Across the USA, forests, mountains, rivers and lakes offer limitless opportunities for adventure, whatever time of year you decide to visit. From adrenalin-pumping driving on pine-clad peaks to leisurely horse rides across sun-drenched plains, you’ll find epic and unforgettable experiences in every state. Here’s a taste of what’s in store...
Take a hike
The world’s longest hiking-only footpath runs from Maine
, crossing 2,200 miles of the Eastern USA. The legendary Appalachian Trail, right, is a true bucket-list adventure, but only die-hard adventurers with plenty of time on their side will likely walk all of the trail. Instead, dip in for a few days and discover the wilderness delights of living off-grid.
Ride a white-water adrenaline wave in a jet boat with an experienced captain at the helm. Bordering Oregon
and Idaho, Hells Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge and the perfect place to ride some rapids on a tour that also offers the chance to spot bald eagles, elk and black bears.
Live out your cowboy dreams on one of the many riding holidays offered across the USA. Canter on Doran Beach, Sonoma County, California
, left, or head for the Ponderosa forests, rugged canyons and famed Rio Grande of New Mexico – where outlaws including Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy once hid out – provide the perfect backdrop for your own adventure.
Explore the tropics
Puerto Rico in the Caribbean is home to the U.S's only tropical forest, El Yunque. It's a haven for birds and a tiny tree frog, the coquí, and has many hidden waterfalls. Combine a hike with a nighttime kayak to see the ocean light up at one of the island’s three bioluminescent bays.
Hit the slopes
Mountains across the USA offer great skiing, including the perfectly powdered slopes of Utah’s Park City
, the largest ski area. Covering 7,300 acres, it has a high-speed gondola and the country’s first heated chairlift, the Orange Bubble Express. Historic Park City's
Main Street has lively restaurants and bars.
Zip across a gorge
Brave the highest zip line in North America - over the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Colorado
. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Canon City, which turns 90 this year, boasts the Cloudscraper Zip Line, the highest zip line in North America. Set above the Arkansas River, visitors are suspended 1,200 feet above the air and soar a length of 2,400 feet from one side of the Royal Gorge to the other.
Pull some gs
Ranked number one by ThemePark Tourist
, Carowinds in North Carolina, left, attracts millions of thrill seekers every year for its unbeatable rollercoasters. When it comes to adrenaline, there really are few places to choose ahead of Carowinds theme park
in North Carolina
. The attraction is home to two of the tallest steel roller coasters in North America. It also has the world’s fastest and tallest giga coaster, the Fury 325, recognised around the globe as the best steel roller coaster.
Climb to new heights
There are plenty of places to ascend to new heights in the USA. In Maine’s Acadia National Park, rock climbers can scale 60-foot- tall pink granite cliffs that plunge into the ocean, while beginners can learn the ropes at the less-intimidating South Bubble.
Sliding Rock, North Carolina
Get your heart racing on a visit to Sliding Rock
. Located in the Western North Carolina mountains
, this natural phenomenon has attracted families and nature lovers alike over hundreds of years. Thousands of children and adults wait patiently to slide down the 60-foot fat sloping boulder before making a splash in the eight-foot deep pool below.
Skydive the Grand Canyon
The best way to get a birds eye view of the Grand Canyon? How about heading off on a tandem skydive with North America Travel Service
. Paragon Skydive
is the first and only company to offer tandem skydives at the Grand Canyon. You'll get breathtaking views of the majestic expanse of the Grand Canyon as you freewill from 15,000ft. You'll get amazing views from the
plane too, as you fly from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the South Rim.
Dive into the Banks
North Carolina’s Outer Banks
is a hotspot for wreck diving. Known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, this stretch of sand is a resting place for many sunken ships – including the German U-352 from World War II and luxury steam liner, Proteus – while incredible marine life abounds.