Hidden Gems in Iowa
Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, RV Camping, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Iowa. Exploring the Our Top Hidden Gems.

Wait – Do people go to Iowa? I hope so!! I never see anyone talk about the beauty in Iowa, and there are so many amazing things to see! You’ll love it! As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. If you love boondocking, you’ll find a suggestion or two at the end of the blog.

Fun Facts – Did you know that Iowa is home to the world’s largest Bull named Albert?  And Iowa’s largest frying pan? Does that mean there is another “largest frying pan” somewhere else? I mean, who knew? 

Exploring our Top Hidden and Most Unique Places to Visit in Iowa

There are some really interesting and popular things to see in DesMoines. So if you’re going to Iowa, you’re probably heading there. But also check out our list of Off the Beaten Path places. 

Masquoketa Caves

Located in the state park with the same name, you’ll fall in love with the beauty here! Opened back up in April of 2021! With more caves than any state park, Maquoketa Caves is one of Iowa’s most unique outdoor attractions. And you’ll love the campground at Maquoketa Caves State park! This little state park is definitely grand when it comes to caves and you’ll learn about the cave history, and explore the gorgeous area. It’s well worth a day trip (or make it two).

Ice Cave Hill Park

ICE HILL

Decorah’s remarkable ice cave is located near Dunning’s Spring. While Iowa enjoys four seasons, you will find that the ice cave is frozen all year long, due to its glacial location. It’s a short hike up to the cave, and while the cave is small, it is a sight to see. Even in the Summer heat, be prepared to be cold in there. I wouldn’t even suggest taking a jacket though, as you’ll be in and out of there pretty quick.

Devonian Fossil Gorge

meFossil Gorge

This once hidden gorge was revealed by the floods of 1993, and it’s a fascinating place to stop if you’re in the Iowa City/Coralville area. Bring your cell phone!! You can take a free guided tour. There are instructions on a sign in the beginning. The gorge is actually a 375-million-year-old ocean floor with incredible fossils that are older than the dinosaurs. To get there, take I -80 Exit #244, go north for 2.6 miles on Dubuque Street NE, then east 1.3 miles on West Overlook Road to the Coralville Lake and Dam.

Dunning Springs

Located in Decorah, Iowa. There is a 200-foot waterfall located just minutes from downtown. Not a long hike at all, and bring your lunch. It’s beautiful!

Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge

A warning to the weak-kneed: This narrow bridge does its swinging eight stories high.

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Directions: Columbus Junction is about 35 miles south of Iowa City, down Rt 218. Take a left onto Hwy 92 which turns into Oak Street when you get to town. Turn right onto Third Street (there’s a bright blue sign pointing the way), and the bridge is on the right where the road bends.

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail

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No, this isn’t a jail for squirrels. But this is a super great concept. This rotating jailhouse in Council Bluffs is one of the only jails of its type left in existence. Tour the inner workings of this unique jail built in 1885 and learn about the prisoners it held.

Wildcat Den State Park

We really love to explore state parks. The natural beauty of Wildcat Den State Park in Muscatine will truly take your breath away. The park features an extensive trail system, with 75-foot cliffs and amazing rock formations. The park also has several historic structures to explore. Located at 1886 Wildcat Den Rd., in Muscatine

Fenelon Place Elevator

Fenelon Place Elevator

When you get to the top of the Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, you’ll be able to see not one…not two…but THREE states! Take a ride on the shortest, steepest railway in the world that elevates passengers almost 200 feet in the length of one city block.

The High Trestle Trail

The High Trestle Trail is a nature lover’s paradise and a work of art. It is a half-mile, the 130-foot-tall bridge gets bathed in blue light at night. Bike, walk or jog across the bridge, located near Madrid, for a one-of-a-kind experience. The 41 steel “frames” over the bridge represent support cribs within a historic coal mine. 

High Trestle Trail

After dark, the bridge comes alive as blue lights illuminate a section of the steel cribbings, which mark the location of the main river channel below. From April through October, the bridge is lit from sunset until midnight. From November through March, the lights turn off at 9 p.m.

Matchstick Marvels Museum

Located in Gladbrooke, Iowa. If you’re looking for something to do inside that is different and unique, this is the place! Patric Action of Iowa has been building detailed scale models with wooden matchsticks for nearly 40 years. In that time he’s created around 70 elaborate designs, from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Wright Brothers’ Flyer. Each model is comprised of hundreds of thousands of two-inch matchsticks, which Acton has spent hours shaping, warping, and gluing together with careful precision in an impressive one-man operation.

This is such an amazing art form. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 5 to 12, and under 5 is free. The museum is open from April 1 through November 30, seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is handicapped-accessible.

Roller Coaster Road

Are you up for a wild ride?

If anyone gets car sick in your group, definitely skip this one! Just outside of Harper’s Ferry in Northeast Iowa’s Allamakee County is Roller Coaster Road (Yes, it’s actually named that!). These thrills are typically reserved for the theme park, but here you can try it out in your car. Just remember to drive safely!

Boondocking

  • Big Creek Lake WMA (Polk City). We love Wildlife Management Areas. We also stayed at one in Colorado. Don’t pass these by: GPS: 41.819025, -93.756061
  • Hawkeye WMA. GPS: 41.792561, -91.71432 Gravel road is about 3 miles long but totally accessible. Big rig friendly! 

Here are a few more blogs we think you’ll love!

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Tennessee. 11 Hidden Gems You Can’t Miss.

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include some great lists of RV camping areas. Both free and paid!

Tennessee has so many fun and unique things to do! We love caves and have you seen the cave systems in Tennessee? WOW! Just Wow!

Lost Sea Cave

The Lost Sea is America’s largest underground lake, located in Sweetwater, TN. Once you reach the lake you are able to board a flat-bottom boat and ride around on its smooth, glassy surface.

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There are also tours that allow visitors to spend the night in the cave and explore some of the lesser-seen parts of the enormous cavern. This could be popular in the summer and even more so during the summer on weekends. I’d suggest Fall. Have you seen Tennessee in the Fall? Absolutely stunning!

The Forbidden Caverns

FORBIDDEN

Located in Sevierville, TN these caves stretch for a half-mile and feature eerie and arresting mineral formations, echoing grottoes, silent reflecting pools, and a clear cool stream fed (most likely) by a nearby underground lake.

Ruby Falls Cave

Ruby Falls Cave has all the geological features one would expect (stalactites, stalagmites, etc.) with one magical addition: an underground waterfall. Until humans tunneled into the cave in the 19th century, the water had been trickling undiscovered beneath Tennessee for roughly 200 million years. Ruby Falls is the tallest underground waterfall the public can visit. This is a lantern-only tour.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

State Parks are some of our favorite places to go.

I won’t give too much information about it other than to say it can be a pretty popular place to go. But this waterfall has been featured in movies due to its beauty! 

Window Cliffs State Natural Area

We totally stumbled upon this while visiting a friend near Cookeville! The hike is steep at the beginning but a beautiful hike with amazing views.

Spaceship House

spaceshiphouse

If you are in the area of Signal Mountain, you must visit the Spaceship House. If you read my blogs you know I love the crazy and different houses, castles, etc. As of 2008 after several private owners, it was purchased by Signal Mountain and is now a vacation rental property. Super fun to just drive by and get pictures in front of though! 

Fun Museums

There are a ton of museums that are fun. Teapot Museum in Trenton, International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga and don’t forget … the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. 

Tuckaleeche Caverns

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Located 32 miles from Knoxville, in Townsend, TN this mile-long cave system is near the Great Smoky Mountains. Visitors come here to see both the strange and impressive geological formations, but also the crystal clear stream that flows through the entire system of caverns.

Raccoon Mountain Caverns – Chattanooga, TN More than 5 miles of underground passages. This is still on our list of things to see for sure!

Twin Falls Waterfall – Rock Island State Park

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Not a natural waterfall, but very beautiful to see! 

Patricks Pub and Grill

Well … depends on which side of the restaurant you sit on. You might be in Georgia, or you might be in Tennessee. You might park in Tennessee and eat in Georgia.

Super cool little bar and grill where the state line runs right through the middle. No alcohol on the Georgia side though! You can certainly have a drink served to you just a few feet away on the Tennessee side though.

Savage Gulf State Natural Area

Most beautiful hike!! Near Palmer, TN. Probably not exactly a slot canyon, but some of the hiking areas are amazingly similar and just as beautiful! This park is filled with waterfalls and bluffs that are just so unbelievable. The Stone Door trail is incredible!

Check out the stairs built right into the cliff. The Laurel Falls Loop trail leads you to a beautiful waterfall by the same name. There is another amazing waterfall that falls into a pool you can swim in if you want, called Greeter Falls. You’ll feel you’ve left the USA when you look at the turquoise pool. 

Savage Gulf Natural Area

What have you found while exploring Tennessee? We’d love you to share your own hidden gems with us! Here are some other blogs we think you’d love!

RV Camping in Tennessee

Click the button below to be taken to our list of the best free boondocking and paid campgrounds we’ve stayed at!

Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the internet! We truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read our blogs. We’re honored you spent the last few minutes with us!  If you aren’t signed up to follow us, please do! You’ll be notified of our new blogs when they go up. 

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How To's and Why Not's, RV Camping, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, Travel Destinations & Stories

Top 20 Phone Apps For RV Travel

LETS TALK APPS!

As full-time RVer’s who travel, we rely on a lot of different apps and websites to give us all the information we want or need. From weather to boondocking. And dump stations to gas stations. There is so much more to just getting in your RV and driving to your next location. New apps are coming out all the time, so I’ll try to update this often!

Our Top Weather Apps

There are a lot of great apps out there for the weather. We don’t care what you use, but please use a couple of them. They can literally save your life.

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This is really above all the most important part of your planning. Weather can make traveling in an RV very unsafe if you aren’t careful. We actually use several different apps to check the weather. Remember to check them all! They can be different. Predicting the weather is known to be quite the guessing game. 

Boondocking / Campground Apps

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Free Campsites – This is actually our first go-to. But our rule of thumb is we always check more than one app when looking for boondocking places. All the apps have very different information. Plus, we read the reviews, and those are also different on each app. We love all the different filters you can use on this app. Very helpful. 

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Allstays – This is another top choice. Allstays also lists other information. Check your filters on the app. You can find water, dump stations, propane stations, etc. (This is the only app we pay for. I believe it’s still about $10 to purchase. Well worth it)

Campendium – Another very highly recommended app. We use these top 3 more than any other apps. Using more than one source of information means you won’t be stuck somewhere you aren’t comfortable. We find there really is a lot of different information from one app to another. 

We also use the following if we find the need to dig a little deeper.

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Useful RV Life Apps

After 5 years of full-time travel now, we have discovered some amazing apps. But there are even more! So if you find one not on our list, please let us know! Good thing our phones hold a lot of apps, right?

Gas Buddy

This app can help you find the type of gas/fuel you need and will show you prices. Very useful app for any sort of travel, but especially RV traveling. 

The Best RV Apps

Sanidumps RV Dump Locator

I love this app!  With the Sanidumps RV Dump Station Locator app, you’ll be quickly directed to the nearest dump station, or you can locate one at your next stopping point. We personally try to find free places to dump our tanks and this is a great resource. 

Google Maps

You probably already have this app on all of your phones and tablets, but if not, be sure you have it before your next trip. I personally love it for “pinning” my location and sending the GPS coordinates to someone who might be meeting us later. I also love the live traffic conditions. 

Roadtrippers

This app accesses your location and provides you with a list of nearby attractions you may be interested in. There are sections such as hotels, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, etc. Check it out! It’s a great tool!

iExit

I think this is one of our most-used apps when on the highways. They make it so easy to find what’s coming up ahead and make plans to stop. If you’re looking for something in particular, you will know well in advance what is coming up. Restaurants, hotels, rest areas, or gas stations just to name a few. 

Now, let’s have some fun! What are your favorite travel activities? We have a few favorites.

Geocaching

Here’s a fun one! Who loves Geocaching? If you don’t know what Geocaching is, check out my blog about that.Geo-What? What is Geocaching, and How Does it Work? Bringing Free and Family Fun Together. It’s basically a world wide scavenger hunt. Gets you out there hiking and walking and you’ll look at the world a little different after you start playing this game. And the kids will love it! Our kids grew up playing with us, and still play to this day!

UDisc

This is somewhat a new one for us. This last Christmas our daughters got us Disc Golf sets and we’ve really enjoyed playing. This app lets you find places to play around where you are.

Ingress

Our friends got us completely hooked on this game. Why? Because it takes you to places you wouldn’t have ever noticed. Murals on walls, hidden historical finds and so much more! Explore the mysterious world around you with the Ingress Scanner. Interact with real-world landmarks to collect valuable resources from Portals to empower your Faction.

We hope you found some of these apps helpful! And we’d love to know what apps help you get out there and stay out there.

Here are a few other blogs we think you’ll love:

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the internet! We truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read our blogs. We’re honored you spent the last few minutes with us!  If you aren’t signed up to follow us, please do! You’ll be notified of our new blogs when they go up. 

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series

Off the Beaten Path in Florida. Our Top Hidden Gems!

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As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique and different. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each post will also include a link to our free camping locations.  

Our Top Pick of the 14 Most Interesting Hidden Gems in Florida

Last week we had more people contact us through our blog than any other week in the past. Most said they had received a link from a friend. So we want to thank everyone who is sharing our blogs! It truly means a lot to us, and we are glad you’re liking them enough to share.  If this is your first time, welcome! We look forward to getting to know you all. 

Before we get into our tops picks, here are a few super amazing things to see that are not on the roads less traveled or off the beaten path but definitely must see’s while you’re in Florida. Dry Tortugas, Manatee Springs and Devils Den are our top pics for the popular places.

We love the amazing beaches and clear waters of Florida like everyone does. But if you’re looking for something just a little different to do, here’s our picks. 

Crystal River

Crystal River is a coastal city in western Florida. Kings Bay, which is fed by springs, is home to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, sheltering manatees year-round. Boardwalks at Three Sisters Springs Wildlife Refuge offer views of the marine mammal and the natural springs. This is an awesome day trip! I was a little taken back that you can’t just walk into this place on your own. We had to buy a $10 trolly ride in. I didn’t question it, as it wasn’t that big of a deal. But well worth the trip!

Kayaking in Florida

Check out or 2021 kayaking at Weeki Wachee Spring here!

Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River are a paddler’s paradise with 16 miles of continuous, crystal clear spring water that will take you for a meandering ride to the St. John’s River and beyond. Canoes and kayaks are at home in this vast, natural wonderland of birds, bees, and subtropical forests. Bring your camera. FYI: There is no access to Rock Springs Run or Wekiva River from the Rock Springs Run State Reserve.

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Tubing/Kayaking at Rainbow River – About 2 hours north of Tampa, you’ll find Rainbow River. I mean just look at this place!! You can bring your own tube, or rent one, but it’s a super fun float experience for you and the kids. Kayaking this is great too! It’s more of a float though. 

Bioluminescent Kayaking

If you do nothing else water-related, do this!! Super cool Kayaking trip at night!! This night tour takes you to Florida’s Indian River Lagoon to see that waters light about with a bright blue-green glow.  You light it up with the splash of your kayak paddle.  Some companies offer regular kayaks, family rafts, and the spectacular clear kayaking bioluminescence experience.  Tours depart every night throughout the year. 

When Justin was stationed in Puerto Rico, we had only been married for a few months, and I took off work and flew out to spend our first married Thanksgiving together. There was a similar lake there, and it’s definitely something to see. 


  • We get so many questions on our kayaks I wanted to share the ones we have. These fit behind the theater seat in our RV and are the size of a large hiking backpack. Very small and we’ve truly enjoyed them!! Click HERE to see what brand and model kayaks we have. 

Bulow Plantation Ruins

We love history, and especially the kind of history we can see and touch. There are several Sugar Mill ruins in Florida.  Bulow Plantation Ruins The ruins of this antebellum sugar plantation are the end result of a Seminole attack during the Florida Wars of 1836. More than 20 years before Florida became a state, a South Carolina man named Charles Wilhelm Bulow bought up almost 9,000 acres of land bordering a tidal creek along the central coast, not far from present-day Daytona Beach.

If you’re a diver, check out Vortex Springs. Justin is a certified diver, but Stacy is not. We’ve heard this is an unbelievable place to visit. 

Washington Oaks State Park

Located in Palm Coast – Florida is known for the flat, white sands as far as you can see. The Rocks is a mile of unusual geological formations, caves, nooks, and crannies in the water-worn coquina rock.

meThe Rocks

Whether or not the rocks appear depends on the recent weather and tides. If there has been a number of nor’easter-type storms, then you can be pretty sure that the rocks will appear.

Coral Castle

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Located in Homestead – This may or may not be on the more popular side of things to do, but I had to include it. A mysterious castle built as a monument to lost love. The castle contains many wonders including a sundial, a stone rocking chair, a 500-pound heart-shaped stone table (a “Valentine” for his lost love), and a 9-ton gate made to spin with just a light touch. It’s just a really unique story behind this “Castle” (plus, if you have kids, I think they’d love this unique place). When Ed Leedskalnin was jilted by his sweet sixteen the day before their wedding, it was to send him on a mysterious and marvelous path of creation.

Cruger-DePeyster Sugar Mill Ruins

meCruger-dePeyster Sugar Mill Ruins

Don’t bother trying to pronounce this. Or maybe it’s just me! Do you like ruins as much as we do? So because so many of our blogs have ruins listed. We love the history and stories behind them. Despite being made of a seashell mortar, the crumbling remains of this historic Florida mill are still standing. 

Ghost Town of Ellaville

We love the mystery behind abandoned towns. What causes people to just leave an entire town? This really eerie ghost town is located on the banks of the Suwannee River. 

I don’t think I’d go out of my way to go see this, but if you’re traveling close enough to this area, check it out. Again, the story and the history behind this place is fascinating and sad. Directions: On the western side of the Suwanee River. Drive west on Highway 90; the sign for Ellaville can be seen as you cross the river.

