Cumberland Island, Georgia
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Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina really is a cornucopia of ways to entertain yourself. There are breweries, restaurants and bars aplenty, and, of course, a multitude of outdoor activities. But, for this article we’re focusing on strictly the nature surrounding the city.
Weather permitting, the ideal place to stay when trying to get a feel for the Asheville outdoors is the Banana Patch hostel at Mountain Light Sanctuary. It bills itself as a little bit of the South Pacific in Blue Ridge Mountains and offers steep tropical roof huts on stilts with doors covered by curtains of burlap coffee sacks from around the world–and you can actually hear the sound of the nearby mountain creek from your hut.
Surrounding the Banana Patch and Mountain Light Sanctuary you have your pick of rock climbing, hiking to waterfalls, fishing, mountain biking, zip lining panoramic views and more.
If you’d like a stay with a little more modern amenities then Mountain Light Sanctuary itself is probably your best bet. There you’ll have access to a common kitchen, indoor toilet, wrap-around porch with rocking chairs and high-speed WiFi.
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Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississppi
Talladega National Forest, Alabama
Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia
No hiking or cycling in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. According to who you ask Okefenokee is either a Native American word that means “trembling earth” or is the Anglicization of the Itsate Creek Indian words oka fenoke which mean “water shaking”.
What you can do, though, is fish, camp, kayak and canoe and view the wide array of wildlife that live in the swamp-including alligators, raccoon, 200 varieties of birds, otters, flying squirrels, gopher tortoises, gophers, black bears, foxes, rabbits, bobcats, weasels, beavers, minks and hopefully one day we’ll see a reintroduction of the Florida Panther which was killed off from the swamp many years ago.
The Okefenokee is the largest blackwater swamp in the United States.Within these waters live nearly 40 different species of fish including pickerel, largemouth bass, fliers, channel catfish, bullhead catfish, sunfish, bluegill, crappie, and many more. Whatever water craft you choose on your way to one of the many camping platforms for campers you will have no shortage of places to fish or types of fish to fish for. Just make sure you have a fishing license and pack out what you pack in.
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