Profound, detailed, and personal, the qualities of a lengthy and memorable road trip. With various automobile-based trips to participate in throughout the globe, each contain their own distinct features and spectacles. The Great Northern Road Trip traverses from one coast of North America to the other as the longest of all the celebrated transcontinental road trips.
Offsetting from a coastal city, the route wanders through glacially sculpted mountains, rustic country land, mammoth-sized lakes, pristine backcountry, pioneering metropolitan communities, and rugged coastline. To ensure the quality of one’s continental adventure remains feasible for the future, an environmentally alert ethos must be exercised. When transitioning to “vacation mode,” it’s easy to ward off one’s usual eco-friendly tendencies and give way to the convenience and accessibility of today’s society. Don’t lose hope just yet – this guide was assembled for you, the responsible and environmentally aware traveler. No matter where the road takes you, the choice to function with earth conscious systems hovers within reach.
Taking off from The Evergreen State, the Great Northern Road Trip launches within a region highlighted for its diverging realms of rugged coast, backcountry wilderness, and active city life.
When deliberating the concept of sustainable travel and cities, without doubt, Seattle jumps to the front of most people’s brainstorming agenda. As leading examples of how modern metropolitan area’s should operate, The Emerald City has been demonstrating responsible means of existence for years now.
Ranked highly amongst the most sustainable cities in the U.S., Seattle was the first city to implement a ban on plastic straws and roughly half of the city’s energy is sourced through hydroelectric dams. In terms of waste management, the city prohibited recyclables from garbage bins in 2005 and in 2015 elongated the law to further prohibit food waste from entering Seattle’s waste stream. In turn, more than 125,000 tons of food and yard waste is sent to composting processors, fruitful material used for local parks and gardens. Commencing a responsible road trip in such an inspiring city such as Seattle invokes a confident mindset of how respon/sustain travel can be accomplished.
In most areas of the world, bulk grocery stores are sparse and can be difficult to locate – the case doesn’t apply to the Seattle area however. To stock up on essentials for the coming adventure while simultaneously avoiding regular stores and the oversaturated use of single use plastic and plastic packaging, Scoop Marketplace battles to standardize zero waste grocery shopping.
Run by a small team of environmentally driven individuals, Scoop Marketplace came to existence after founder and CEO, Stephanie Lentz, noticed how her family’s routine customs were affecting the environment. Thus, Stephanie’s up-to-date version of a grocery store materialized to better affiliate with her family’s beliefs.
By striving to regard the community and planet before anything else, Scoop provides tools to better educate their customers on low waste living and enforces hardcore commitments and goals to ensure the company’s minimal eco-footprint. Through Scoop Intelligence, Scoop Marketplace offers a mixture of online workshops, programs, and coaching to advance their customers’ endeavor on managing an eco-friendly existence. Together with the weekly podcast, Green Stuff, the exemplary supermarket appeases their personal commitment for environmental knowledge and growth.
The lengthy pursuit for an ethical business carries on while skimming the Sustainability Report. Elaborate attention for each category of consumption demonstrates an incredibly mindful company. Scoop Marketplace invokes utter transparency through tracking and measuring the company’s waste generation, water and energy usage, supply chain, and certification involvement, along with numerous other avenues for environmental pursuit.
Now all caught up on Scoop Marketplaces’ intention and purpose, promoting their growth through product purchase helps to support your sustainable road trip effort. Staples such as toothpaste tabs, chapstick, and laundry pods or liquids stock the store shelves. While more unique finds like donut bag clips and ‘unpaper towels’ could be of great value on a cross country road trip.
Leaving the urban climate for some wide open spaces, due west courses travelers toward a small mountain town and national park in The Treasure State.
Seattle, WA → Whitefish, MT | 571 miles
Whitefish, MT → Glacier National Park, MT | 26 miles
Local food, local talent, and community engagement – farmers markets fuse the connection between the supplier and consumer. To help maintain the town’s small businesses, the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market displays the seasonal rewards from late May through September and a bonus market day on October 12th. Live music, prepared food, and local craftwork shape a lively weekend tradition.
