7 Best Family Outdoor Adventure Trips

7 Best Family Outdoor Adventure Trips
30 Aug 2022

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

If you live in a part of the country where winters are long and brutal, you want to make the most of those precious summer weekends.

Summertime is the time to explore—especially if you’re someone who loves the outdoors. And, if you have kids, it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories. But with so many options out there for family trips, how can you ensure everyone has a good time?

Here are a few can’t-miss options for your next summer outdoor adventure.

1. Yosemite National Park

From the moment you drive through the tunnel into Yosemite Valley, you know you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.

From hikes to the top of Half Dome to camping under the stars, there is something for every member of the family at Yosemite. For less experienced outdoors people, the park even offers dining, lodging, and shopping facilities.

Northern Mariposa History Center

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in a mining town during California’s famous Gold Rush, you don’t want to miss this. The history center includes more than 40 historic buildings and landmarks from the period.

2. The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is one of the nation’s most iconic passages. Stretching 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, it offers a glimpse into the beauty of nature on the east coast.

If 2,200 miles sounds intimidating to you, don’t worry. You can spend only a day or two hiking the trail as long as you plan to have a ride to pick you up at your chosen end point.


The Appalachian Trail is also a hunter’s paradise. Hunting is permitted along 1,250 miles of the trail. From White-Tailed Deer to Black Bear, the Appalachian Trail is a prime location to introduce your loved ones to the sport.

3. Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge

Louisiana is famous for its food, music, and bayous.  You may have tried the first two, but it’s safe to assume you haven’t spent much time around the third.

Louisiana’s vast wetlands are ecologically diverse, which makes them the ideal spot for a summer outdoor excursion. Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge is located near Lake Pontchartrain and just north of New Orleans. Whether you just enjoy a day fishing or want to try your hand at crabbing or crawfishing, the Big Branch National Wildlife makes for a unique day outdoors.

Archery Hunting

For archery hunters, the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge allows for deer hunting. If you and your family are interested in going out for your first crossbow hunting expedition, this is a great location for it.

4. Allegheny National Forest

If your family is really looking for a spot off of the beaten path, give the Allegheny National Forest’s more than 500,000 acres a try.

Located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, the Allegheny National Forest is the perfect escape. Visitors can spend an afternoon kayaking in the Allegheny Reservoir. Or, they can hop on an all-terrain vehicle and take a ride on a stretch of the forest’s 100 miles of designated trails.

Target Shooting

Target shooters can also take advantage of the seemingly endless wilderness in the forest. Whether you’re using an air gun or conventional rifle, you’re welcome to use the forest for target shooting as long as you maintain a safe distance from others. In particular, the forest’s remoteness makes it a fantastic spot to test out self-built rifles.

5. Devil’s Backbone Wilderness Campground

Missouri’s Ozark Mountains have received a lot of attention over the past few years because of the Netflix hit “Ozark.” But don’t let Marty and Wendy Byrd keep you from enjoying stunning wildlife.

The campground, which comprises 6,000 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest, offers hundreds of hiking and horse trails. Visitors can access the campgrounds year round and enjoy the contrast in sights between the summer and winter.

Wild Camping

Devil’s Backbone is best known for its wild camping. Campers are permitted to set up tents anywhere in the park as long as they are at least 100 feet away from a trail. As one of Missouri’s most primitive camps, it does not have hookups for sewage or electricity. But, if you want to teach your family how to “rough it,” there isn’t a better option out there.

6. Lost River State Forest

You can’t go much further north in Minnesota than the Lost River State Forest and still be in the United States. Trust us when we say, though, it’s worth the trip.

Located south of Manitoba, Canada, the Lost River State Forest is widely-known among bird watchers for its yellow-bellied flycatchers and boreal chickadees, among others. The forest includes two Scientific and Natural Areas: Sprague Lake Peatland and Pine Creek Peatland. This level of biodiversity makes it the ideal spot to bring the biology lessons your kids hear in school to life.


Minnesota winters are notoriously brutal. But if you ever find yourself in northern Minnesota in the winter, you shouldn’t pass up snowmobiling in the Lost River State Forest. A number of snowmobile trails pass through the forest. And, since it’s relatively quiet, you should have the trail to yourself more often than not.

7. Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Believe it or not, this park is not located anywhere near San Francisco.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Golden Gate Canyon State Park has something for outdoors people of all experience levels. You can rock climb up jagged mountain walls. Or, you can spend a relaxing afternoon fishing beside one of the park’s lakes. No matter what you decide to do, though, you’ll have unbeatable views of some of the country’s most pristine wilderness.


Fishermen and fisherwomen are permitted to fish in any stream and pond at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Waterways are regularly stocked with fish, so you can feel confident you’ll get the catch.

Make it the best summer yet

Any one of these getaways will offer a trip your family will remember. Whether they like hunting, or archery or just want to camp, there’s something for everyone. Get out there and adventure today!

Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.

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