Spring break is a time to take a trip to a shady beach town, blow way too much cash and make all sorts of regrettable mistakes. Alternatively, it could be a great time to relax, head to a warmer climate and spend a week swaying in the comfort of your best friend: the hammock. If you’d rather hop in a sack of happiness than grind on random strangers, consider this a guide to an easy-to-get-to, stress-free week off.
Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico
This New Mexican forest offers an incredibly unique mixture of old forest and desert terrain. You’ll find pine, fir, aspen, and oak to hang your home from after a day spent hopping from stream to bedrock to wildflowers to sub-alpine forests. Pay attention though, this is also the birthplace of Smokey the Bear and spring time is noted for it’s high winds and prevalence of forest fires.
Coronado National Forest, Arizona
Head for the oak and juniper forests of the Dragoon Mountains in Coronado National Forest. Explore deep canyons by day and return to your humble hammock for exceptional star gazing in this remote part of southern Arizona.
Los Padres National Forest, California
You may have to use extra straps to get your hammock around the massive redwood and pines on the Big Sur Coast section of Los Padres National Forest, one of the most dramatic landscapes in the country. It’s warm, it’s beach, it’s trees, it’s perfect for spring break in a hammock.
Davy Crockett National Forest, Texas
Head off into the woods of east Texas in the name of Mr. Crockett himself. 160,000 acres of pine-hardwoods should give you ample choices for slinging up a place to sleep and the massive amount of fowl in the area should do plenty to make sure you’re never able to fall asleep.
Tonto National Forest, Arizona
It’s the sort of landscape you’d imagine to find Butch Cassidy or at least Mel Gibson in Blazing Saddles. Avoid the cactus and head up into the highland areas to find plenty of pines to manage your hammock. From up there, you’ll have never ending desert sunset views and cool evenings to welcome you into spring.
Apalachicola National Forest, Florida
Suspend yourself among longleaf and slash pine above bogs, swamps and sinkholes in this national forest just outside of Tallahassee. Spring time should be warmer, but save you the extreme mugginess of high summer. Enjoy the wide variety of creepy sounding birds and your new neighbor, the alligator. Good thing you’re sleeping off the ground.
Ocala National Forest, Florida
Just a short trip away from Florida’s white sand beaches, this precious spot of forest land is filled with oak and pine that feed off the aquifers that abound in this area. Those same aquifers also help supply nearly 600 natural lakes and ponds, which means you’ll never be far from fantastic spot to camp. Not to mention Ocala is thought to be a Timucuan Indian word meaning “big hammock”. No big deal.