As of 2020, the Whitefish Farmers Market commenced its Zero Waste project to wholly represent an earth friendly market. Through vendor and visitor participation, the market succeeds in rerouting valuable waste from landfill to compost. Compost bins are distributed throughout the market grounds and guests are encouraged to dispose of all food scraps, any non-bleached paper products, and BPI-certified compostable containers. Contributing vendors are forbidden to supply single-use plastics to their customers, and are advised to proceed with compostable products and packaging. Whether browsing the market stalls or stockpiling for the upcoming national park, the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market waits for eager patrons.
Nearing the Canadian border and the north end of the Rocky Mountain Range, over 1 million acres of ice-sculpted summits and valley’s, flourishing forests, and unimaginable teal lakes and streams await those willing to face the remote backcountry conditions. Established in 1910, Glacier National Park welcomes over 3 millions annual visitors, with the number steadily increasing each year.
Nearly 80 glaciers were identified in 1850 in the soon to be Glacier National Park at the end of the Little Ice Age. Today, about two dozen glaciers remain and continue to slowly shrink due to the influx of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Intending to slow down the rapid melt rate of Glacier’s name inspiring structures, the park implemented methods to dwindle its input of the warming climate and supplies numerous techniques of how to reduce one’s own footprint. Earth-friendly alterations within the park include; solar panels and hydropower assist in equipping the park with electricity, enhancement of the recycling program, and employees can ride the staff shuttle bus or take their bike to work. To personally tackle the task at hand, one could implement a variety of eco-friendly habits into the day to day routine; properly recycle and compost, transition to a plant-based diet, or even switching to energy efficient LED light bulbs. To preserve lands as great as Glacier National Park for future generations, we must individually and collectively come together.
As mentioned, Glacier receives millions of visitors each year. Naturally, certain areas of the park will be more ridden with tourists than others. To soften the load on heavily trafficked trails, venturing to the park’s northwest corner and an unpaved windy road delivers the intrepid to the North Fork region of Glacier National Park. Fifteen hikes are accessible nearby with four campgrounds to fully immerse amongst the solitude – you will be thanking yourself along with Mother Nature that you (literally) took the road less traveled.
Traversing across the vast and varied state of Montana toward the unspoiled countryside of rural North Dakota, the landscape certainly transformed.
Glacier National Park, MT → Williston, ND | 491 miles
Williston, ND → Bottineau, ND | 190 miles
Bottineau, ND → Fargo, ND | 273 miles
Despite The Peace Garden State not making it to the top of most people’s travel itinerary, the state boasts exclusive features found nowhere else in the country. North Dakota’s “Roadside Giants” can be found all across the state, each with their own history and reason for being.
In July 1987, the citizens of Williston bestowed the Wheat Monument for the historical progress of agriculture. The three 35 foot iron stalks of wheat honor the men and women who previously pioneered the prairie, cultivated wheat and other grain, and continued to efficiently produce the economic staff of life for the prairie and the nutritional staff of life for the world. One branch of the “sustainable travel tree” includes possessing respect and acknowledgement for a location’s history and upbringing. Without cultural understanding, the task of wanting to preserve an area remains obscure and unheard of.
Closer to the Canadian border, two versions of a not so common reptile can be found on North Dakota terrain. Firstly, the city of Bottineau’s local mascot, Tommy the Turtle. Over 26 feet tall, Tommy holds fame for the world’s largest snowmobile-riding turtle! Slightly further down the road in Dunseith awaits a similar giant turtle composed of more than 2,000 old tire rims. The W’eel Turtle stands as the largest man-made turtle in the world since 1982. Strongly welded together, the W’eel Turtle stands 18 feet tall and 40 feet long. North Dakota is absolutely displaying some of the world’s most distinct turtles.
As some would suspect, the view of ecotourism and North Dakota wouldn’t typically go hand and hand. To happily debunk that theory, the state’s largest city has evolved to reinforce and stimulate a sustainable lifestyle.
The energetic Fargo gleams with an entrepreneurial and artistic spirit. The city’s historic downtown lays the foundation for an effortless day of responsible exploration – unlimited farm-to-table cuisine, over 100 parks and 100 miles of bike trails, small local businesses selling their craft, a Saturday market displaying the city’s greatest offerings, and even their own bulk shop! Inevitably, visitor’s will be cheerfully surprised to learn of the not even 50 square mile Upper Midwest city’s environmental features.
A significant highlight of cross-country road trips is the ever changing scenery. About five hours due east delivers travelers from rustic countryside to unexpected ocean-sized lakes.
Fargo, ND → Duluth, MN | 312 miles
Hugging the most westward tip of Lake Superior, the seaport of Duluth welcomes over 6 million annual tourists. With the routine mass of humans walking the streets of Duluth, the city took action to establish prosperity. The same mindset is conveyed when focusing on the environmental crisis, and Duluth eagerly works to act as a role model for other metropolitan areas across the world.
Mayor Larson has pledged the City of Duluth to fulfill the specifications addressed through the Paris Agreement. To accomplish the goal of an 80% cutback in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050 formulated on 2008 status, Duluth will implement energy conservation, renewable energy alternatives, adapt the infrastructure to the changing climate, promote multi-modal transportation, and continue to preserve the city’s natural areas and open spaces.
Duluth’s main focus now revolves around sustainable development – “centering the needs of current residents, future generations, and the environment while in pursuit of economic prosperity.” To track the city’s milestones; a prevalent plastic bag fee has been passed to scale down litter and the environmental burden, and all street lights are LEDs and Dark Sky Compliant, using less energy, saving money and decreasing light pollution. As members of Minnesota GreenStep Cities and the Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Network along with being SolSmart Gold Certified and yielding an abundance of food scrap drop-off locations throughout the city, Duluth has truly taken productive steps to assure they are doing everything in their power to help minimize climate change.
To further impose the eco-conscious mentality amongst Duluth citizens and visitors, the appearance of a low waste and refill store felt necessary. Though a common discussion on ecomadic posts, the appreciation of earth conscious enterprises does not radiate throughout the general public. For that reason, the mention of each inspiring store deserves ample recognition and promotion.
After shuffling environmental science career prospects, recognizing her unsustainable everyday habits, and feeling aggravated with how little the retail industry helps to cut back on daily waste, Kendra opened Ren Market. To assist the community with regards to personal waste reduction and managing a more environmentally mindful lifestyle, Ren Market distributes laundry, personal care, and cleaning products. Scan the store shelves, snag a gift for a loved one, or try out a new lotion bar to associate its scent with your Great Northern Road Trip.
Driving along the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior, from one state into another highlights the insanity of the country’s natural wonders.
Duluth, MN → Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, WI | 86 miles
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, WI → Ashland, WI | 24 miles
With such a grand lake comes unique features scattered throughout the region. Involving 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland coast, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore exhibit barren beaches and impressive sandstone cliffs. Designated in September 1970, the Apostle Islands flaunt the most lighthouses than any other site in the National Park System with 9 historic towers on 6 islands. Guests can hike, paddle, sail, or dive to experience some of Lake Superior’s treasures.
Exploring by kayak suffices as the favored mode of transport for delving into the islands and sea caves. Due to Lake Superior’s erratic weather patterns, sea kayaks are the recommended vessel to cruise safely – small open boats, canoes, open cockpit or sit-upon kayaks, and paddle-boards are not suggested for travel on the lake. After securing a reliable water craft, visitors can closely examine the islands and sleep amongst the rolling waves and twinkling stars. Camping remains at one’s disposal on 18 of the Apostle Islands, and one campsite at the mainland. Many would agree that cooking dinner over a fire and calling the outdoors home for the night is one of the best ways to absorb one’s surroundings.
Persisting along the coast of the Chequamegon Bay, the city of Ashland was once occupied by Chippewa Indians and later integrated as a city in March 1887. The city’s waterfront location aided in its early progress, soon becoming the trading, wholesale, medical, and educational hub of northern Wisconsin. Today, the bay is valued for recreational water activities in both summer and winter. United by railroad in 1877, the “Rails to Trails” project associated the City of Ashland with a lavish recreational trail network organized from abandoned railroad corridors.
As of 2005, Ashland has been considered the “Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin.” Scattered throughout 17 dynamic paintings, the resident’s relish in their flavorful history. The illustrated content of the town’s storefronts, railroads, and military veterans has made the city a year-round public venue.
With robust community support, it felt right when learning of Ashland’s enthusiasm and pledge to environmental sustainability and stewardship since the early 2000s. In 2005, the city existed as one of the first districts in the country to adopt a resolution to become an “Eco-Municipality.” In the same spirit, Ashland became a SolSmart Advisor Host Community and an Energy Independent Community when joining forces in 2018 with Northland College’s Center for Rural Communities and adopting the “25 x 25 Plan.” The plan’s intention is to gather 25% of the city’s energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. To properly advise Ashland locals on how to conserve energy and help remodel the area’s degree of sustainability, the city assembled a brochure to advertise the variety of eco-friendly practices Ashland has to offer. The pamphlet first emphasizes the importance of shopping locally and how thrifting eradicates the energy and virgin material used to manufacture and ship new products. Further suggestions endorse the city’s public transportation system and the bicycle-friendly atmosphere, storm runoff rain barrels, and the convenience of composting among other earth friendly systems the city has established.
As periodic visitors, tourists can support Ashland’s route to become more “green” by browsing the city’s local businesses. To remain attentive for a full day’s worth of exploration, some demand a caffeinated beverage to properly commence the day’s activities. Fuel up at the Black Cat Coffeehouse – serving organic, fair-trade and farm focused coffees since 1995. Similarly expressive about the food, the Black Cat obtains ingredients from nearby producers and vendors at every chance, stressing high quality and organic elements. Catering toward vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free diets, the coffee house furthers its environmental endeavors through coordinating with Northland College and their composting program. The Black Cat forwards their food scraps along with compostable to-go containers and paper towels – the containers and paper products require a commercial facility to adequately degrade. Pursuing a local coffee shop rather than a standard, multinational corporation directly redeposits the profits into the community.
To unfold additional marvels of the Great Lakes, the Upper Peninsula of The Wolverine State contains treasured sights and locations.
Ashland, WI → Marquette, MI | 187 miles
Endless vistas of ocean-sized lakes can only mean one thing, a legion of age-old watchtowers. Dotted along the Michigan Upper Peninsula coasts one can find more than 40 lighthouses. The majority constructed in the mid 1800s, with most maintaining their role of escorting ships and boats safely into harbors and around hazardous shallows. A dozen are open for public tours, though visitors can simply hike in or boat around the area for a view.
One could easily create an entirely separate road trip to discover each unique lighthouse and its features. To refrain from getting too sidetracked from the region’s notable trademarks, make sure to check out the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse and the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse. Bold with its color and uncommon shape, the initial Marquette Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1853. Extensive modifications have taken place over the years – redesigning, adapting, and expanding, to the era’s capabilities. Further east, the outlying Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse awaits the inquisitive. Built from 1868-70, the now obsolete beacon once aided sailors to navigate anchorages to Munising Bay. Though Grand Island is a designated National Recreation Area and largely accessible to the public, the lighthouse itself rests on private property. To view the restored and refurbished historic watchtower, visitors can gaze from afar at Sand Point, within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, by commercial boat tour or private boat or kayak. Lonesome and tranquil, the Michigan Upper Peninsula lighthouses set the bar high for significant coastal landmarks.
