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Woman stands on the edge of a lake with a backpack and trekking poles in Isle Royale National Park.

Backpacking on Isle Royale – Guide to Isle Royale National Park

Not gonna lie, a little over a year ago when my dad said, “I really wanna go backpacking in Isle Royale National Park next summer; wanna come?” I was 100% not sure where the heck Isle Royale even was. So after a quick map search (it’s an island in Lake Superior) and a brief discussion of whether it’s pronounced roy-al as in Royale with cheese or roil as in the royal family (park rangers use the latter pronunciation), followed by a hearty bout of laughter brought on by my parents thinking I plan more than a month in advance…Isle Royal National Park was suddenly very much on my radar.

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Surprising Destination: Things to do Outdoors in Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont, Texas isn’t on most people’s radar. Most Texans aren’t even aware of all the outdoorsy goodness this city in Southeast Texas has to offer. But allow us to remedy that! Because besides being the largest city between Houston and New Orleans, there’s plenty to entice outdoor enthusiasts to make Beaumont more than a pit stop on their way to someplace else (Big Thicket National Preserve, for starters). So grab your day pack and a dry bag or two and get moving! Because there are plenty of things to do outdoors in Beaumont.

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Surprising Destination: Explore Outdoorsy Door County, Wisconsin

If you’re like us, you read the title of this article and abruptly proclaimed, possibly out loud to an entirely vacant room, Where the heck is Door County, Wisconsin?! I get it. We didn’t know either until about two weeks ago. But that’s the whole dang point of these Surprising Destination features, isn’t it? To open your world to new, under-the-radar, totally legit destinations that nobody else is talking about but are still totally baller. So buckle up, because we’re about to introduce you to you new favorite place to lace up those boots and get hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, leaf peeping, apple sampling, lighthouse touring…we could go on, but we’ll just let you keep reading and find out for yourself what a delightfully surprising and outdoorsy destination Door County truly is.

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fall colors in door county wisconsin

3 Surprising Destinations with Great Fall Hikes

It’s fall, y’all! (FYI, we totally don’t say “y’all…) And if you’re like us, you’ve got cool-weather hikes with colorful foliage on the brain. Fortunately, across the country (yes, even in Texas–lookin’ at you, Sam Houston National Forest), you can indulge in fall hikes that are perfect for leaf peeping. We’ve rounded up 3 for you right here, right now, all of which we’ve personally experienced and know are hot spots for a cool outdoor adventure. So pack an extra layer and get going!

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michigan road trip pictured rocks national lakeshore

Michigan Road Trip – An Outdoorsy Michigan Road Trip Itinerary

We grew up in Ohio. So it may come as a surprise that neither of us spent much time in Michigan growing up (for those of you who haven’t looked at a map in a while, the states share a small border). So when we got the opportunity to take a socially distant road trip this summer (we love road trips!) filled with plenty of camping, stunning hikes, brilliant night skies, and very cold lakes, we thought, Why not? So we packed the car and set out on one very impromptu and outdoorsy Michigan road trip. Here are the deets so you can recreate it if you feel so inclined.

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Surprising Destinations: An Outdoorsy Weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Wisconsin. Not gonna lie, it’s not really a state that was ever high on our list of places to visit, even growing up in the midwest. I mean, isn’t the whole state just one big block of cheese? Sure, I had passed through Wisconsin’s borders a time or two growing up, but the state as a whole never really left an impression. Until now. But that’s the thing about some destinations: they’re so nestled away you’d never even know they existed until you find yourself knocking at their door. That is Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin: a delightful little retreat just 2.5 hours away from Chicago, but just secluded enough that many city dwellers in nearby Sheboygan don’t even realize what’s sitting right on their doorstep. A surprising destination that offers a chill getaway that’s absolutely worth considering.

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Surprising Destinations: Outdoor Adventure in Hocking Hills Ohio

If you didn’t grow up in Ohio or near Ohio, you may have never heard of Hocking Hills. In fact, you may be mumbling under your breath right now, “What even is a Hocking Hills?” Allow me to enlighten you. It’s a fabulously outdoorsy destination in central-ish Ohio for those looking to get away and experience the outdoors, all within driving distance (if you live in the midwest/Great Lakes region, anyway…). But what kind of outdoor adventure in Hocking Hills Ohio can you expect? All kinds. We’ll break it down for you.

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