Mack Prioleau: Why Take a Hike?

Rather than take a cliché beach trip the next time you go on vacation, consider tapping into your adventurous side by going on a hike. Hiking is one of the most rewarding activities you can do for yourself: You get the opportunity to experience nature up close and personal, get plenty of fresh air to clear your head, and get some body-building exercise in the process. Here are a few of the most alluring places to go hiking on the North American continent, according to sportsman Mack Prioleau.

Banff

Banff is a perfect destination for those who want to experience what it is like to be in a skiing village in Switzerland without paying the big bucks needed to fly there. Banff is located in the Canadian Rockies and appeals to explorers who love the idea of being in the thick of the great outdoors during the day but would prefer a comfortable hotel at night. However, if you would rather rough it at night as well, then there are plenty of campgrounds that can serve as your home away from home. Here at Banff, you can go biking along Healy Creek, climb the Stoney Squaw Mountain, hike to the Hoodoos — limestone pillars — or going skiing down Mount Norguay. The possibilities are seemingly endless for the adventure lover.

Sedona

Sedona in Arizona is a must-see for the avid hiker who finds inspiration in landscapes that are colorful and dramatic. In Sedona, you will find jagged buttes and red rocks that meet the blue sky in a stark contrast — the stuff of a photographer’s dream. In fact, these rock formations in the northcentral part of Arizona have been included in movies such as “Midnight Run,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “Broken Arrow.” In addition to enjoying views of these formations, you can take advantage of some well-deserved spa treatments, ones that have a local touch: for instance, blue-corn body scrubs and red clay wraps.

Adirondacks

When it comes to displaying natural beauty, the Adirondacks is second to none. This region of New York is nearly 300 miles away from New York City, to the north, and is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. In the summer, you can easily go hiking along with whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, and biking. During the winter, there is still plenty to do outdoors, ranging from skiing to dogsledding, snowshoeing, and bobsledding. You also cannot miss Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake — three other gems in this New York area.

Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most magical hiking hot spots in North America. On this island, can embark on trails and visit the types of state parks that simply cannot be found on the other Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui. The black-sand beaches and snow-covered mountain peaks also make this island stand out for adventure seekers. Of course, the Kilauea volcano is also a remarkable part of the island, actually causing the land mass of the island to increase since the 1980s. From Hawaii to New York, no matter where you turn in North America, you are sure to find a unique hiker’s paradise.