Exploring the Natural Wonders of the Southern United States

Petit%20Jean%20State%20Park%203%20 %20Credit%20James%20Norbury%20and%20Guy%20Davies

Travel South USA recently teamed up with leading influencers and photographers Amelia Le Brun, Amy Shore, Federico Penta, James Norbury and Guy Davis to share the many incredible outdoor adventures you can enjoy in the American South. From the boundless Appalachians to nearly a million acres of Atchafalaya swamps, Travel South USA offers a gateway to countless unexplored natural wonders.


Enjoy an otherworldly experience as you canoe the Red River Gorge.

(Amy Shore)

Anchored in the rugged Appalachians to the east and flanked by the Ohio River to the north, Bluegrass State is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers. It’s home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the labyrinthine Mammoth Cave, and Cumberland Falls State Park, a hiker’s paradise with 17-mile winding trails that meander through lush forest and soaring waterfalls. You’ll find 25 trail towns encouraging long-distance adventure and exploration of thousands of Kentucky trails and wild topography. Deep in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge is world famous for rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, biking and camping; Red River Gorge Cottages are the perfect choice for those looking for a place to relax. If you prefer to let your heart race, the Black Mountain Offroad Adventure Area, nestled in the breathtaking mountains of Harlan County, offers 7,000 acres of off-road trails and treetop zip-line pads.kentuckytourism.com

North Carolina

Chase waterfalls in Gorges State Park as you hike winding forest trails.

(Amelia Lebrun)

Mighty mountains, endless coastline, and sandy shores are just some of the things you can expect from a trip to North Carolina. Tar Heel State is a paradise for wildlife lovers and outdoor adventurers. Go fly-fishing in Maggie’s Valley or get up close to the Catalucci Elk that roam freely in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to go looking for waterfalls in Gorges State Park, the gateway to North Carolina’s most beautiful waterfalls, where miles of hiking trails wind through thickets and forests. Cool off in the northwest waters of Toxaway Lake, where there are ample opportunities for swimming, boating, canoeing and water sports. Rather stick to dry land? Head to the county of Transylvania, nicknamed the Land of Waterfalls, where hundreds of gravel bike paths will take you even deeper into the wilderness.visitnc.com

South Carolina

Expect regular breathtaking views along the forested hiking trails of Caesar’s Head State Park.

(Amy Shore)

Its 180 miles of fabulous coastline and renowned Southern hospitality make South Carolina a must-see. From the sprawling Congaree National Park, where pristine forest landscapes and diverse flora and fauna thrive, to Jones Gap State Park, a deep mountain bay with 13,000 acres of pristine forest, it’s an exciting treasure trove of outdoor adventures. The Cape Romaine Wildlife Sanctuary in the Southwest extends 22 miles along the coast of South Carolina. This is one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries in the country, comprising a barrier of alligator-covered islands and bird-infested salt marshes. Exploring all of South Carolina’s rugged landscape can take a lifetime, but the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, a path once crossed by train cars and locomotives, is a great introduction to the area’s best outdoor opportunities. Hike the trails and granite-gneiss ledges of Caesar’s Head State Park, where breathtaking views and a mosaic of hiking trails wind through lush forests and past sprawling lakes.Discoversouthcarolina.com


Ride your bike and hike through Pinnacle Mountain State Park, or simply take in the mountain sunset views.

(James Norbury and Guy Davies)

Arkansas is a wonder for those who love to be by the water; the mountains border ancient hot springs in Hot Springs National Park, where numerous streams and historic baths attract visitors from all over the world. Arkansas’ largest lake is a whopping 40,000 acres of clear water surrounded by luscious Ouachita National Forest, while the Buffalo River flows for 135 miles through the Ozarks, past towering limestone cliffs, and through protected wilderness. There is also the Petite Jean State Park, where ancient geology and protected archaeological sites are hidden deep in nature. Tucked away in downtown Arkansas, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is also teeming with hiking and biking trails, offering a glimpse into the state’s diverse landscapes.arkansas.com


At Bon Secour Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find some of Alabama’s last remaining pristine coastal habitats.

(Federico Penta)

Alabama is one of the least explored states in America in terms of nature. It is a land of rivers, streams, caves, and canyons such as Cathedral Caverns, Little River Canyon, and Dismals Canyon that glow with bioluminescent dismalites (native fireflies). Dauphin Island’s Gulf Coast has white sands and migratory birds, and the Mobile Tenso River Delta is the largest river delta and wetland in Alabama, home to one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world. One of the state’s best-kept secrets, Bon Secur Wildlife Sanctuary houses some of Alabama’s last remaining pristine coastal habitats and is also a haven for native flora and fauna. If you prefer to frolic by the water, the 900-acre Shelby Freshwater Lake is one of Gulf State Park’s three freshwater lakes with hiking trails, beaches, and nine unique ecosystems. This is a great place to camp under the big shady oak trees, or you can head out into the water to canoe, kayak or go fishing – the waters are full of crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill.Alabama.travel


Walk through 400 acres of ancient pine and hardwood forests of the Northlake Nature Center overlooking Bayou Castine.

(Federico Penta)

Marshes, prairies, swamps, and forests make it easy to get your fair share of nature in Pelican State. It is a popular spot for birdwatchers as Flyway Byway is home to most of the migratory birds in the Southeastern United States. The nearly million-acre Atchafalaya Swamp in south-central Louisiana is the largest wetland and swamp in America, home to basking alligators and wetland wildlife best explored by gliding through the waterways in a kayak. You can also try fishing on Lake Pontchartrain, 40 miles of vast water connected directly to the Gulf of Mexico, home to species ranging from catfish and sea bass to bull sharks. If you prefer to stand on your own two feet, the Northlake Nature Center boasts some of the best hiking trails in Louisiana. The state’s only national forest, Kisatchee National Forest, covers 604,000 acres of scenic vistas, tree-lined paths, and rolling pine hills.louisianatravel.com

To learn more about the promotion and win the best holiday in the south, visit TravelSouthNaturally.com

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker