Top Towns to Raise Outdoorsy Kids
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 6:45 PM CDT
Mountains near Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) Backpacker combed through info on outdoor programs and proximity to national forests and parks to find the best cities in the US to raise active, crunchy kids. The results:

  • Boulder, Colo.: "Yes, we live here, but Boulder wins on its merits." Close to woods, glaciers, and mountains, the population of 94,673 has been named "Smartest" and "Most Livable" by Forbes.

  • Jackson, Wyo.: "Cheek-to-jowl with the Tetons, Yellowstone, and a bajillion elk, bison, and bears," the town of 9,631 boasts high test scores and outdoor companies.
  • Durango, Colo.: The 13,922 citizens here have access to top-notch "fly-fishing and rafting" on the Animas River that runs through town, and numerous 14,000 foot peaks. Kids can join hiking programs and get free fishing lessons.
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.: Schoolkids spend a week in the woods studying ecology, and the "Gateway to Grand Canyon" is "located in the world's largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest."
  • Juneau, Alaska: The 30,711 who live here have access to "an unrivaled cornucopia: Glacier Bay National Park (ice, bears), Tongass National Forest (trees, bears), and Admiralty Island (fish, bears)."
For the full list of 25 cities, click the link below.