Giving Thanks for Special Places. Join the discussion!

Thanksgiving photo.

Our Web team has shared some thoughts about some special wild places that deserve a word of thanks. Read and enjoy. Then leave a place of your own! Click “add new comment” below to share the place that you cherish most.

Canyon Country, Utah

The region my family visits again and again is canyon country. It can be found in Colorado, Arizona and Utah, and we’ve explored in all these states, but some of the very best canyon country exists in southeastern Utah, that area The Wilderness Society wants to protect as America’s Red Rock Wilderness. The choices here are many – a quiet walk along a sandy wash, shaded by whispering cottonwoods; a meander through hidden canyons, with the chance of discovering a cliff dwelling or petroglyph; a scramble along a broad swale of yellow sandstone and a glimpse of geological time. This region has been counted sacred for so long by so many. I count myself among them. 
Kathy Kilmer, Director, Electronic Communications

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

I grew up within 40 miles of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, a fact I took for granted as a kid. These days, I’m grateful for the memories the nearness of the park provided, including countless family hikes to quiet mountain lakes. Last summer, I fired up old traditions, taking my 17-month-old son to the park for his first “hike.” The half mile loop around Bear Lake was an adventure for my son, who traveled much of the trail on his own, giggling, running ahead and falling down toddler style most of the way. It was June and snow still covered the shadier parts of the trail, making for a cool walk. This area of the park can hardly be called secluded, but nonetheless, the beauty of surrounding mountain peaks reflecting in the still waters of Bear Lake lake was a sight to behold.  
Laura Bailey, Web Editor

Baxter State Park, Maine

I visited Baxter State Park in Central Maine ten years ago and, to this day, have longed to return. A small park in the center of one this country’s most beautiful states, Baxter looks like a picture right out of National Geographic Magazine. With only a single dirt rode traversing five miles into the center, this park is truly wild in every possible way, with roaring streams, secluded mountain lakes, and the snow-capped peak of Mt. Khatadin. I spent three days back-packing through the park and only once ran across another person. If ever there was a place to truly experience the wild, Baxter State Park is it!
Mickey Handwerger, Data Coordinator

Sylvan Lake, South Dakota

Growing up in southwestern South Dakota, I spent most of my time planning my escape route. Now I look forward to my visits home to see family and get reacquainted with the Black Hills. This summer I took my boyfriend and young cousins to Sylvan Lake, one of my favorite places. We swam in the icy-cold water, climbed on the rough rock formations, indulged in silly diving competitions, and hiked around the lake soaking wet. Watching the girls relax into pure childhood joy for that afternoon was the perfect reminder of how lucky I was to grow up in such a simple and enriching place.
Tashia Tucker, Web Development Associate