August 20, 2017

15 More Things to Do During National Park Week

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Wow, what a weekend we had here in DC. Saturday was completely gorgeous, sunny and 80 degrees. The perfect day for the Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival. Then Sunday was miserably cold and rainy all day. I don’t think it got warmer than 50 degrees all day. It’s hard to get excited about being outside after a day like today, but I wanted to press on and share 15 more things to do during National Park Week. So, here you go!

1. Ride a Horse. Many national parks offer guided horseback rides on scenic trails that can last from 45 minutes to several hours. Some parks even let you bring in your own horse to ride on designated trails.

2. Hunt for Treasure on the Beach. Some national parks also have beaches, so grab your bucket and shovel and start digging for hidden treasures. Check out the Top 10 National Park Beaches.

3. Perfect Your Bird Calls. Bird enthusiasts, grab your binoculars and notebook to prepare for a day of birding. Better, learn some bird songs to increase your enjoyment of the park’s native birds.

4. Ride in a Kayak. Many parks offer guided kayak tours or allow you to take a kayak out onto their waters. Ask about best places to kayak at the visitors center and don’t forget your life vest.

5. Cook on a Campfire. Set up a tent and cook a tasty meal after a long day of hiking, boating or fishing. Just make sure you know all regulations around campfires in the park.

6. Take a Ranger-Led Tour. Ask about ranger-led activities, like day hikes and evening nature walks. Bring water, bug spray and sturdy shoes, and get ready to learn the ins and outs of the park.

7. Hunt for Fossils. Some national parks, like big Glacier National Park in Montana and Big Bend National Park in Texas, are home to some amazing fossils and cultural artifacts, so keep your eyes open.

8. Go Stargazing. Check to see if your park offers a night sky program, like at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. This is a great way to learn about the constellations you can see in the spring sky.

9. Look for EarthCache Sites. Grab a GPS device, a park map and a compass, then look for EarthCache sites, which teach visitors about the geological significance of certain sites within the park.

10. Pick Up Trash. Let’s keep our national parks beautiful. If you see an empty bottle or a candy bar wrapper in the parks, pick it up and throw it away or recycle it if you can.

11. Go Rock Climbing. Some parks, like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, offer climbing schools with world-class guides, though this is often best for teens and adults.

12. Look for Wildlife. Every national park has its own specific wildlife, so ask at the visitors center what you can expect to see and keep your eyes open as you take in the park.

13. Buy a Postcard. Whether you capture your national park visit with some beautiful photos or a perfectly framed postcard, bring home the memory of your day(s) in the wilderness.

14. Go Swimming. Many national parks have great opportunities for swimming, so bring your swimsuit and splash in a lake, a waterfall or a stream. Just be careful since rocks can be slippery.

15. Watch a Movie. Head to the visitors center and ask if there is a short film you can watch on the history of your national park. It’s a great way to learn more and broaden your learning while in the park.

Have fun during National Park Week. If you missed my first post, 15 Things to Do During National Park Week, take a look and try to enjoy as many activities as a family as you can.

Photo Credit: Lee Coursey

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the information about National Parks Week. I’m glad you had nice weather in D.C. It’s been cold and rainy in Ohio. I didn’t feel like celebrating Earth Day this year because the weather was too cold for me. I do my best to pick up trash when I go to the park or walk around our neighborhood. It drives me nuts to find plastic bags and empty pop/water bottles which can harm wildlife.

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