CUMBERLAND RIVER (BIG SOUTH FORK), KY/TN
The 106,000-acre South Fork Recreation Area is an unpopulated expanse with more than 380 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Climb 500-foot escarpments or scale the unnamed sandstone bluffs.
GREENBRIER RIVER, WV
The Greenbrier River Trail parallels the water for 76 miles through the Allegheny Front, a divide between the plateaus and ridges of the Appalachians, and runs into the 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest for 200 more miles of bike trails.
HOUSATONIC RIVER, CT
Sport and solitude in the Litchfield Hills of the northwest part of the state.
JACKS FORK AND CURRENT RIVERS, MO
In the Ozarks, more than 130 miles of mellow, spring fed river the 40-mile Jacks Fork is the main tributary of the Current are among the best tubing and canoeing waters in the nation. Camp on gravel islands between limestone bluffs and dolomite cliffs.
POTOMAC RIVER, DC/MD/VA/WV
The C&0 Canal runs riverside for 180 miles from the rugged hills of Maryland to sea level in Washington, DC. Hike, bike or camp the forest. Excellent rock climbing at Maryland's Great Falls and Carderock.
RIO GRANDE, TX
About halfway through its trek to the Gulf, the "Great River" veers almost 180 degrees, forming "Big Bend," the namesake feature of the 1252-square-mile national park. Primitive campsites are found on the 118 miles of river through limestone canyons; all are linked by 200 miles of trails.
ST. CROIX RIVER, MN/WI
Near the Twin Cities, the Wild and Scenic river is the border for 120 miles. Sail below Stillwater or paddle up above, hitting the Class II-IV Hell's Gate rapids of the Kettle River.
ST. LAWRENCE RIVER, CANADA/NY
The Thousand Islands-Seaway Region spreads across an archipelago of pink granite and limestone islands for 60 miles nexus for motorboats, sailboats and commercial vessels, not to mention great fishing for bass and enormous muskies.
SMITH RIVER, CA
Backpack in the 305,337-acre Smith River National Recreation Area and hike the 14-mile South Kelsey Trail up 5775-foot Baldy Peak to vistas of the Pacific.
TIPPECANOE RIVER, IN
"She's a misplaced north-country river," says retired pro canoeist Garry Hill of the Tippecanoe, a 166-mile-long rambler in north-central Indiana. Float 11 undeveloped miles through the leafy corridors of Tippecanoe State Park
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