You heard it here, first. National Parks are the unsung heroes of the United States.
What Makes National Parks Amazing?
It’s been a long year and we’ve all been cooped up inside. But, the weather is (kind of) shaping up toward summer, many restrictions are being lifted, and people are looking for an adventure!
Insert the National Parks … full of excitement, adventure, and fun waiting to be had. Need a rapid-fire list of what makes National Parks so great? Come, my friends, let’s talk.
Great for your health.
What’s better than being surrounded by amazing and nearly untouched nature? Not much. Well, other than the possible immune system benefits. (Have you seen the research about what even seeing foliage and living greenery can do for you?!)
Thanks to the biodiversity of this country we call home, no National Park is the same. Make your bucket list and you could check off several natural wonders without globetrotting (volcanoes, rainforests, glaciers, caves, etc.).
Pro Tip: Of the 63 National Parks, there are FIFTEEN in Washington State!
Immerse yourself with professional tour guides (optional, of course), maintained trails, classes, and so much more! You’re guaranteed to leave with more information than you came in with.
National Parks are far more affordable than that tropical vacation to Bali. Discounts for seniors and military, too! (Check the section below to see how to get in for free!)
No great adventure is without its flaws. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to avoid some of the missteps along the way! With the influx of travel this year after the pandemic, you’ll want to ensure you do a little prep work before you hit the trails. Looking for a place to start? Great news! The U.S. National Park Service has a fantastic article on how to plan your vacation like a park ranger.
The gist of it?
- Have more than one plan
- Stay safe
- Leave nothing but your footprints behind
- Follow the National Park Service’s rule of thumb … Hold your thumb up at arm’s length. If you can cover the entire wild animal with your thumb, you’re probably a safe distance away.
When should you visit the National Parks this year? Here’s a list of the days to adventure ANY National Park for free!
August 4: One-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 25: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
Have a fourth grader in your home this year? You’re in luck! The National Park Foundation offers free National Park passes for all fourth graders.