26 July, 2010

Park It

Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee
Do you know that the National Parks in the United States cover more than 84 million acres? That's one heck of a' playroom.

These parks and historical sites are as varied as the landscape of this country. From Dry Tortugas National Park in the warm waters off of the Florida Keys to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in the glacier carved wilderness of Alaska, there is a park for everyone.

These parks are fabulous destinations for a family holiday.  Even if your holiday is a long weekend.

Campsites and lodges are offered within many parks. In the summer, the national park rangers offer programs for families. 

A few years ago, in the Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee, my family participated in a program that educated kids and parents about the lifestyles of settlers to the area many years ago. My daughter really enjoyed the opportunity to churn the butter. It was hard work!

Visiting a National Park is like pulling up a front row seat to the wonders of nature. The natural wonders of the landscape and fauna are breathtaking as well as are the "inhabitants" of these parks. Your family may meet up with a bear, a wolf, or even an alligator! You can hike, mountain bike, snorkel, or raft down a river. Whatever you do, you will be sure to come face to face with nature.

Fees vary widely throughout the National Park system.  Some parks, such as Yellowstone National Park charge $25 per vehicle and some parks such as Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado/Utah border charge no entrance fee. 

This summer, all of the national parks will be free of charge the weekend of August 14-15, 2010. So, Get Out there!

Click here to find a park near you.

1 comment:

  1. My daughters love the Junior Ranger program offered at the National Parks. Just ask the Ranger at the front office and the kids get a book of activities to complete while touring the park. There is a ceremony and badge afterwards.

    We were fortunate to visit Volcanoes National Park this summer on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The lava formations are truly spectacular and otherworldly.