One of the benefits of hiking comes in the form of a mental health boost. Taking a long walk, in and of itself, can actually replicate some of the benefits of meditation. Put that long walk in a natural setting, and your brain is in for something wonderful. But a recent piece from Huffington Post ups the ante even further, citing a study that shows how waterfalls can give you a cognitive boost. Waterfalls release negative ions that increase blood flow to the brain, so making the time to relax by one of these natural wonders will benefit your overall health as well as your Instagram game.
The vast majority of the waterfalls are located in the vast expanses of the West. In California, you can take in the majesty of Yosemite Falls, some of the tallest in the world. Divided into three sections— the upper falls, the cascades, and the lower falls— Yosemite Falls can be viewed comfortably from Yosemite Valley. But adventurers can be rewarded with views from up close by completing a daunting eight hour hike.
The Golden State is also home to Vernal Fall, also in Yosemite; and Alamere Falls.
The latter is especially attractive. After a thirteen mile hike that for most will become a fun weekend excursion, explorers will see the full majesty of Alamere. It’s a tidefall, which means it empties right into the ocean.
The Pacific Northwest is also home to a number of breathtaking falls. Multnomah Falls in Oregon is considered to be one of the most beautiful vertical water formation in the country, and can easily be seen from the road. If hiking is more your thing, a 1.2 mile hike will take you to the top. Be warned— though the trail only clocks in at a mile, there are plenty of obstacles in the way.
While most of the falls are way out west, the article does show some love for falls east of the Mississippi. Of note are the underground Ruby Falls (Chattanooga, Tennessee), and Arethusa Falls (Hart’s Location, New Hampshire).