10 Low-Impact U.S. Adventures for the Eco-Conscious Traveler

By Ivan PetrenkoFeb 20, 2024 10:39 AMNews
A classic Rocky Mountaineer short that captures almost every dimension of the scenes you encounter
A classic Rocky Mountaineer short that captures almost every dimension of the scenes you encounter. Source: unsplash

For those looking to explore the United States while minimizing their environmental footprint, there are plenty of adventures that offer the excitement and beauty of the country's iconic destinations without the heavy carbon cost. From the serene waters of the Everglades to the historic streets of New Orleans, here are ten of the best low-impact trips across the U.S. that promise both thrill and sustainability.

  1. Ride the Rails through the Rockies: Experience the breathtaking landscapes of Utah and Colorado aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train. This journey offers unparalleled views of canyons, peaks, and rivers from the comfort of a glass-domed car, with an overnight stay in the hot springs haven of Glenwood Springs.
  2. Kayak the Everglades: Swap the motorboat for a kayak to quietly navigate through Florida's vast wetlands. This intimate experience brings you closer to the park's diverse wildlife, including dolphins and manatees, with options for extended kayak camping trips.
  3. Paddle on Lake Michigan: Explore the extensive Lake Michigan State Water Trail by paddleboard or kayak. The trail boasts 1,638 miles of scenic water routes and accessible campsites, offering a unique perspective of the Great Lake's shoreline.
  4. Take a Hike through Yosemite: Ditch the car for a seven-day trek through Yosemite National Park's high country with Wildland Trekking. This immersive journey takes you through alpine meadows and past crystal-clear lakes, all while sleeping under the stars.
  5. Run in New York City: For a faster-paced adventure, join a guided running tour with Go! Running Tours. Cover ground efficiently and see New York's iconic landmarks, including Times Square and Carnegie Hall, all on foot.
  6. Swim around Hawaii: Dive into a seven-day swimming tour around Hawaii's Big Island with SwimTrek. Explore the underwater world of manta rays and turtles in some of the island's most stunning bays and coves.
  7. Saddle Up in the Grand Canyon: Experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon from the back of a horse. Equitours offers a six-day ride along the North Rim, providing a unique perspective of the canyon's vast beauty.
  8. Float over the Napa Valley: Soar above the vineyards of Napa Valley in a hot air balloon. This eco-friendly mode of transportation offers a silent and serene way to view the landscape, followed by a wine tasting session.
  9. Go Electric in Washington, DC: Navigate the nation's capital in an electric car tour, visiting landmarks like the White House and Smithsonian Museums. This eco-friendly exploration provides a comprehensive introduction to DC's historical and cultural sights.
  10. Pedal around New Orleans: Discover the charm of New Orleans by bike, pedaling through the French Quarter and along Bayou Saint John. For a more leisurely experience, electric bike tours are also available, allowing you to cover more ground with less effort.

These adventures not only allow travelers to experience the U.S. in an environmentally friendly manner but also highlight the importance of preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the places we visit.

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