5 Midwestern Adventures Perfect For Traveling Solo

Very little can be more liberating than traveling solo. Wandering any terrain alone can seem daunting, but it is much easier to plan a satisfying itinerary with just one traveler. You’ll have the chance to reinvent yourself, push beyond your comfort zone and explore without distraction.

You might not think the Midwest is full of amazing outdoor adventures compared to other parts of the country, but don’t be mistaken. Below are five adventure activities spanning from relaxing yoga retreats to unique ice climbing. Don’t wait around for someone else for the chance to embark on an epic journey.

1/ Explore the depths of the Mark Twain Caves – Hannibal, Missouri
Experience the depths of darkness at a whole new level when you dive deep into the adventures of Tom Sawyer on a tour of the historic Mark Twain Cave, located in Hannibal, Missouri. Wander through the majestic underground world that Twain describes in five of his books, and while you’re there make sure to plan time to explore the above-ground world as well. With 1.5 million acres of alluring woodland, the Mark Twain National Forest is a breathtaking sight you won’t want to miss, complete with some of the greatest camping you’ll find east of the Rocky Mountains.

2/ Ice climb in Iowa – Cedar Falls, Iowa
Iowa is the ice-climbing destination you must not skip. Thankfully it is also perfect for first-timers, because it’s not a frozen waterfall cascading down a canyon. However, you will actually climb a steep waterfall, strategically engineered down the side of a grain silo. Yes, you read that correctly: a grain silo. For the past 15 years, an associate professor from the University of Northern Iowa has been designing this ice waterfall for travelers around the world to come climb. This recreational attraction proves many stereotypes about the Midwest wrong—that it’s boring or that it lacks adventure—and makes for a great opportunity to challenge yourself on a whole new level.

Solo Travel

3/ Wander through Cuyahoga National Park – Brecksville, Ohio
Discover more about yourself by visiting one of the nation’s most underrated national parks. You’ll have access to unpopulated natural beauty that you won’t have to share with thousands of others at the same time. You won’t have to worry about campsites not being available. You’ll find endless entertainment at this Midwestern park, with options including biking, hiking and boating. We recommend checking out the scenic train ride that is offered, as well.

4/ Canoe the boundary waters – Duluth, Minnesota
Thanks to the ancient glaciers that carved their way through the land that is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), adventure-seekers can enjoy canoeing the several thousand lakes and streams located in northeastern Minnesota. With a whopping 1 million acres and over 1,200 miles of different canoe routes, you could spend endless hours exploring and still not see all of its beauty. The BWCAW is also full of cliffs and canyons for voyagers to explore. The Boundary Waters is bordered by the in-state Voyageurs National Park and Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, making it the perfect place to enjoy time just for you.

5/ Plan a retreat away from your hometown
A writing retreat or a mini-trip for some yoga and meditation can be a great way to take care of your internal self, combining vacation with inspiration. Amidst the bustle and responsibilities of day-to-day life, we don’t think it’s a stretch to call a personal retreat a reward for any soul. The gift of isolation allows the opportunity to truly focus on yourself, for once.

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