You Love The Outdoors And Would Like Your Kids To Love Getting Out There Too!

Take a look at the top rated outdoor towns where your children will have great access to outdoor trails, where getting outside and exploring nature is the norm.

Backpacker Magazine features the Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid in their August ‘09 issue. There are some excellent mountain towns on the list and a few more good ones noted in the comments section like Park City, Utah which I agree would be one to add to the list.

In partnership with the Outdoor Foundation, we researched and crunched a whopping 38 separate metrics, from the density of Boy’s Life subscribers in a city to the distance of the nearest national park. Not every metric was outdoor-related—we looked at unemployment and obesity rates, for instance—but our formulas weighted kid-, climate-, and trail-specific criteria more strongly than general health and economic data.

The first question asked, ”Does this place inspire me to get outdoors?”

Which towns offer the ideal mix of accessible trails, inspiring teachers, and great recreational resources? We worked with The Outdoor Foundation to identify America’s top 25 places to beat nature deficit disorder.

  1. Boulder, CO
  2. Jackson, WY
  3. Durango, CO
  4. Flagstaff, AZ
  5. Juneau, AK
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Colorado Springs, CO
  8. Burlington, VT
  9. Fort Collins, CO
  10. Lebanon, NH
  11. Asheville, NC
  12. Portland, ME
  13. Hood River, OR
  14. Manchester, NH
  15. Harrisonburg, VA
  16. Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA
  17. Sevierville, TN
  18. Bozeman, MT
  19. Rapid City, SD
  20. Brevard, NC
  21. Madison, WI
  22. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  23. Glens Falls, NY
  24. Duluth, MN
  25. Wheeling, WV

Personally speaking, having lived in the top two, Boulder and Jackson Hole, I can not say enough about how these environments positively affected my health and the way I now live my life. After moving to the mountains, one of the first things I learned and loved is the happiness felt and shared on the trail. It was a taste of the mountain lifestyle spending my childhood summers in Vermont that made such a lasting impression. These experiences in the Green Mountains are what ultimately led me back to this lifestyle much later on. I made the conscious choice to leave the city and the suburbs, knowing with complete certainty that the mountains and an outdoor town was the right place for me.

Are you in search of a family life that just screams “outdoors”? Start exploring that list and wherever you are right now, get yourself and those little ones up and outside today!

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