If you’ve resolved to get in shape just in time for the new year, you don’t have to be confined to a humdrum gym membership. There are more exciting ways to meet your fitness goals than being stuck on a treadmill, after all. In fact, if you’ve also vowed to travel more this year, you can merge the two resolutions into one and take a trip or two that’ll help keep you in shape…and you don’t even have to leave the United States!
Here are some active getaways around the US that’ll not only let you get out and appreciate the country’s natural beauty, but also help you keep those new year’s fitness resolutions.
Kayak the Calories Away in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands
Think Wisconsin is all about cheese curds and beer? Think again. Deemed a National Lakeshore by the National Park Service, the Apostle Islands are made up of 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland on Lake Superior. Sea kayaking is one of the most popular ways to discover the islands and can also be ideal for those seeking to keep up with their fitness resolutions. The islands are known for their sea caves and unique rock formations, best seen while paddling your own kayak. Just a few hours drive from Chicago or Minneapolis, the Apostle Islands also afford those in search of activity with more than 50 miles of maintained hiking trails on the islands and even the possibility of scuba diving to see shipwrecks and unusual underwater rock formations.
Mountain Bike Through Colorado and Utah’s Kokopelli Loop Trail
Colorado and Utah are known for their active lifestyles thanks to the surrounding mountains in each state. If you want to test your endurance, the two states offer the Kokopelli Loop Trail. Measuring 142 miles from Loma, Colorado on the Western Slope to Moab, Utah, the trail is primarily used by mountain bikers. The stretch features dirt roads, paved roads, and narrow track to help you burn those calories, all while lending views of the Colorado River and the red rock walls of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Several loops of varying degrees of difficulty make up the trail area. Considered one of the premier mountain biking trails in the Southwest, you’ll also need to be prepared as there is no water anywhere on the trail. There are 8 camping areas on the Kokopelli Trail when you need to stop and recharge.
Snorkel and Swim Through Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park
Roughly 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park presents one of Florida’s most unique active getaways. Only reachable by boat or seaplane, the 100 square mile park is mostly open water, proving ideal for those travelers who want to lose some pounds by flipping their fins. Home to Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas invites you to snorkel and swim around the old structure, through coral and seagrass communities that are among the most vibrant in the Keys. In addition to the coral and marine life, you can also spot shipwrecks as you swim away the calories.
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Hike Kauai’s Kalalau Trail and Waimea Canyon
Hawaii alone is one of the best state’s to get out and be active on your vacation and keep up with your fitness resolutions. Kauai in particular caters to those looking to get moving, as 90% of the island is inaccessible by road. Thanks to its lack of roads, you have to strap on hiking shoes to explore its natural riches. The most famous hike on the island is the Kalalau Trail. Heading along the iconic mountainous shoreline, the Napali Coast, the challenging 11-mile hike lends out-of-this-world views of Kauai’s North Shore. Waimea Canyon on the other hand sits on the western side of Kauai. Stretching 14 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep, the canyon features numerous trails for beginners and seasoned hikers with panoramic views of crested buttes and deep valley gorges as a reward for your hard work.
Cross Country Ski Through Stowe, Vermont
Vermont is home to one of the top cross-country skiing destinations on the East Coast, the quaint town of Stowe. If you’re looking for an active vacation and happened to score cheap flights in the US, a cross-country skiing trip to Vermont might be just what your doctor recommends. One hour of cross-country skiing burns about 500 calories. Stowe is home to one of the largest, most diverse trail systems in the country, with over 3,000 acres of conserved land. Not only can you burn off lunch, but also appreciate the idyllic mountain scenery of Vermont in the process!