First published on usatoday.com
The search is on for a legendary character with plenty of bulk and facial hair, and we’re not talking Santa.Matthew Moneymaker, co-host of Animal Planet’sFinding Bigfoot, says the creatures have been seen in every state but Hawaii, "in places where there are enough deer to feed on." The Bigfoot Field Research Organization president is used to skeptics but believes Bigfoot is a descendant of an Asian relative of the orangutan. He shares with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY some spots where the hominids may live. more…
Redwoods State Park, Calif.
With its towering redwoods and thick forest, it’s hard to beat the atmosphere at this Northern California park. "It’s ancient looking, kind of a holdout from the Ice Age," Moneymaker says. He recommends taking a walk along the Smith River on Howland Hill Road. "We hear of lots of different sightings and sounds in there," he says. "I’ve found tracks crossing that road." 707-465-7335; parks.ca.gov/?page_id=413
Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, Ore.
You don’t have to go far to find Bigfoot. This area 20 miles east of Portland in the Mount Hood National Forest is prime spotting territory, Moneymaker says. Bigfoot apparently has a sweet tooth and goes ape for huckleberries, which grow in the area. Scores of campers have been scared off by noises and have had rocks thrown at them. The creatures, Moneymaker says, "do things to make you feel very uncomfortable." 503-668-1700; fs.usda.gov/mthood