Before scurrying off to the Grand Island Lighthouse, take some time to explore the charming lakeside city of Marquette. The surrounding land was first acknowledged by French missionaries of the early 17th century and the trappers of the early 19th century. However, design and construction of the area did not commence until 1844 when iron deposits were detected near a lake west of Marquette. The village officially got off the ground after the Marquette Iron Company establishment in September 1849. Initially a failure, the iron businesses understudy, the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, prospered and had the area mapped out in 1854. Subsequently, Marquette was integrated as a village in 1859 and as a city in 1871.
While not every city or town boasts innumerable sustainable achievements, most include at least a few environmentally mindful businesses and attributes. Generally, uncovering the community farmers market serves as a simple way to connect with a town. To venture outside the box, supporting small businesses with a direct encounter and investment helps to boost the owner and stores morale.
If searching for a decorative personal memento to signify one’s road trip or to spoil a loved one, Beth Millner Jewelry crafts handmade pendants based upon the natural landscape of Lake Superior and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “Designed for the active, modern individual with simplicity and ease of wearing in mind,” Beth and her team create pieces geared for any type of occasion.
Working from the upstairs studio above the city storefront, every item of Beth Millner jewelry is attentively handmade with clean-cut artistry. Aside from designing beautifully original accessories, Beth’s company shines with authenticity due to the use of recycled metals and diamonds and locally sourced copper from the former White Pine Mine in Ontonagon, Michigan. By making use of valuable materials that could have otherwise been irresponsibly discarded, Beth helps to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and divert additional landfill build up. Regarding the Earth doesn’t stop there – the business utilises recycled packaging, green cleaning products, and dodges unpleasant chemicals in every step of the manufacturing process.
Whether on the hunt for a necklace, bracelet, ring, or a pair of earrings, each design was inspired from Beth’s personal encounters with nature. Her trademark styles include landscapes, pebble and wood fiber textures, shorelines, and wildlife. With the help of creators like Beth, conscious consumption can be glamorously achieved.
Breaching the United States borders brings the road trip route into the vast lands of North America’s other half. Brimming with rugged wilderness and endless outdoor recreation opportunities, Canada is a hotspot for nature lovers.
Marquette, MI → Algonquin Provincial Park, ON | 555 miles
Initiated in 1893 to preserve the natural area for current and future generations, Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in the province of Ontario. Originally utilized for its White Pine trees, loggers once resided in remote, backcountry camps to harvest and transport the timber for the booming British economy. Through word of mouth, the park’s popularity grew over time and has secured global recognition and genuine allegiance.
Encompassing 7,653 square kilometres, Algonquin Park features immense biological diversity and welcomes over half a million annual visitors. Freedom for outdoor exploration ranges far and wide within Algonquin Park; hiking, backcountry camping, biking, canoeing, dog sledding, fishing, and so much more. With 2,000 kilometers of canoe routes and portages and over 1,900 campsites, exploring through the park’s waterways transports visitors into the secluded environment. Maintaining the pristine landscape of Algonquin Parks rests in the hands of its guests. Following Leave No Trace (LNT) procedures ensures a location’s purity and longevity. Firstly, always making sure to plan ahead and prepare – doing so establishes the group’s safety, minimizes unnecessary materials and waste, and inflates assurance within oneself to accomplish the adventure. Strategizing beforehand triggers success amongst similar LNT guidelines – always be mindful of; traveling and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, appropriate campfire maintenance, respecting wildlife, and considering fellow park visitors. When exercised by many, Leave No Trace guidelines have the power to uphold an ecosystem.
Constituting nearly one-sixth of Canada’s total land area, Quebec is the country’s largest of ten provinces. As massive as the region is, The Great Northern road trip route ironically maintains a southern course whilst traversing the United States’ neighbor.
Algonquin Provincial Park, ON → Montréal, QC | 290 miles
Celebrated as one of the dominant centers for representation and circulation of French Canadian culture, Montréal is Canada’s second largest city and shelters roughly half of Quebec’s population. Gaining city status in 1832, the bustling metropolis once supported its economic growth through fur trade for over 150 years. Unfolding into a multifaceted commercial municipality, Montréal turned to concentrate on international trade and the distribution of manufactured goods. Today, the French speaking city takes pride in its international events, street art, festivals, and cultural diversity.
