Wildlife Watch |RTX Traveler Magazine Issue 21 Exclusive Destinations

wildlife 1Slow down, relax and enjoy the natural world at these destinations.

wildlife 2BANFF, ALBERTA, CANADA
The 2,500 square mile Banff National Park is a boon for wildlife viewing. Fifty three species of mammals call this place home, including moose, elk, caribou, mule and white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, cougars, black and grizzly bears, and all sorts of cute rodents. Miles and miles of roads and trails crisscross the park. Keep your eyes open and you’ll be able to see these spectacular animals in their natural habitat.

Wildlife 3MYRTLE BEACH, SC
One of the best birding parks on the east coast, Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet will wow you with its diversity. Enter the shaded coastal forest that opens onto a mile-long causeway over the estuary that rises and falls with the tide. View alligators, dozens of species of birds, and minks if you’re lucky. The park is set up for easy access, with boardwalks stretching deep into the wetland territory where you can observe the animals silently without disturbing their habitat. Amble just a little farther to find the spectacular 3-mile long stretch of sand, perfect for a beach day!

GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH, ALWildlife 4
The unique ecosystem of low dunes and coastal forest in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge makes for an ideal birding location. Take the sandy Jeff Friend Trail, the Centennial Trail, the Gator Lake Trail, or the Pine Beach Trail through maritime forest, dune swales, local wetlands, lagoons, and transitional habitat between the dunes and ocean. Many species of plants and birds can be seen along these trails, along with alligators in the wetland areas.

Wildlife 5BRANSON, MO
Missouri houses over 70 wild mammals, 200 species of fish, and more than 400 species of birds. Some of the more unusual animals that you might find if you’re looking are mink and gray fox. The Texas brown tarantula is also native to the state, and you might catch a glimpse of this reclusive species if you’re lucky. Check out the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation area or the Glade Top Trail in Mark Twain National Forest for sighting opportunities.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .

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