lush landscapes, rolling mountains, or thick forests. Many people forget that New York is a state and they often get wrapped up in the idea that New York City, specifically Manhattan, is all that New York has to offer – which is quite a bit in itself.

 

However, if you drive just a few hours north of NYC, you will find yourself in the roaring forests and mountainous regions of the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Park, in the Silver Lake Wilderness area of NY, was established in 1892. A century later the land has seen much deforestation and industrialization, however, the 6 million acres of remaining land is one of the most wonderful locations on the east coast.

The forested landscape, hiking trails, mountains, and all types of waterways, inlets, rivers, and creeks will make you forget all about New York City when you plan their next visit.

Shenandoah

Winter hits in Shenandoah Photo Credit

Shenandoah should be remained “The Gem Of The East.” It is, by far, the closest thing to the Yosemite of the east coast. Not in sense that it has world class climbing, clean walls of rocks or massive mountains, but in the sense that Doah is an insanely popular location for hiking, camping, and vacationing on the East Coast and if you visit in the wrong time of the year you may have to fight for camping spots and places to swim.

But, that popularity must mean something, right? People wouldn’t flock to a place if it was mediocre at best and Shenandoah is anything but mediocre.

Shenandoah rests in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to more than five hundred miles of trails, rolling mountains of trees that are vibrantly green in the summer and eerily gray and reminiscent of Tim Burton film in the fall, the wildlife within its landscape is both as beautiful as a butterfly and as terrifying as a mama bear. Shenandoah is one of the best parks on the east coast to check out with friends and family.

Tip: Go in the fall… That’s all to say about that.

Everglades

Mangrove trees create dense mazes in The Everglades Photo Credit

Florida has more than your favorite animated characters and Miami. Deep within the southern tip of the state is a dense tropical wetland of 1.5 million acres known as The Everglades.

The Mangrove trees that grow in the Everglades are perhaps the most recognizable trait of the area. The trees grow so thick and intertwine with each other that it is easy to become lost, disoriented, and trapped within them – luckily, you don’t have to be a wilderness survivalist to have a good time.

The park offers a variety of raised wooden boardwalk like trails to explore the landscape and its many waterways and thriving ecosystems. Many different species of animals including crocodiles, turtles, manatees, snakes, and even a subspecies of cougar – the Florida Panther – call the Everglades their home and all make the Everglades a place that’s worth checking out and exploring.

Dolly Sods

Dolly Sods Wilderness Photo Credit

Dolly Sods is a little known treasure of the east coast. Most people don’t know it exists because it lives in the shadow of Shenandoah. However, just two hours west of Doah in West Virginia is a landscape that is almost unfathomable for its location.

Dolly Sods, was once a Governmentally owned piece of land that was used for military training. After a few hours on its many miles of backcountry trails, you will understand why.

The landscape can drastically change in the matter of one turn in the woods or one hike over a hill. Some trails lead through swamps, soggy marshes and low creeks. Other trails will take you over rocky climbs and sketchy descents. There are trails that run through thick mazes of birch trees and dense forests. A few paths lead along rivers that suddenly break into a massively open and vacant meadow. The diversity of the trails and landscape of Dolly Sods is, simply amazing and absolutely worth checking out for a weekend.

The acreage of land and labyrinth of trails is so massive that you shouldn’t be surprised if you camp for an entire weekend without crossing paths with another human.

Also, backcountry camping is free and at the campers discretion.

Be safe out there and watch out for bears and old mortars… There are actually warning signs about old mortars that haven’t been found yet.

 

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