For all of the nature lovers out there, some destinations are considered a must-see. These breathtaking natural landscapes may include the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or Yosemite. These popular destinations are of course incredible, but what about all of the amazing natural sights to see that are a bit off of the beaten path? Many people are now taking trips to unexpected places just to see the glorious wonders Mother Nature has to offer, even if they aren’t considered as popular as some of the big-name attractions. Check out our list of five of the must-see natural sights in the US that happen to be a bit less well known.
1. Asheville, North Carolina/h4>
When visiting the American Southeast, most people choose to visit Myrtle Beach or Raleigh – but Asheville has plenty to see and do too. The city provides access to the Great Smokey Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which you may remember John Denver singing about. Asheville has great whitewater rafting opportunities as well as tons of historic sites to visit. The best thing about Asheville is that it is a bit of a hidden secret among people living in the region, meaning it’s never too crowded with out-of-towners.
2. Menomonie, Wisconsin/h4>
This sleepy college town about an hour east of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro may be small but it packs a punch when it comes to natural sights to see. The famous Red Cedar Trail follows the river of the same name, allowing bicycle enthusiasts to travel throughout the gorges and waterfalls that go with it. The area also has an impressive forest area, with hidden gems including Trip Falls and The Devil’s Punchbowl. Come to Menomonie to hike, bike or enjoy local art – and make sure to ask the locals how to get to the secret hot spots.
3. Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio/h4>
This incredible 2,300-acre state park may be unfamiliar to most, but it is certainly worth a visit. From biking to archery, fishing to hunting and, of course, camping, this park has it all. Hocking Hills is best known for its lavish waterfalls and dramatic rock formations – keep an eye out for Old Man’s Cave and Cantwell Cliffs. There are plenty of campsites in the park to rent as well as some more comfortable cabins in the surrounding area.
4. Wenatchee, Washington/h4>
Nestled in a small valley at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers, Wenatchee has gorgeous views from all 360 degrees. The city lies on the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, a mountain range that extends from southern British Columbia through Washington and Portland to Northern California. Go for a hike along the river, head up to nearby Leavenworth to check out rustic mountain shops and don’t forget to taste some local fruit. Wenatchee is known as “The Apple Capital of the World,” and for good reason – its luscious apples are insanely sweet and satisfying, especially right off the tree.
5. Moab, Utah/h4>
This tiny town in southern Utah may be small, but it attracts a plethora of visitors each year due its close proximity to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Many mountain bikers come to the town every year in order to ride an extensive network of trails, including the incredible Slickrock Trail. Moab also has plenty of opportunities for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the nearby Colorado and Green rivers. The annual Moab Munifest is quite the sight – it’s one of the biggest mountain unicycling events in the world. Yes – unicyclists off-roading on intense trails – this in and of itself is a must-see.