The Lewis Spring House

The Lewis Spring House

Who doesn’t love the artistic houses of Frank Lloyd Wright? The Lewis Spring House is best known for being one of only two pod-shaped houses designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, as well the only private residential home in Florida designed by the famous architect. What’s more, this unique residence is directly tied to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Check out the Fallingwater House in PA too. We listed it on our blog HERE

Falling Waters State Park

Waterfalls are hard to come by in Florida, but this state park is home to Florida’s tallest natural waterfall, which rushes 73 feet down the wall of a massive sinkhole. If you’ve read my blogs you know waterfalls are my favorite places. Plan your visit to coincide with recent heavy rain, so there will be lots of water. Don’t underestimate State Parks as being some of the most amazing places to visit. 

Ravine Gardens

meRavine Gardens State Park,

Another State Park – Located in Palatka – This little-known park in North Florida doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This park with manicured gardens, footbridges, and trails created in the 1930s is magical during the springtime when thousands of azaleas are in bloom.

Here are some more blogs we think you’ll love!

There are still so many places we want to explore in Florida and hope to do that after the holidays this year. Please share your own Off the Beaten Path places with us. Looks like we’re heading back the winter of 2020/2021 so come back soon! More exploring to find!

Looking for the best boondocking or paid campgrounds to stay while you’re traveling in Florida? Check out our ever changing, always updating list! Click the button below to see our best RV Camping in Florida!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It means a lot to us!

Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the internet! We truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read our blogs. We’re honored you spent the last few minutes with us!  If you aren’t signed up to follow us, please do! You’ll be notified of our new blogs when they go up. 

Finding the hidden gems in Florida
Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, RV Camping, Travel Destinations & Stories

17 Hidden Gems in North Carolina

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures, and all with GPS coordinates. 

North Carolina is home to the world’s largest chest of drawers, and of course the world’s largest hammock. But wait! There’s more! 

BlueRidgeNC2

I won’t lie! Driving the very small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway was absolutely stunning! We actually ended up between two closed ends of the Parkway. It was closed for the season, but we entered from a camping area that we were at and drove both ways until the barriers. 

North Carolina has the most waterfalls we’ve ever seen. I’m a waterfall junkie. As I’ve mentioned in so many of my other blogs, two places make me feel the most me, and the most at peace. Waterfalls and slot canyons. Especially the ones that are less popular. 


Our Favorite Waterfalls


Soco Falls

soco

This is a breathtaking double waterfall between Maggie Valley and Cherokee. Off Hwy 19, you’ll see a sign and a small parking area. A short walk takes you to an observation deck, or you can take a short walk down to the falls. 

Juney Whank Falls

Located in Deep Creek, this is a lesser-known waterfall.

There is a footbridge to get up close and personal. It can be accessed from the Juney Whank loop trail at the Deep Creek Entrance. The 90-ft. fall is named after Mr. Junaluska “Juney” Whank, who’s rumored to be buried somewhere in the Deep Creek area, particularly near the fall.

Crabtree Falls

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Blue Ridge Parkway. Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, is a popular attraction located in Nelson County, just six miles off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 27. Crabtree Falls features a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet

Dry Falls

There is nothing dry about Dry Falls. Dry Falls is also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls and is a 65-foot waterfall located in the Nantahala National Forest, northwest of Highlands, North Carolina.

Grassy Creek Falls

Many visitors to the DuPont State Recreational Forest have visited Wintergreen Falls on the Grassy Creek. However, most are not aware of another waterfall on the same stream, named Grassy Creek Falls. These falls are nearly 2 miles downstream of Wintergreen Falls, not far from High Falls Covered Bridge.

Secret Falls

It’s an easy half-mile hike, but there are no signs to the parking area. So, this remote area is mostly visited by locals.

Secret Falls

The trail is blazed with blue rectangles on trees and is easy to follow. There’s one lone stake in the small parking area at the start of the trail that says “Secret Falls.” The wooded hike is easy enough for the entire family. There are 2 easy creek crossings (one has a log bridge), a brief uphill section, and a series of stairs after you reach the falls area. Just 6.5 miles from busy downtown Highlands is this hidden oasis that is definitely a secret to many. Secret Falls (also known as Big Shoals Falls) is a gorgeous 50-ft. waterfall on Big Creek that cascades into a serene pool, deep in the Nantahala National Forest near the Georgia state line.

Clingmans Dome

Located in Bryson City – A concrete tower with a spiraling walkway winding 375 feet to the top crowns the highest mountain in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s definitely sad to see what we think is Pine Beetle damage though. Still an amazing view.

Historic Fort Fisher

You can visit this awesome place without any sort of military ID. It’s open to everyone. And it’s free! We really enjoyed walking around the grounds, and on this particular day, the fog really started to roll in which was pretty cool to watch. Fort Fisher was a Confederate fort during the American Civil War. It protected the vital trading routes of the port at Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1861 until its capture by the Union in 1865. We really enjoy all the history we’ve learned as we travel.

There is a small little campground located on the actual military facility that we stayed on. It was very reasonably priced ($25 per night). Beautiful, large paved spots, and very clean.

Kindred Spirit Mailbox

Located in Bird Island – According to most stories, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox was first erected after the Kindred Spirit saw a mirage of a mailbox on the shore during low tide.

Although the vision wasn’t real, they were inspired to plant a mailbox with a communal notebook so that visitors could leave proof of their having been there. The use of the mailbox quickly caught on and visitors flocked to the island to sit on a nearby bench, look out over the water and write their own personal message inside the mailbox’s journal.

The House of Mugs

House ofMugs

I’m not sure I’d go out of my way for this, but if you decide to go, bring a coffee mug!! A cabin completely covered in coffee mugs, where visitors are welcome to leave one of their own—if they can find an empty nail. There’s no charge to see the Sisk’s collection, but donations are welcome. To see the Cup House, follow NC Route 90 north/west out of Collettsville for about half a mile and turn left onto Old Johns River Road.

Clyde’s Critter Crossing

If you happen to be in or near Pittsboro, you might not want to miss Clyde’s Critter Crossing. It’s a bit eclectic and bizarre but definitely check it out if you’re in the area, or passing through. I won’t spoil it for you. But the kids will love it. 