Montréal embraces over 10 million annual tourists, with the number steadily increasing each year. Given the city’s popularity, the idea of environmental sustainability gained headway without question. Remarkably, the entire province of Quebec retrieves 95% of its electricity through hydroelectric stations while wind energy provides an additional 4% of renewable energy.
Turning the spotlight back to Montréal, New Year’s Day of 2018 marked a plastic bag ban for the first major Canadian city. As previously mentioned, the trendsetting area is a prominent destination for conventions and global events. Through certification by iCompli Sustainability, Montréal earns a ranking as an environmentally sustainable destination for meetings and events. Analyzing numerous components of event organization, the certification standards evaluate meeting venues, transportation, accommodations, energy sources, onsite offices and exhibits, and more. To further support Montréal’s declaration for eco-friendly systems, the city bolsters extensive recycling programs and the promotion and development of environmentally-friendly buildings and public spaces.
With international recognition as a green city, Montréal obviously had to make room for various zero-waste shops. Undertaking a mission to facilitate the means of alternative consumption patterns, Vrac & Bocaux arranges the opportunity to grocery shop without the presence of redundant plastic. With data reflecting that Quebec produces nearly 6 million tons of waste each year, the locally owned enterprise invites customers to ditch the traditional way of collecting one’s groceries and promotes the use of jars, cotton and paper bags, or whichever container is best preferred. Common bulk shop finds include; flours, dried fruits, spices, and beans, while less frequent items will surely delight customers; cheese, tofu, yogurt, sausage, even maple syrup! Through being cognizant of the environment, local development, personal health, and food waste, Vrac & Bocaux works to embody a leading pioneer in the supermarket industry.
From the Northwest, through the Midwest and Canada, now back in the United States, the Great Northern Road Trip route now delves into one of the most historic regions of the U.S., New England.
Montréal, QC → Burlington, VT | 93 miles
Hugging the western shoreline of Lake Champlain lies Vermont’s most populated city, Burlington. The once dominant lumber port in the mid-1800s is now one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the nation. In the late 1990s, the city identified quite a few urgent areas of concern in need of modifications in order to retain the region’s natural features and guarantee exceptional health for future generations. To gauge Burlington’s weaknesses, strengths, and the community’s insight, the city dispersed thousands of surveys to the residents.
Burlington’ Legacy Project Action Plan was finalized in 2000, with additional objectives released in later years. The city’s six primary goals include; uphold the city as a regional influence, provide adequate job opportunities and affordable housing, enhance overall quality of life in the neighborhoods, increase public participation in decision making, administer high quality education, and preserve environmental health. The Transportation Plan (2011) and Climate Action Plan (2013) confront environmental and air pollution problems, while the planBTV (2013) attends to the downtown’s sustainability issues.
Since committing to greener survival methods, Burlington has demonstrated an array of environmentally conscious implementations. One of the most notable milestones was when Burlington became the first city in the country to use 100% renewable energy for its residents electricity needs. To dwindle transportation problems, increase pedestrian safety and mobility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the enforcement of “complete streets” with bike lanes, refuge islands and green infrastructure was imposed. With hopes to upgrade Burlington’s stormwater management system, the city is modernizing the waterfront by introducing rain gardens and bioswales. The demand for access to a viable and wholesome food source led the citizen’s to organize the Intervale Community Farm. The farm provides nutritious and sustainable food options while permitting community members to assemble amongst a united and educationally driven environment. Not to mention that Burlington locals greatly aid toward the decline of landfill accumulation through the state’s mandatory recycling and composting law.
As part of Burlington’s green infrastructure implementation, the city partnered with City of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront to offer the public the Rock Point Natural Area. The trail systems within Rock Point allow visitors to leisurely stroll from the city to wide open spaces. Bestowing 130 acres of privately owned and protected land, Rock Point encompasses over two miles of hiking trails with waterfront views and rock climbing opportunities. With a vision to be an accessible oasis of spirituality, creativity, community, education, and environmental stewardship, Rock Point Natural Area extends the Burlington eco-friendly motto.
