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The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures

52 Week Adventure Challenge

11.20.17

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The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures

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  • At East River State Park, there are several picnic tables and signs indicating free Wi-Fi in the park!- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The interpretive signs tell the story of East River State park's past.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. Photo by Alsandro (CC 2.5).- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The MoMA courtyard with Richard Serra's steel sculpture dominating.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Ferril Lake, City Park, Denver.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science from across Ferril Lake at City Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Floaters making their way down the South Platte River at Confluence Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View of the South Platte River just downstream from Confluence Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Picnic area in the northeast corner of Denver's Confluence Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Boulder Creek Path crossing over Boulder Creek at Eben G. Fine Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Eben G. Fine Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View south to the Tacoma Narrows Bridges from Point Defiance Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Owen Beach and Promenade in Point Defiance Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Point Defiance Park Japanese Garden.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View east from the hill at Gas Works Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Panoramic view of the Seattle skyline from Gas Works Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Looking at Mount Hood from the east side of Mount Tabor.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Picnic area at Mt. Tabor.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Sunset over Portland from Joseph Wood Hill Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View to Mount St. Helens (8,366 ft) and Columbia River from Joseph Wood Hill.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Sunset over Lake Merced.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Mount Davidson seen from Lake Merced.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Golden Gate Park is backed by its namesake iconic bridge.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Flycasting pools at the Angler's Lodge, Golden Gate Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The Chinese Pavilion at Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View north to the Golden Gate from Baker Beach.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • San Francisco's Ocean Beach.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Ocean Beach, San Francisco.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Hollywood Lake Park within Griffith Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • View of Glendale and the San Gabriel Mountains from Dante's View.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Sunset from the Living Room.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Enjoying the sunset from the Living Room.  - The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Big double at the I Street Jumps.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Cyclists enjoy the smooth path of the Boise River Greenbelt as it extends through the Diversion Dam and Black Cliffs areas.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • A vantage point overlooking the Boise River.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • The sea wall path that wraps around the outside edge of the park includes seperate paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
  • Stanley Park.- The Best of Backyard Urban Adventures
Article
Contributor

There's a common misconception in the world of outdoor adventure that in order to be legit, you have to be extreme, hardcore, and incredibly intense. And whatever sport suits your fancy, you should be doing it as far out in the backcountry as possible to be a “true” outdoorsperson. Outdoor media is overly saturated with images of athletes with rippling muscles set against the backdrop of a beautiful, but impossibly remote, landscape.

While we certainly love those remote destinations and believe wholeheartedly on recreating on public lands and other outdoor spaces, we also think that a love of outdoor adventure and nature can exist on a smaller scale.

So this week, we’re celebrating urban adventures and challenging the idea that outdoor adventure happens away from cities and populated places.

You may already have a knack for seeing in a single blade of grass the same wonder that you find in an impressive mountain landscape, but if you haven’t tried this before, give it a shot. Challenge yourself to look differently at your local parks, sidewalks, even city streets.

In addition to opening yourself up to a whole new category of outdoor adventure in the urban environment, you will also find that these experiences are logistically easier to accomplish, make for great microadventures, and make for great opportunities to practice those backcountry skills or stay in shape.

This week, challenge the notion that a more epic adventure is a better adventure, and note that everyone gets outside in different ways. Everything from a picnic in your local park to a walk down the sidewalk to hike to an urban overlook can be an adventure. Certain individuals may come to those experiences with different skills, abilities, and conceptions about nature and outdoor adventure, but that doesn't mean they have more or less of a right to be there.

Looking for a place to get outdoors in an urban way? Here’s a list of some fantastic experiences that will let you do just that:

New York 

Denver 

Tacoma 

Seattle

Portland, Oregon

San Francisco

Los Angeles

Salt Lake City

Boise

Vancouver

#52AdventureChallenge

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

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