Emerald Isle

Yes, I realize this is a very popular place – in the summer! But we visited in December, and as you can see from our picture, it was pretty warm still and the beach was virtually empty. Though we know this isn’t much of an “out of the way” place, we highly recommend visiting off season. It was amazing!

Chimney Rock State Park

State Parks are really under-rated. We love them! This is a beautiful state park, and you just gotta see the views from Chimney Rock. Wow! There are a lot of steps to the top but you won’t regret the view once you make it to the top!

Pilot Mountain

Pilot Mountain has two distinctive features, named Big and Little Pinnacle. Big Pinnacle (also called “The Knob”) has high and colorful bare rock walls, with a rounded top covered by vegetation, reaching approximately 1,400 feet above the surrounding terrain. Visitors can take a paved road to the park visitor center and campgrounds, then up to a parking lot on the ridge. 

Fort Macon

This is also a state park. Another really awesome part of our history. I have to say, as soon as I sent the first picture to my daughter (who is spiritually sensitive) she immediately felt lots of death. Without even knowing where we were. The Battle of Fort Macon was fought there during March and April 1862. Fort Macon is made up of 2,379,546 bricks – more than any other U.S. fort. Five-sided Fort Macon is constructed of brick and stone. Twenty-six vaulted rooms (also called casements) are enclosed by outer walls that are 4.5 feet thick. This is open year-round, but again, we tend to travel off-season to many places that would typically be crowded. We saw one person coming in as we were leaving in early December.

Helen’s Bridge

Located in Asheville – Legends have it that the mansion was once home to Helen, a woman who lived here with her daughter.

A tragic fire claimed the daughter’s life and when Helen couldn’t bear the misfortune, she committed suicide by hanging herself from the bridge. To date, the bridge is known to be haunted by her spirit. Personally, we just think it’s a really scenic bridge.

Great Flat Water Kayaking

Merchants Millpond State Park

MEMerchants Millpond State Park

Southern swamp and hardwood forest mingle at Merchants Millpond State Park, adorning the landscape with massive bald cypress trees, beech groves, Spanish moss, and exotic wildlife. Please be forewarned, there are gators and snakes and … and … and … Ha! The cypress trees and quiet and frogs croaking and birds singing is just one of the most peaceful flatwater floats. 

Here are a few more blogs we think you’ll love!


BOONDOCKING


Our first pick isn’t technically FREE boondocking. But it is dry camping none the less. It cost us $2.50 a night, we were backed up to a beautiful stream we could listen to, and it was really epic!! Here is our video with some more information. In fact, there are several places in the Pisgah National Forest to boondock. 

  • We are very fond of horse camps. All the ones we’ve been in have had plenty of room for us. Hence the horse trailers must be able to fit too! Badin Horse Camp is also located in Troy, NC. GPS: 35.442526, -80.04055. This area can get a little crowded on weekends due to horse owners wanting to ride the trails. 
  • Yates PlaceTroy NC National Forest campground – GPS: 35.364606, -79.989031 – Open all year, great Verizon and ATT service. Beautiful forest views. 
  • 2020 Update! We boondocked at Oyster Point Campground. It is true boondocking with no hookups, but it is a managed campground with a camp host, water on site, and pit toilets. It does cost $10 a night, but we really liked the location. The sites are huge! Here’s a picture of our site from the front and then once we backed in. Awesome Verizon and ATT signal.

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Pennsylvania. Cool and Hidden Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

If this is your first time here – WELCOME! If not, welcome back!! As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the hidden treasures in every state. We love the big popular attractions like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique and different. We also love finding the road less traveled and taking it. But, we certainly can’t explore them all, so we’d love you to share your own off the beaten path stories with us. Each series will include our favorite free and paid RV camping areas in each state.

When Justin retired from the military in 2010, we moved back to his home state of Pennsylvania. We bought a home, settled in a beautiful area, and started our path to what everyone perceives as “normal”. The rest of the story can be found on our About Us page. We lived in Lehigh Valley, and if you haven’t been in that area, there is so much to see and do just in Lehigh County. 

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The history in PA is stunning! But It’s hard not to stop, giggle and take a picture with some town signs in Pennsylvania, with names like Intercourse, Blue Ball, Provocative, and Virginville popping up across the countryside. Another favorite is “Bird in Hand” located near Lancaster, PA. Not to mention just the crazy, hard to pronounce, city names. Very dutch, that’s for sure! 

Fun Fact: Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the banana split.

Gettysburg

If you haven’t been to Gettysburg it’s full of history and beauty. Highly recommend it!! It’s not really an unpopular or unknown place, so I won’t go into too much detail but it’s a beautiful place to walk around and for the kids to learn the history. Did you know you can download a driving tour app on your phone for $10? Totally worth it! It’s the best interactive historical information I’ve seen in a long time.

Saylor Park

Coplay (Lehigh Valley). Loved this little “park”. There is such great history on these cement kilns. The 90-foot kilns were a marked improvement over prior methods and helped make Lehigh County the center of the Portland Cement Industry at the time. Portland cement enabled the construction of bridges, subways, and buildings that transformed America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is open year-round and has a beautiful, paved walking trail that goes for miles. We walked to the train bridge, which is no longer in use here at the park, but another great piece of history. This is a great day trip option and free to check out.

Bethlehem Steel

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If you like the history of the old Bethlehem Steel company, you’ll love walking around this area. Many photographers come to take wedding pictures, engagement photos, senior pictures, or family pictures here. Makes for an amazing backdrop. 

Presque Isle

Like most people in and around Pennsylvania, most are not aware of the beach just outside of Erie called Presque Isle. Presque Isle is a peninsula that stretches along the shore. While you may generally think of driving south to head to a beach, you may never consider driving ‘north’. Well, now you can, especially considering that Presque Isle has everything to offer that any other popular beach would have, such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

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When you can’t get away for too long, you can drive a short distance and spend the day at Presque Isle. Relax on the beach or enjoy yourself by immersing yourself in all that is offered to you at Presque Isle. Imagine just going a short distance for the day only to return home refreshed and rejuvenated.

