01/25/2015 07:00 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2015

The Quietest Place In America Is One Square Inch In Olympic National Park


As travelers, we're always looking for places to unplug, unwind and totally disconnect from the hectic world we live in. Away from human buzz, we're able to get in touch with ourselves while truly getting away.

So apparently, we should head to this single square inch of land in Olympic National Park -- it's known as the quietest place in America.

Back in the 80s, acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton began a mission to find the quietest places in the U.S. -- armed with a tape recorder, he looked for places where he could record a whole tape's worth of sound without one human interruption from noises like planes, voices or cars. By the early 90s, he had concluded there were less than 12 of these "quiet places" in the entire lower 48 states.

And one of them is inside Olympic National Park.

The park is on Washington's northwest coast, draped in rainforest and stretching from wooded mountains all the way to ocean tide pools. It's known as a majestic place for both hidden beaches and glacier hikes.

To keep this place ultra-quiet, Hempton launched One Square Inch, in which he makes extreme efforts to protect one especially quiet inch of the park, a particular spot on the forested Hoh River Trail. Hempton has put in requests to airlines, asking that they re-route planes away from this inch of land to preserve its quietness. The theory is that by protecting this single inch of space from noise pollution, he'll end up saving large areas around it -- potentially the whole park -- as a result.

To get to "One Square Inch," aka the quietest place in America, visit Olympic National Park and head to the Visitor Center at Hoh Rain Forest. Take an approximately two-hour hike among ancient ferns to a mossy log, located at precisely 47° 51.959N and 123° 52.221W. You are now in what is quite possibly the quietest place in the continental United States.

Soak up the silence.

h/t BBC Travel



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