Bisecting through the epicenter of New England hiking territory, one arrives in the White Mountain State.
Burlington, VT → Bethlehem, NH | 114 miles
Bethlehem, NH → Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary, NH | 22 miles
Without fail, a drive through New Hampshire involves at least one antique store poke around – who doesn’t love vintage?! Nestled within the picturesque White Mountain town of Bethlehem, Lonesome Woods is a second generation antique and apothecary store with a warm sense of community and familiarity. Browsing amongst the outdated objects invokes an aura of nostalgia and the desire to time travel for a better understanding of the items historical timeframe; Pez dispensers, signs of any description, Humpty Dumpty potato chip cans, vintage Coleman gasoline powered lanterns, camera’s from varied time periods, Walkman cassette tapes, of course maple syrup, and so much more. Aside from sparking a flame of curiosity, antique stores represent the essence and value of secondhand shopping.
While New Hampshire highlights include white-capped peaks and extreme weather conditions, the state comparably flaunts subtle environmental wonders usually overlooked by most. Routinely referred to as one of the state’s “crown jewels,” the Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary rests below the mountains north of the Presidential Range. Owned and supervised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with New Hampshire Audubon (unassociated with National Audubon Society) and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, Pondicherry offers forests, ponds, and wetlands complimenting a dense range of ecological profiles.
New Hampshire Audubon was initially created with a target of conserving and recovering the migratory bird populations once obliterated by motives of hunting and collecting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, the organization intends to protect the state’s natural environment for wildlife and humans alike. Through education programs and conservation efforts, NH Audubon continues to enrich the public and help the community connect with nature. The lands preserved by NH Audubon, such as Pondicherry, present extensive opportunities to encounter wildlife and their natural residency. The Pondicherry Sanctuary has 166 acres of land with 9 miles of land for hiking and cross-country skiing to reach Cherry Pond and Little Cherry Pond. Whether bird watching or snowshoeing, an offbeat angle of the White Mountains secures one for the books.
To end one’s Great Northern expedition adequately, driving through the southern region of the Pine Tree State to finally reach the notorious coastline signifies the end of a well-spent journey.
Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary, NH → Acadia National Park, ME | 205 miles
As the sole national park in the Northeast of the United States, Acadia may be the fifth smallest national park in the country, but is included in the top ten most visited. Once distinctly inhabited by the Wabanaki native peoples 12,000 years ago, the lands encompassing Acadia National Park include roughly 64 miles of seacoast on Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut, and other islands handled by the park.
As mentioned, Acadia welcomes boatloads of visitors each year, causing heavy congestion at the park’s most popular destinations and a significant environmental toll. To alleviate the pressure throughout Acadia’s hot spots, opt to track down the less visited areas. Found on the mainland, the Schoodic Peninsula flaunts its granite headlands with erosional scars from storm waves and flood tides. While comparable landscapes comprise sections of Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Coast is a more remote area. Discover the peninsula through hiking, camping, bicycling, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. Vistas of islands, coves and rocky beaches dot the coast with the persistent ocean breeze scaling one’s back. Fixating on the regularly unnoticed yet equally radiant, what better way to conclude a mindful road trip?
Before anything else, a key feature to successfully complete an environmentally watchful trip is to have fun with it. If one perceives the task as an overwhelming homework project rather than an experimentive journey, the mentality of “green living” could become monotonous and dull. Take the days as they come with no set limit of expectations – whether you choose to forseek eco-friendly activities and businesses at each destination or just a few, the involvement of sustainable tourism gleams from within.
ecomadic is a sustainable tourism brand that empowers travelers to make more conscious decisions. By curating a marketplace to easily find and identify responsible businesses to support, and providing educational publications through our online green travel magazine, ecomadic is committed to helping empower travelers make responsible choices throughout their journeys.