Why Lewis and Clark Trail is a Perfect Family Summer Road Trip

When looking for the perfect family summer road trip in the United States, Route 66 or Highway 1 might be the first things in your mind. What if we told you that you can immerse yourself in a completely different and unique experience? A route packed with amazing sites that uncover some of the most beautiful places in America? Not to mention it’s family-friendly with experiences you can participate in with your kids! Introducing, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail road trip! 

Lewis and Clark Family Summer Road Trip

What is the Lewis and Clark Trail?  

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT) covers almost 6,157 miles of autoroute across 16 states. Although it is not well known outside the country or well-traveled amongst Americans, the trail is probably the best way to explore the USA!

The history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition goes back to the years 1804-1806. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on a journey across the country’s newly acquired western portion after the Louisiana Purchase. The expedition contributed significantly to the geographic knowledge of the country. It also became a big part of America’s history. The trail now extends from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Columbia River in Oregon.

Why Lewis and Clark trail can be the perfect summer family road trip?  

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail connects different places, sites, and communities along its route. There’s no doubt that it can be a fantastic idea for a summer family road trip spent in the United States. The trail covers thousands of miles. Because of this, you can pick whichever place you would like to start with and continue your journey from there.  

Here are some of the reasons why you should take a summer family road trip along the Lewis and Clark trail:  

1. It is one of a kind experience that allows you to visit completely new places 

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail doesn’t cover the typical famous places such as California or Utah. It stretches along with the states you probably wouldn’t normally consider traveling to. The trail covers less traveled states like Montana or Idaho full of many unmissable hidden gems. With so many sites along the trail, you can choose ones you’re most interested in and fully immerse yourself.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or climber, or you just want to discover the abundance of wildlife and admire the beauty of landscapes – the Lewis and Clark trail has it all. One day you can be driving through the Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania which covers more than 7,500 acres of land, and the next day you may stop at the Martins Ferry Strawberry Festival in Ohio to experience live music and local crafters.

Or if you’re into camping, the Lewis and Clark trail offers countless family campsites. For example, Gorge Base Camp RV Park is located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. It is the ideal place for those traveling through the river.

With a road trip, you can discover the secret gems and places the Lewis and Clark trail has to offer. They all make up a fantastic summer family road trip experience. Explore all the cool family-friendly things to do along the trail and bring your family along!

Lewis and Clark Family Summer Road Trip

2. The Lewis and Clark Trail is an enriching experience that allows you to learn about the history of the US. 

Given the historical significance of the Lewis and Clark Trail, choosing LCNHT for a summer family road trip is a great way to learn about the history of the U.S and native Americans. Whether you remember Lewis and Clark from your school lessons, or you’re outside of America and want to grasp this major chapter in the history of American exploration – there’s no better alternative than LCNHT.

Native American tribes played an integral role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They served as focal points of trading goods. Gaining their friendship was crucial for Lewis and Clark for both military and economic reasons. The Indian’s knowledge also contributed to the development of maps and route information. Acknowledging the Tribes’ importance by making sure their voices are heard is key when learning about the Expedition’s history.

Along the trail, you can find many native American experiences – especially in the state of Oregon, where many local points of interest are located. For example, as you drive through Hood River, you may come across multiple sites associated with American cultures. Places like the Gorge Heritage Museum or the historical Indian Salmon Harvest in Maryhill where you can enjoy a distinctly flavored salmon. If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out this itinerary that focuses on the Nez Perce Adventure Tour. This was a legendary part of the route of Lewis and Clark when they were heading back home.

Lewis and Clark Family Summer Road Trip

3. The Lewis and Clark trail is a sustainable travel choice for a summer family road trip 

If you’re looking for a sustainable way to travel through the U.S., LCNHT should be on your bucket list. The LCNHT aims to uncover and promote all the local businesses along the route. This is the perfect way to show your support and appreciation for the tourism industry. You can make sure the profits go exactly where they are needed – to the local communities!

With multiple hidden gems along the trail, you will be part of a truly authentic experience whilst reliving the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail is part of the Sustainable Tourism Program. This is a program that aims to provide benefits to destinations and communities. You can be sure that highlighted points of interest include local cuisines, artists, and historic places. Such places serve as excellent pit stops for when you’re hungry or when your kids get tired after a long day of hiking.

Before planning your ultimate summer family road trip along the LCNHT trail, make sure to check out these tips that will help you to travel more sustainably.

Lewis and Clark Family Summer Road Trip

We hope that now after reading this article, you are excited to embark on the incredibly enriching road trip experience along the LCNHT trail. 

No other route will teach you so much about the United States than the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. And with boundless sites along the way, your summer family road trip will be rich in memories and experiences.

Want to learn more about the Trail? Explore our website with the interactive map and get all the inspiration for your next summer family road trip!