Fourth of July Outdoor Adventures

Bainbridge Island, Washington

This island off the coast of Seattle offers a picturesque Northwest experience and plenty of small town charm. And they take their Fourth of July celebrations very seriously. Here are some ideas if you choose to spend the holiday on the island:

Friday, July 1: Claim a camping spot at Fay Bainbridge Park ($15-$20/night and some RV spots), which offers views of Puget Sound and plenty of shoreline recreation. Spend your first day kayaking and exploring nearby Hidden Cove and tiny Treasure Island.

Saturday, July 2: Head to Classic Cycle to rent a road bike for the day and ask for a map of the island’s annual “Chilly Hilly” ride—a 33-mile annual ride during the colder months that features plenty of climbing and amazing views.

Sunday, July 3: Take a trip to the Grand Forest West Nature Preserve for miles of wooded trails perfect for trail running, mountain biking or hiking.

Monday, July 4: The annual “Grand Old 4th of July” party overtakes the island all day. Stroll along the street fair in downtown Winslow before toeing the line at the Bainbridge Youth Services 5K. Watch the mile-long parade before catching the fireworks display at dusk over Eagle Harbor.

Boulder, Colo.

Known primarily as a college town and triathlon mecca, Boulder offers countless outdoor escapades for the whole family. Here are some memorable adventures you should undertake in this amazing mountain town:

Friday, July 1: Head to the beach at Boulder Reservoir, where you’ll enjoy some swimming, boating and picnic fun in the shadow of the breathtaking Flatiron Mountains.

Saturday, July 2: Test your fat-tire prowess at Valmont Bike Park, where you can find strider bike trails, pump tracks, dirt jumps and everything in between.

Sunday, July 3: Spend a day and night at Peaceful Valley Ranch and saddle up for a ride around the area’s mountain trails. Try your hand at fly-fishing or just soak away your sore muscles in the outdoor hot tub.

Monday, July 4: Is there a better day to hike the well-known Fourth of July Trail than on the Fourth of July? Located about 30 minutes from downtown Boulder, the Fourth of July Trailhead is a gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness area and features alpine lake passes and a number of mine ruins. More daring day hikers can trek all the way up to North Arapahoe Peak (13,502 feet), but there are shorter, flatter sections that offer family-friendly routes. End your day back at Peaceful Valley Ranch for a traditional hog roast and Fourth of July outdoor celebration.

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