Step out of your car for a moment, and take a hike to some secluded spots of The United States that you may never have heard of before.
Or maybe you have, but take this as a sign to see them again and share the experience with someone who hasn’t. Be a lighthouse for hidden wonder.
These hikes are not for the faint at heart so be sure to pack wisely and drink your water! Bring your lunch with you, there will be no going back to the car to have a picnic.
The first stop on our tour spans 42 miles of coastline of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Grand Marais, Michigan. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the first officially designated National Lakeshore, is only viewable by air, cruising, or hiking.
You cannot take the highway past this 500 million year old Precambrian beauty.
“Pictured rocks” make for beautiful color striations and formations along an expansive coastline, making it a must see for anyone who appreciates beauty.
The vividly colored rocks aren’t even the best part either! The hidden waterfalls and giant sand dunes over Lake Superior make this a truly spectacular view that cannot be described in a few words. You have to see it to believe it.
I hope that’s organic paint they used…
After a respite, travel west from the Pictured Rocks in northern Michigan to the Redwood National Park in Northern California. Many trails and paths are available by car or foot. The best hike I’ve found would be the Redwood Creek Trail. This is where Tom Clynes believes he had found the tallest living organism, Hyperion — a Redwood tree that reaches 379 feet tall. She waves Goodnight to The Statue of Liberty before sundown!
The entire Redwood forest will scale you into submission in comparison, making for a humbling yet beautiful journey. The trail itself is about 8 miles of hiking and will take you all day to see it well, give or take an hour or so. Be sure to take your supplies and be prepared to camp by the creek just before Tall Trees Grove. You shouldn’t be alone; many people hike these trails in search of inner peace.
The height of these Redwoods, nature’s giants, will put the rest of the earth into perspective for you. You will never again look at skyscrapers or national monuments in the same way again.
“We will all be waving from such great heights…”
Finally, rest up while you fly over the Pacific Ocean to take a walk down the coast of Hawaii, near the southern most point of the United States. Papakōlea Beach, or Green Sand Beach, is a beach unlike any other sight you will ever take in. That is, unless you plan to visit the only other green sand beach in the world, found in the Galapagos Islands.
Papakōlea Beach is nestled along a great fishing and hiking spot off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is actually about 3 miles from the southern most point, South Point, which is a good spot to hang also out, but not nearly as beautiful.
Green of the beach is from the Olivine or Peridot gem; to reach this mineral laden sandy paradise you must travel either by foot, or heavy duty 4-wheel drive vehicle. It is about a one mile hike to the coast. Even if you drive, you have to climb down the cinder cone by foot in order to truly experience the beauty of this hidden treasure.
Scenic activities planners do offer rides, so that you can skip the hike — but when you are in Hawaii, you must hike over lava and Hawaiian pasturelands once or twice, just to get the true soulful feel of the island.