Known by various names, the giant hairy, human-like forest dweller of North America has a legend that dates back centuries. One of the first depictions of what we know today as Bigfoot—a whole family of them, actually—appeared around 1,500 years ago, on a pictograph created by the Yokuts of the San Joaquin Valley. The more modern fascination with Bigfoot stomped out of the woods in the second half of the 20th-century, in particular after a True Magazine article highlighted the discovery of some purported Bigfoot tracks in the 1950s. Since then there have been thousands of sightings and other discoveries related to the creature. Now Bigfoot is an indispensable part of American lore (as it is for similar cryptids in other parts of the world). There are many places across the country—not just in the Western states where most Bigfoot hunters go looking—where you can view footprints and other items related to Bigfoot (or the Boggy Creek Monster, Sasquatch, or Skunk-Ape, depending on where you are).
In Cherry Log, Georgia, Expedition Bigfoot! is 4,000 square feet of hairy cryptid history collected from coast to coast, including the largest known permanent display of footprint casts. Ape Canyon, in Washington State, is the site of one of the most notorious Bigfoot encounters in history. In 1924, a group of miners claimed they were attacked by several mysterious hominins, who tossed large rocks at their cabin all night. There’s no telling what was truly bedeviling those miners, but the canyon got a new name, and has been attracting Bigfoot enthusiasts ever since. From research centers in the swamps of Florida to an alleged Bigfoot trap, here are 12 stops for a Great American Bigfoot Tour.