Columcille  Megalith Park 

This place was so amazing we did a whole new blog post about it. A land of myth and mystery located in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania. A park rooted in Celtic spirituality and inspired by the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland …. Click here to read more

Mutter Museum

Located in Philadelphia if you aren’t into odd and strange you might want to skip this. We happen to have a daughter who is double majoring in Forensic Science and this is really right out her ally. The museum consists of thousands of medical tools, along with, pathological and anatomical specimens, which have been preserved.

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Some might find it too gross to stomach, and others (like us) find it absolutely fascinating and informational. The human body is remarkable. Many of the tools and specimens once belonged to influential people in the medical and science fields. Even though you may not have a particular interest in medicine or science, one thing is clear, you will not be able to say this museum was dull. 

Eastern State Penitentiary

Thrust into the middle of urban Philadelphia is what looks like a great castle, a massive and haunting building. However, these walls weren’t built to keep Crusaders and robbers out, but to keep them in. This castle is a prison. I would highly recommend the self-guided tour. They give you some headphones and you are thrown into the story of the penitentiary. We also took the regular guide-led tour but preferred the self-guided, pre-recorded tour. Really fascinating. This is also where Al Capone’s cell was. This place was one of my favorite places to photograph.

Centralia

Have you heard of this town even? A toxic ghost town sitting on top of a massive coal fire that has been burning since 1962. As of 2007, Centralia had nine residents. When we were there, we saw no sign or residents who seemed to live there. Also, we didn’t see smoke coming up from the main street now known as Graffiti Highway. We are not ok with any sort of vandalism, but this particular highway is one of those abandoned iconic places where it is truly a work of ever-changing artwork. We would have liked to see the smoke coming up from the big crack in the middle of the road. I hear it’s intermittent and possibly the fire has put itself out after burning for over 50 years. We also read somewhere that this street was featured in the horror movie Silent Hill. 2020 UPDATE – Sadly, we just found out this place was having some major crime events, and therefore has been buried in dirt, and is no longer available to visit. I hope you got there before this happened. It was a great part of our history!

Fallingwater House

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Over the years, I think this has gotten more popular, but I still run across people who haven’t see this or haven’t ever even heard of it. Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic home dangles over a Pennsylvania waterfall. 

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle

This is not your typical boring museum. Take the kids!!!! They will LOVE this place. Hanging from the ceilings are baby buggies, and boats along with about a million other oddities. It’s a very strange, and unique type of “museum”. This Eccentric concrete mansion and museum designed and built by hand from the inside out. This place is nothing shy or sensory overload.

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It’s absolutely impossible to see this place in one visit. Or at least to remember seeing everything there is in there. The story on why it was built completely of concrete is kinds of interesting too. It’s a fantastic place to take family or senior pictures, so if you’re interested in photography, it’s definitely an amazing place for portraits. I’ve had both my kids here several times to take photos. 

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Mercer Museum

Penn’s Cave

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Penn’s Cave

Another place that has definitely gotten a little more popular, but again, still worth a mention if you’ve not heard of it. Boats take visitors through Penn’s Cave, a quarter-mile subterranean waterway with ornate limestone formations and a bat colony, all underneath a working farm. Penn’s Cave is located in Centre Hall, PA.

Longwood Gardens

I believe this place is amazing all year round, but I’ve only ever been at Christmas. If you haven’t ever been here, and you’re going to be around during the Christmas holiday season, make sure you put this place on your list. 

Archbald Pothole – Worlds Largest Pothole

So I put this on the list because it’s definitely off the beaten path and strange. I, personally, wasn’t real impressed. In fact I couldn’t find any pictures that I took to share even. Ha! It was just a big hole in the ground, where most people are now throwing trash. But since it’s different, and something interesting to see, if you’re in the area, you can say you saw it. Ha!  The pothole is believed to have been formed around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago by whirling glacial waters combined with sand and stones.

Lehigh Valley and all through PA you will find Covered Bridge self guided driving routes. Take one!! You’ll never see so many covered bridges! 

Jim Thorpe

The town of Jim Thorpe. Absolutely, 100% my favorite town to visit. I’ve been there numerous times, in every season, and I love it there. We’ve done white water rafting there, a train ride, bike riding, and just exploring the unique, one of a kind shops in the town. You can drive up to the top of the town and look out over it. It’s just a beautiful, old town and an amazing place to spend the day. There is the Old Jail Museum there which I have not visited. But there is a handprint on Cell #17 that they have tried to wash off, paint over and it still keeps coming through. Haunted? You be the judge. If you’re going to Jim Thorpe, take a hike up to Glen Onoko Falls. We have not been up there yet, but it’s definitely on our list. Make sure you drive (or walk) up the trail that overlooks the whole city. Incredible views looking down on the whole town. There is also an amazing bike path, an old steam engine train ride, and of course, white water rafting in the summer.

UPDATE! We hiked Glen Onoko Falls! Beautiful, but dangerous hike. This trail has been closed several times for deaths relating to falling. Please be aware of your footing, and always wear appropriate shoes. I can’t tell you how many people we saw hiking in flip flops, and taking chances here you just should not. There are a few rock scrambles on this trail. Also, there are two trails. We took the harder trail up, and the easier trail down. Do your research to find what is best for your skill level. This steep, tree-covered path for hikers features multiple waterfalls & scenic views. Definitely worth the hike!!

Have you seen our other “Off the Beaten Path” blogs? Please check them out and please share!

Have you seen some unique and wonderful places in PA? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts below, share our content with your friends, and don’t forget to check back often. We are always updating our blog!

RV Camping in Pennsylvania

Click the button below to see our favorite RV camping, both free and paid, in PA.

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in West Virginia. Unique and Hidden Gems in West Virginia

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures, and all with GPS coordinates. 

WV

When our youngest daughter was accepted into the forensic program at WVU in Morgantown, we were excited to see and explore WV. We hadn’t been there before, and  So we found ourselves venturing to WV a lot to visit. WOW! What an amazing, beautiful state to explore!! Fall in WV is spectacular. 

What did we notice a lot of? Abandoned towns, jails, theme parks, schools, etc. If you’re into exploring abandoned places, this is your Mecca. Did you also know that the Worlds Largest Teapot can be found in WV? This is not something I went to see, but maybe if I were driving near Chester, I might stop for a picture. 

New River Gorge Bridge

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Fayetteville, WV – I’m not sure if this is really something to go out of your way to see, but it is very impressive!! Built in 1977 and ranking among Earth’s finest mega-bridges, the New River Gorge Bridge can be challenging enough to motorists’ bravery simply when driving across. But one day each year it takes thrill-seeking to a whole new level when base jumpers from all over the world cling to its girders and fling themselves off in a massive festival made special for its legality, of all things.  The views over the gorge are amazing!

While you’re in Fayetteville, check out Nuttallburg. Hikers can still stroll beneath the long conveyor of this abandoned mining facility hidden in a West Virginia river gorge. First established in 1870, the Nuttalberg Coal Mining Complex and its attendant ghost town have been abandoned since the early 20th century, but determined hikers can still visit the remains of the operation which are sitting in a lush West Virginia river gorge.

Berkeley Springs Castle

Samuel Taylor Suit was many things: a successful whiskey distiller; an honorary Kentucky colonel; and a wealthy, well-connected landowner, businessman, and politician.

meBerkeley Springs Castle

He was also unlucky in love. Samuel Suit’s first wife died in childbirth, and his second wife divorced him after 20 years of marriage that proved to be socially advantageous but otherwise deeply contentious. When he fell in love a third time, it was with Rosa Pelham, daughter of a Congressman from Alabama, and 29 years his junior. The couple married, and Samuel built his new bride a castle. Access to this castle is not allowed, but you can certainly see it easily from the road. 

Fun Places in West Virginia to Explore as a Family

If you’re in the area of  Berkeley Springs, to do a drive-by of the castle above, and you are curious about where George Washington took a bath — Check out George Washington’s Bathtub.

Nelson Rocks / Suspension Bridge

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A popular, busy place is Seneca Rocks. But have you heard of Nelson Rocks? Located in the North Folk Valley of Pendleton County, WV. This is just an amazing sight to see. Would I cross that bridge? NOPE! But it is such a sight to see. Nelson Rocks, in the North Fork Valley of West Virginia, is located just 10 miles south of Seneca Rocks. This unique rock formation is comprised of two razorbacks “Fin” ridge-lines of Quartzite rock. When you make it to the bridge, definitely take a minute to have a drink of water. This is the part of the trip where most people discover they have a fear of heights. Ha! The bridge spans roughly 150 ft across and takes you over the gap and valley floor located 200+ ft below. If you are afraid of heights and have made it this far, I applaud you! Take the bridge slowly. Each wooden plank is roughly a foot apart and will require you to look down as you make each step. You are clipped into the steel cable, but the bridge swings if you move too fast.

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Curious Rock

Located in Spencer, WV – Natural formation or Native American totem? Local legends imply that it could be either, or perhaps both. Onlookers say this large, 20 ft rock formation looks like a “God” sitting on the mountain top. After a 2 hour hike, this unexplained tower appears to have an altar for worship, or simply a sitting area for visitors. The large capstone precariously sitting atop the stone column almost looks like a hat. While there are local mysteries regarding the formation’s origins, geologists actually have a name for this type of rock: a “Table Rock” formation, not unlike the Jug Rock formation in Indiana (which I mention in my blog here) or the Turnip Rock formation in Michigan (which I mention in my blog here). 

Old Abandoned Dam in Spencer, WV

If you decide to check out the above Curious Rock, make sure you take a side trip and also explore the old Dam in Spencer too. This is an incredible hike to an abandoned dam in the middle of a forest. The hike is easy and less than a 2-mile round trip hike. Well worth it! The name of the trail is called Ben’s Run trail.

WVU PRT

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Most of our time was spent in the Morgantown area. Whether you have ties to WVU or not, you just gotta check out this university. It’s absolutely gorgeous!! And if you haven’t seen their PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system it’s the most fun, and unique transit system aside from Disneyland, we’ve ever seen. The first of its kind, and greenlit in the early 1970s as a federally funded transportation pilot project, the Morgantown PRT was designed by Boeing and cost $120 million to construct. In continual usage since 1975, the system consists of a fleet of 71 automated, rubber-wheeled vehicles operating on an 8.7-mile long network of elevated guideways. It features a number of inventive features, including a heating system that pumps chemicals and warm water onto the tracks to clear them of snow in the winter. Unlike similar transit systems, travelers on the Morgantown PRT can travel directly to their final destination, without additional stops along the way. We love going to visit and seeing the PRT running all over the place. 

Favorite Waterfalls

If you follow our blogs, you know waterfalls are my favorite! Aside from the beautiful waterfall at Blackwater Falls State Park (see below), check out Cascade on Glade Creek in Babcock State Park.

Henry Clay Iron Furnace

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Justin and I like to hike, and last year we hiked to the Henry Clay Iron Furnace. It’s an easy hike, and really a neat part of history. (Yes, Justin likes to investigate inside things like this) These furnaces processed ore into raw pig iron that was necessary to drive the industrial revolution and the growing appetite for steel and ironworks that came with it. Iron furnaces were especially prevalent throughout central and western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia (Virginia at the time).  It’s about a 3/4 of a mile hike from Coopers Rock.

Coopers Rock

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Speaking of Cooper’s Rock! WOW! It’s all about the views! Located 13 miles from Morgantown, a few minutes off Interstate 68, the forest has many overlooks of the canyon section of the Cheat River that offer breathtaking views in any season. I think we’ve been there every single time we’ve visited our daughter. And every single time we’ve seen something new. One year we hiked in pouring down rain just to be able to complete one of the many magnificent hikes there. I’ll bet there are 7-10 different hiking trails at Coopers Rock, and each one shows you something different. The overlook area is just a super short walk from the parking lot. So if you aren’t into hiking, make sure you at least take the paved path to the overlook. It’s breathtaking! If you love Geocaching, there are quite a lot at Coopers Rock. Don’t know what Geocaching is? Check out our blog here and you’ll be hooked! It’s free fun for big kids and young kids!

Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory

Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory  Monroe County  – The Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory is located in an old forest service fire tower. It’s the perfect spot for viewing hawks, eagles, falcons and osprey, especially during migration season from August through November. Find the observatory about halfway between Waiteville and Gap Mills

Oregon Cave

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Organ Cave – You know we love caves if you’ve been following our other Off the Beaten Path blogs. A visit to Organ Cave is definitely worth the drive. This cave has bats, fossils, rock formations and an interesting Civil War history. Take one of three tours to explore the cave and learn all about this interesting natural wonder. You’ll find it south of I-64 in Greenbrier County.

Blackwater Falls State Park

BLACKWATER FALLS STATE PARK

Blackwater Falls State Park – Another beautiful, amazing state park that is hardly heard of. The waterfall is easy to get to and see, and well worth the trip. FYI, the state park has no cell service, so if someone is meeting you there, make sure all communication is done prior. Also, don’t miss the Elakala Falls in this park.

Boondocking

  • Summerville Dam Site Army Corps Of Engineers GPS: 38.2175, -80.8901
  • St. Albans Roadside Park City Park – Only 3 sites – max stay 2 days – Free electric hookups GPS: 38.3884, -81.8249
  • Little River dispersed camping Durbin, West Virginia RV size is unlimited GPS: 38.650157, -79.74618 Monongahela National Forest’s Greenbrier Ranger District on FR17
  • Gandy Creek dispersed camping Whitmer, West Virginia GPS: 38.76688, -79.57288 About 25 sites, unlimited RV length
  • Dolly Sods at Bear Rocks WV – Davis WV GPS: 39.065981, -79.301634 Bear Rocks is spectacularly beautiful with great scenic views

Thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet! We hope you found some value and fun things to put on your West Virginia bucket list! Please share your favorite hidden gems with us! And check back often! We update our blogs with new places and things to do all the time.

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Arkansas. 11 Hidden Gems We Bet You Didn’t Know About.

As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include a link to our most amazing boondocking locations.


Disclaimer about my Arkansas blog … I hope you like waterfalls! Ha! I’m drawn to waterfalls, and Arkansas is full of them!

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in Murfreesboro (say the name of that city 5 times! I was in this area for over a week and still couldn’t say the city correctly). Today, the site of his discovery, Crater of Diamonds State Park, is the only diamond mine in the world that’s open to the public, and you can keep what you find. Unfortunately we didn’t find anything. Though, there are signs everywhere (and we spoke to many people) who actually take buckets home and go through what they – have rock by rock. Hummm … That’s certainly dedication.

Quigley’s Castle

Known as “The Ozarks’ Strangest Dwelling,” Quigley’s Castle is more of an odd stone house than a castle. Ms. Quigley demolished the original house that she and her husband were living in while her husband was away so that he would have to help her build this strange new dwelling. The ploy seems to have worked. Check this place out for sure!! We ran out of time, and didn’t get a chance to go here, but if you want to find out more information, click here

Pivot Rock Park

Pivot Rock is not hard to find at all. It is located on Pivot Rock Road off of Highway 62 West in Eureka Springs. The titular rock looks like an upside-down pyramid, right down to the stepped ridges on its edges.

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Other formations on grounds, which are easily accessible via paved paths through the wilderness, include the Natural Bridge formation.

The Glory Hole Falls

Not the best of names to pick, but The Glory Hole Falls is really unique and different. It is located near Swain, in Newton County, Arkansas. Although it is in a little-visited place, this waterfall seems unreal as a creek pours directly through a perfectly rounded hole from the ceiling of a cave.

The unique Glory Hole Falls changes according to the time of day and the light and sometimes catches the light as it splashes into the creek and forms several tiny rainbows.

Whitaker Point

Whitaker Point is located near Deer, AR. Though this is an amazing hike and fantastic views, it’s not a popular hike at all. I’m not sure why! It’s only 3 miles round trip.

The trail’s destination is the “Crag”, a rock formation that juts out from the bluff’s face that resembles a hawk’s beak.  It overlooks Whitaker Creek and a huge valley stretching for a long distance.  but this is not all, in the spring and fall rainy season you can discover a number of waterfalls.

Roark’s Bluff

Roark’s Bluff is located in Newton County. Towers over the Arkansas skyline. The surrounding area is stunning, especially in the fall. If you’re lucky enough to visit during high water, you’ll see two magnificent waterfalls. Roark Bluff Falls and V Notch Falls.

Devil’s Den State Park

Concealed within the Ozark Valley, This state park is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. You’ll find Lake Devil, created by a native stone dam, deep inside the heart of the park, and the peaceful water is a sight that should be on anybody’s bucket list!

The Buffalo River

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Best Kayaking – The Buffalo River. The rock walls, the calm river. This is just a spectacular place to kayak. We personally like flatwater kayaking, but I believe I did some research and you can find some more spirited areas to do some white water kayaking if that’s your thing.

The Lakes of Cosmic Cavern

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Located in Northern AR, near the town of Berryville. Cosmic Cavern is one of Arkansas’s most impressive caves, a stunning cave experience. What’s hiding in that gorgeous cave is two bottomless lakes, and there’s nothing like gazing into that sapphire water. 

Richland Creek Wilderness Area

This is truly one of the Natural State’s most awe-inspiring treasures. It’s almost 12,000 acres of scenic woods and the many incredible waterfalls in the area.

Arkansas’s waterfall paradise is rustic, but it is also a total wonderland. This is a perfect year to go! AR has had almost too much rain this year, so lakes and waterfalls are definitely full and flowing. 

Pam’s Grotto

Near Haw Creek Campground. A little hidden gem right in the middle of the Ozarks. Pam’s Grotto Waterfall Trail is a 0.8 mile out and back trail located near Hagarville, Arkansas that features a waterfall at the end. Hiking trail is pretty easy! The trail is accessible year-round.

Looking for the best RV Camping in Arkansas? We found a lot of great free places! Click the button below to check out the RV Camping in Arkansas.

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Thank you for checking out our little corner of the internet. We hope you found value and some great information to explore and live your best life! Come back often! We are always updating as we travel.