38 incredible outdoor locations across the United States to add to your to-do list

Last name: Nadia Ruiz
Social Handle: @irongirlnadia
Outdoor Expertise: Trail runner for 25 years
Best for: Running, hiking, exploring
Best time to visit: From summer to early fall
Why the spot is great: Montana’s Glacier National Park is a wonderland of outdoor beauty spanning a million acres of glacier-clad peaks, valleys, mirror-turquoise lakes, waterfalls, and dense forests. One of my favorite lakes in the park is Iceberg Lake – it’s quite distinct and surrounded by glacial peaks. I ran a half marathon just outside the park and explored as many trails in the area as I could afterwards. I never wanted to leave this magical place.

21. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada

Courtesy of Tara Bushey

Last name: Tara Bushey
Social Handle: @runtararun24
Outdoor Expertise: Runner for 9 years; has hiked in six different national parks in the past two years
Best for: Hiking and running
Best time to visit: All seasons
Why the spot is great: Located about 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a gem with absolutely stunning views, hiking trails aplenty, and a scenic 13-mile route perfect for road running or biking. It’s a dream for any outdoor enthusiast! If you do one of the “hard” summit hikes, you’ll get views of Red Rock Canyon from above, as well as all of Las Vegas, including the Strip, in the distance.

22. Saddle River County Park Trail, Saddle Brook, New Jersey

Courtesy of Cheryl Carlin

Last name: Cheryl Carlin
Social Handle: @cheryltwin
Outdoor Expertise: Senior Analytics Manager at SELF and former avid outdoor runner
Best for: Running, biking, bird watching, skating and walking.
Best time to visit: All seasons
Why the spot is great: When training for long runs, I always had the hardest time finding a nice spot outside. Once I found this trail – which is a 12 mile round trip loop – I knew I had found the perfect place to run. This beautiful trail winds through wooded landscapes, ponds, and along the Saddle River for six miles. The best part, however, is that there are markers for every tenth of a mile you travel. When I wanted to run my friends it was so easy to tell them, just run to the 0.5 mile marker and then we’ll walk. Also, the path is not too crowded, so I can go any time of the year.

23. Montauk, NY

Courtesy of Gaelin Rosenwaks

Last name: Gaelin Rosenwaks
Social Handle: @gaelingoexplore
Outdoor Expertise: Marine scientist; professional ocean photographer and filmmaker
Best for: Fishing, snorkeling and boating
Best time to visit: summer and autumn
Why the spot is great: Montauk is at the end of Long Island, so it’s surrounded by water. Everywhere you turn, the ocean is there. This place is quite special because it’s not very developed – there are a few houses dotting the shoreline, but it’s mostly open space. Beyond the beach in the summer you will see whales breaching.

24. Ooms Conservation Area, Chatham, New York

Courtesy of Sara Coughlin

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