- New Mexico
You’ll be sharing the trails with many adorable animals — here are just a few you may see.
When exploring America’s sprawling landscapes, keep on the lookout for a flash of a white, fluffy tail or some giant paw prints.
#1: The Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
These fuzzy creatures are the most common rabbit species in North America — possibly because females can have up to 35 offspring per year.
Where to find them: Eastern cottontail rabbits live in meadows and shrubby areas all across the USA, especially in Eastern, South-central and Midwestern states. Keep your eyes peeled when exploring Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, 440 kilometers north of Minneapolis.
Eastern cottontail rabbit
#2: Abert’s Squirrel (Tassel-Eared Squirrel)
They may look surprised, but it's just their ear tufts. These squirrels are named for Colonel John James Abert, an 18th-century naturalist and topographer who organized the mapping of the American West.
Where to find them: Abert’s squirrels can be found throughout the Rocky Mountains, with concentrations in Arizona, New Mexico and the Colorado Plateau. You’ll find plenty of them scurrying around Bandelier National Monument, bout 170 kilometers north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
#3: Antelope Ground Squirrel
Antelope ground squirrels like it hot. They survive using a heat-reduction method called “heat dumping,” which means they lie flat on the ground in shaded areas with legs spread wide.
Where to find them: These squirrels thrive in desert and dry scrub areas across the Southwest. You may spot these tiny creatures on a visit to Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada (roughly 480 kilometers north of Las Vegas near the Utah border).
Antelope ground squirrel
#4: American Black Bear
Black bears look cuddly, but do not mess with them: They can run at speeds of 40 to 48 kilometers per hour and weigh up to 300 kilograms. Plus, their sense of smell is seven times greater than a dog’s, and their dexterity allows them to open screw-top jars and even door latches.
Where to find them: Different species exist throughout the United States’ forested regions, especially in the Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Northern Midwest, parts of the West Coast and Alaska. Keep an eye out for them when hiking in Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont on the Northeast Coast, about 250 kilometers northwest of Boston, Massachusetts.
American black bear and cubs
#5: Box Turtle
Look at the smile on this gal’s face — and yes, it is a gal. Male box turtles have red or orange eyes, while females have yellowish brown eyes.
Where to find them: The Eastern box turtle is found in the South-central, Eastern and Southeastern parts of the USA. Search the leafy forest floor in the Great Smoky Mountains, which stretch across North Carolina’s southwest border into Tennessee (about 270 kilometers west of Charlotte, North Carolina, and 330 kilometers east of Nashville, Tennessee).
#6: White-Tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer is so common in the USA that it is the state animal of nine states. These delicate-looking animals can eat just about anything – even poison ivy.
White-tailed doe and faun