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The Most Scenic Rivers In The United States

America is home to a number of iconic and beautiful rivers. The Missouri river, for example, stretches for 2,341 miles from Montana to the Mississippi, making it the biggest river in the country. Although many of America’s waterways are in danger due to widespread pollution and contamination, they’re still a great source of natural beauty. Whether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or simply enjoy exploring the country’s most known and loved landmarks, there’s no shortage of scenic rivers to discover across the country.

The Colorado River, Texas

The Colorado river is the 18th longest river in the US and one of the most beautiful waterways in Texas. The river runs through a number of major cities in Hill Country, including Austin. Spanning over 800 miles, the Colorado river has been nicknamed the American Nile and is one of the longest rivers to start and end in the same state. There’s numerous ways to enjoy this striking, winding lake — paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing being some of the most popular. The Lamar Pedestrian Bridge, in particular, provides beautiful sunset views over Lady Bird Lake, a pretty reservoir on the Colorado river. And, the railroad bridge over to the east showcases some of Austin’s best graffiti art.

Hanalei River, Hawaii

Located on the north shore of the island of Kauai, the Hanalei river flows for almost 16 miles from the eastern peaks of 3,500-foot-high Mount Waialeale right down to Hanalei Bay in the Pacific Ocean. Along its route, the Hanalei passes through some of America’s most beautiful landscapes, including a number of taro fields (a staple of the Native Hawaiian diet) and verdant tropical forests, as well as the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, the oldest of the three wildlife refuges in Kauai. Above all, the Hanalei river is popular for kayaking; Mt. Waialeale logs record-breaking rainfall (over 450 inches every year), meaning it’s one of the wettest places on earth. Tourists and locals enjoy kayaking along the Hanalei and enjoying the island’s pristine wilderness before ending up in Hanalei Bay, home to stunning white-sand beaches and blue ocean.

Hudson River, New York

Spanning around 315 miles long, the Hudson river flows almost entirely within the state of New York. It begins in the Upstate Adirondack Mountains near Mount Marcy and traverses through the Hudson Valley before hitting the Atlantic Ocean, forming the boundary between New Jersey and New York. The Hudson river offers many spots of natural beauty along its route, but particularly on its eastern corners which are encompassed by peaceful wilderness and plenty of greenery. In fact, people have been so enamored by the Hudson’s beauty that it inspired a whole new art movement, the Hudson River School, formed by a group of landscape painters.

The US is home to no shortage of beautiful, scenic rivers. The Colorado, Hanalei, and Hudson rivers are just a few of the best the country has to offer.

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