Travel back to the wild west at John Jarvie Historic Ranch in Utah. In 1880, John Jarvie built a ranch along the Green River to offer store goods to those that lived or traveled in this wild territory. Jarvie chose this location due to a naturally occurring river crossing which was used by Native Americans, fur trappers, travelers and local residents. Today, you can camp, fish, float and enjoy educational demonstrations at this fascinating site. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
If you’re feeling the need to walk off some of yesterday’s calories, head out to a local park, refuge, trail or recreation area for some fresh air and exercise. One of our favorite places to #OptOutside is Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park. Running 184 miles from West Virginia through Maryland and into Washington, D.C., the towpath and trails of the C&O Canal offer great opportunities to discover historical and natural treasures. From the popular trails around Great Falls to the quiet splendor of the upper sections, it’s a place we’re thankful for. Photo by Patty Ballay (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has the four highest peaks in Texas, an ancient fossil reef, desert, dunes, canyons, wildlife and a touch of fall color. In McKittrick Canyon, the maples put on a show this autumn. With lots of trails for hiking and horseback riding, you’ll find the perfect place for your fall pictures. Photo by National Park Service volunteers.
It’s fall at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi. The morning air is cool and crisp. Deer weave through the forest and squirrels scamper around searching for winter stores. Sunrise light hits the yellow leaves, making them an even brighter shade of gold. It’s a wonderful moment of peace. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Buffalo National River in Arkansas flows pure and clear over a 132-mile meandering course through grassy meadows and by rocky bluffs. Its ancient current gives life to well over 300 species of fish, insects, freshwater mussels and aquatic plants. In addition to the thriving aquatic life, on land there are many more natural wonders to behold: caves with hidden formations, untrodden passageways, tall waterfalls and old pioneer farmsteads that provide food for elk, whitetail deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail and many other species of wildlife. Settle on a rock by the river and you’ll see for yourself. Photo by John Bingaman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
In a land of stark white sand, a little fall color really stands out. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico preserves part the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Gypsum sand is considered rare because gypsum is water soluble – it dissolves in water like sugar in iced tea. The 275-square miles of dunes are comprised of over 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand. It is one of the many things that make White Sands a unique and special place. Photo by Jim Langford (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A scenic drive along the Molalla River in Oregon offers easy river access and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, camping, whitewater boating and fishing. The river is one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River and cuts a picturesque gorge on its way to the valley floor. Molalla River Recreation Area offers an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Take your time on the trails to enjoy the changing colors. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management.
Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts is known for Revolutionary history and bold fall colors. Under the rustling leaves, you can hear whispers of the past at the Captain William Smith House. Captain Smith led a small militia against British soldiers at the Battle of Concord, fighting in the fields near his house. The house and fields have been restored to their 1775 appearance, making a visit feel like traveling back in time. Photo by Joseph Sirkovich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Forested hills slope down to the banks of the mighty Mississippi River at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. The yellow leaves of maple trees are catching the sunlight, providing a lovely and soothing atmosphere for hikers, anglers, kayakers and photographers. Other autumn visitors include thousands of migrating birds pausing at the refuge as they make their way south. Photo by Jessica Bolser, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fall colors frame a stunning view at New River Gorge National River in West Virginia. From over 1,000 feet above the river, you can look down on the clouds nestled in the valley below and enjoy sweeping views of mountains and forests. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, which is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers spectacular scenic and recreational opportunities. Photo by National Park Service.