USA TODAY International Edition

10BEST: Wild horses are a mane event

While the eagle might be our national symbol, the wild horse seems just as fitting. “It’s a very iconic American ideal. Wild horses represent freedom. There’s definitely a romantic vision,” says Darley Newman, host of the Emmy Award- winning PBS series Eq


TONTO NATIONAL FOREST ARIZONA When Arizona’s last major wild horse herd was slated for roundup and removal several years ago, local advocates successful­ly rallied to their defense, and the effort has been suspended. Visitors often can see the animals at recreation sites near the Salt River, but must purchase a dayuse pass to park and explore the sprawling forest, northeast of Phoenix. www. fs. usda. gov/ tonto/

CHINCOTEAG­UE, VIRGINIA Perhaps the nation’s most famous wild horses live on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Every summer for nearly a century, so- called Salt Water Cowboys from the Chincoteag­ue Volunteer Fire Department round up the ponies to swim them across a channel at low tide, a ritual made famous by the children’s book, Misty of Chincoteag­ue. Many are auctioned off, and the rest are returned to the wild. If you can’t make the July 26 swim date this year, the horses can still be seen year- round. chincoteag­uechamber. com

WAIPI’O VALLEY, HAWAII The 50th state typically conjures visions of palm trees and hula dancers, but the Big Island’s Valley of the Kings also is home to a wild horse herd. “They just roam through the valley. They’re not huge, but they’re super hardy,” says Newman, who rode on horseback to get a glimpse. “It’s neat to see them in this tropical valley with waterfalls.” naalapasta­bles. com

ONAQUI HERD DUGWAY, UTAH Perhaps it’s fitting wild horses now live along the route once used by the Pony Express, about 40 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. The herd, thought to have descended from escaped ranch horses, dates back more than a century. Visitors can see pintos, roans, bays, sorrels and more. exploretoo­ele. com

MORE 10BEST: TRAVEL. USATODAY. COM See lists for travel ideas online.

MCCULLOUGH PEAKS CODY, WYO. Some believe the wild mustangs in Wyoming are descendant­s from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. And they certainly look the part, Newman says. “The horses are gorgeous: buckskin, palomino, strawberry roan.” Plus, the setting is just as striking. “It’s almost desolate scenery. There are cliffs and canyons.” yellowston­ecountry. org

CUMBERLAND ISLAND GEORGIA This National Seashore doesn’t allow cars, so visitors must take a ferry to the island, and get around on foot or bicycle. “It’s a unique wild setting. You’ve got old plantation­s and you can see horses grazing around the ruins.” The Park Service says some of the horses may date to Spanish missionari­es, who settled the area in the late 1500s. nps. gov/ cuis

VIRGINIA RANGE NEVADA This wild herd just east of Reno is celebrated because its ancestors inspired Velma Johnston, known as Wild Horse Annie. She led efforts to create federal acts in 1959 and 1971 that called for the humane treatment of horses on federal lands. Newman took a guided tour to see them. “There’s something special about getting an insider’s point of view,” she says. renowildho­rsetours. com

GOWER PENINSULA, WALES Instead of picturing cowboys, visitors coming upon this herd are liable to think of King Arthur, who once ruled this dramatic, windswept region. “You can ride up from the beach and start venturing to the hills and find these wild ponies,” Newman says. “You’re in an area known for its myths and legends, and you’ve got these legendary horses running around as well.” visitswans­eabay. com

CAMARGUE, FRANCE Horse have inhabited this region of Provence for more than 1,000 years, wowing visitors with their grace. “They’re big strong horses, white and beautiful,” Newman says. The animals live in wetlands and marshes not far from the Mediterran­ean. “You might see horses with pink flamingoes nearby, which would be a wonderful photo.” us. france. fr

SABLE ISLAND, CANADA One of Canada’s newest national parks, a remote Atlantic island more than 100 miles off the Nova Scotia coast, protects a wild horse herd that has lived there for more than 250 years. The hardy, ponysize horses can be seen on beaches and marshes, sharing the island with gray seals and seabirds. Visitors, who arrive by charter boat and plane, must be prepared for weather delays, which can strand travelers for days. pc. gc. ca/ en/ pn- np/ ns/ sable/ index

 ?? JODY L MILLER ?? Wild horses wander along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest just outside of Mesa, Ariz.
JODY L MILLER Wild horses wander along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest just outside of Mesa, Ariz.
 ?? EQUITREKKI­NG ?? McCullough Peaks mustangs may be linked to Buffalo Bill.
EQUITREKKI­NG McCullough Peaks mustangs may be linked to Buffalo Bill.

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