The 19 Most Amazing Things You’ll See Along The American Discovery Trail, An Epic Coast-To-Coast Adventure

Americans are natural born explorers. It’s what our nation was founded upon. Of course, the idea of ‘manifest destiny’ is inherently problematic; in the United States, just like so many other countries, there have been missteps along the course of history. But at its core, the United States of America is about venturing boldly into the unknown, always searching and seeking, ready to explore the wonders that await. And this is why the notion of backpacking across the U.S. is such a romantic, authentically American notion; it’s the spirit of Jack Kerouac or Cheryl Strayed. For those looking to experience the splendor of the United States of America, the American Discovery Trail is an epic coast-to-coast journey that absolutely belongs on any adventurer’s bucket list. It’s 6,800 miles of continuous, multi-use trails that stretch from Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware to Pt. Reyes National Seashore in California. What makes this trail so special is how very accessible it is: you can curate your experience to what’s closest to you or what’s on your own personal bucket list. No matter how you decide to experience the American Discovery Trail, it will undoubtedly be a memorable and epic adventure.

These 19 wondrous places are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you’ll find along the American Discovery Trail. Each and every small town, major city, national and state park, historic site, and attraction along this 6,800-mile excursion is worth discovering, in fact. Because it is each and every one of these places that form the patchwork of this great American adventure. This is America, and it sure is beautiful.

For more inspiration for your bucket list, be sure to subscribe to our Bucket List Newsletter. And if your wanderlust is leading you to clear-blue waters and soft sand beaches, you’ll want to discover these 17 natural oases in America.

Address: Cape Henlopen State Park Public Beach, 15009 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958, USA
Address: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia, USA
Address: National Zoo Drive Northwest, National Zoo Dr NW, Washington, DC, USA
Address: Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, USA
Address: Blackwater Falls, West Virginia 26260, USA
Address: Ash Cave, OH-56, Logan, OH 43138, USA
Address: Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138, USA
Address: Serpent Mound Historical Site, 3850 OH-73, Peebles, OH 45660, USA
Address: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, 3027 E S St, Lincoln City, IN 47552, USA
Address: Garden of the Gods Wilderness
Address: Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha, NE, USA
Address: Garden of the Gods Road, Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Address: Pikes Peak Cog Railway Station, Barr Trail, Cascade, CO 80809, USA
Address: Fort Larned National Historic Site, 1767 KS-156, Larned, KS 67550, USA
Address: St. Louis, MO, USA
Address: City Museum, 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
Address: Canyonlands National Park, Utah 84532, USA
Address: Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Address: National Forest Development Road 448, NF-448, Nevada 89311, USA
Address: Virginia City, NV 89440, USA
Address: Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
Address: Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Address: Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA