Hawaii

Hawaii
Mitch Silver
See Maui’s High Side — From Up, Down, and In
From tropical to subarctic tundra, 10,023-foot Mount Haleakala is song to nature’s variety. Hikers can explore its crater in Haleakala National Park, either by camping or booking one of the three cabins along the trail. Everyone bikes down from Haleakala. Instead, bike up — 36 miles (start in Paia; rent your bike from Go Cycling Maui), 10,000 feet of climbing (four to six hours uphill, about 90 minutes back down) — and then treat yourself to a night (or two) of recovery at the nearby Nalu Kai Lodge. Really want to test your chops and glutes? Race to the top in the annual Cycle to the Sun; this year’s race is August 22. (808) 579-9009, gocyclingmaui.com

Georgia

Georgia
Courtesy Hike Inn
Hike Inn
Fittingly, the new Len Foote Hike Inn at Amicalola Falls State Park is accessible only by five-mile hike; from here you access some of Georgia’s loveliest outdoors (the Chattahoochee National Forest). Hike the four and a half miles from the Inn to Springer Mountain — the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail — and watch thru hikers start their long slog, content in knowing you’ll spend the night in a cozy bunk (the inn has 20 bunk rooms). Atlanta is about an hour’s drive away, with great mountain biking in Conyers (where mountain biking made its Olympic debut) and, right downtown, running and cycling in 189-acre Piedmont Park. (800) 581-8032, hike-inn.com

Southern California

Southern California
Courtesy Rehab United
Grab a Fun Workout … Really
Rehab United and The Sports Performance Center in San Diego focus on functional fitness — honing skills such as strength, speed, balance, power, and agility that are applicable to life outside the gym — and they do it with outside-the-box exercises that are actually fun. If you’re interested in improving in a specific sport, their trainers can teach you cutting-edge techniques. Just in town and looking for a fun workout? Drop in on Power Hour (for a very reasonable $10 drop-in fee, though some drop-in classes are free). For a glimpse at some outside-the-box play, see their YouTube video (youtube.com/rusportsperformance). (858) 279-5570, rehabunited.com

North America

North America
Aaron Teasdale/ Adventure Cycling Association
Mountain Bike Our Nation’s Glorious Spine
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is our country’s greatest off-road ride, with more than 2,400 miles of glorious traipse from the Mexican border to the Canadian border (and, possibly, right on into Canada). See some of our country’s most spectacular scenery, and, better yet, the ride is plenty doable: Much of the route rolls along forest service and logging roads, and you’ll intersect with civilization every two to three days. You can go it alone, but if you prefer a guided trip with creature comfort (nights spent in inns instead of camping), Adventure Cycling offers you Cycle the Divide, Montana (July 11 to 17, 2010). (800) 755-2453, adventurecycling.org

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania
Cody Goddard
Take a Down-Home,Philly-Style Paddle
Every year, beginning on the first weekend of June and running for a week (though you can just drop in for a day or two), Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River Sojourn sees a horde of fun-loving canoeists and kayakers navigate 112 miles of the Schuylkill River from Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia. The guided sojourn is a manageable paddle and homey affair for folks who prefer something less pretentious than a fancy guided trip, with shoreside camping, lunch stops in small burgs like Port Clinton, and plenty of education. This year’s Sojourn partners with the National Park Service, and rangers will address all manner of river lore. (484) 945-0200, schuylkillriver.org