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August 2009

The Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid: The Winning 25

From Boulder to Juneau to Bozeman, see which cities made the cut for the best place to raise an outdoor kid, and why.
16. Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA
Pop: 128,864 Median home: $236,706 Overall score: 56

Humboldt State offers Trinity Alps hikes, Dutch oven cooking classes


NorCal arts hotspot; 6 outdoor gear & watersports shops ring the bay


Nearby Redwood National Park offers the world’s tallest trees; Humboldt Bay NWR attracts 200 bird species; Mt. Shasta and the Lost Coast Trail are just hours away

17. Sevierville, TN
Pop: 11,757 Median home: $151,100 Overall score: 55

Smoky Mountain Field School links students to NPS scientists


Not as congested as Pigeon Forge and Dollywood; low TN taxes attract jobs & workers


10 minutes to trailheads leading into the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park; close to numerous put-ins for canoeing and fishing on the French Broad River

18. Bozeman, MT
Pop: 27,509 Median home: $253,000 Overall score: 54

Mountaineering Assoc. & Outdoor Science School teach joint youth classes


College & emerging high-tech town; 15% percent of commuters bike or walk


Most homes within 15-minute walk of mountain trailhead; 1-hour drive to Yellowstone; surrounded by wildlife and stunning national forests (Gallatin, Beaverhead, Deerlodge)

19. Rapid City, SD
Pop: 59,607 Median home: $150,000 Overall score: 53

SD Game, Fish, and Parks building new outdoor-ed facility


5.3% unemployment rate; no SD income tax; cost of living is 15% below national average


Sits in the shadow of the Black Hills and 7,242-foot Harney Peak–the highest point east of the Rockies; Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks are a short drive away

20. Brevard, NC
Pop: 6,789 Median home: $170,000 Overall score: 51

Pisgah Forest Institute trains educators, hosts summer science camps


Enviro studies-focused Brevard College; home to world-famous music festival


Renowned for its waterfalls, gorges, and swimming holes; surrounded by Pisgah NF, which has 5,000-foot peaks and endless singletrack; only 65 miles to Great Smokies

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