9 Exciting National Park Adventures to Take this Spring from 9 Exciting National Park Adventures to Take this Spring
9 Exciting National Park Adventures to Take this Spring
Our friends at the National Park Foundation recently put together a list of must-see and do seasonal attractions taking place this spring at a handful of the most scenic and ornate National Parks across the U.S. From hiking river-side trails and birdwatching to a mini “triathlon” and educational nature adventures, these national park events and activities are the perfect opportunities for celebrating the great outdoors as spring begins to blossom.
Russell Cave National Monument, Ala.
At Russel Cave you can choose from a handful of intriguing outdoor activities. Take a stroll through the picturesque wildflower meadow, home to vibrant perennials, like black-eyed susans and purple cone flowers, or take a hike along the North Alabama Birding Trail: a 1.2-mile route through the lively forest of Montage Mountain where you can spot 115 different species of birds and maybe even a red fox. Visitors can also reconnect with their ancestors through a prehistoric tools and weapons demonstration hosted by park rangers.
Buffalo National River, Ark.
The fourth annual Spring Fling Hike at the Buffalo National River follows the 3-mile route along the park’s River View Trail and offers participants the chance to learn about the area’s history through a guided park ranger tour. An easy- to moderate-level hike, you’ll stop at the Sod Collier Homestead for a lunch break before heading back to the Visitor Center while learning about plants and wildflowers along the way.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Calif
Situated on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, a visit to this sea-side park makes for a quintessential spring outing. Visitors can participate in hands-on exhibits at the Hyde Street Pier, explore the Maritime Research Center and Maritime Museum, take part in monthly sing-a-long music events, and even embark on a sailing adventure aboard the historic scow schooner, Alma.
Big Cypress National Preserve, Fla.
Through May 31, 2015, Big Cypress will host a daily Tamiami Trail “Triathlon." This adventurous race makes for an exciting tour of the Tamiami Trail, with participants completing a 15-mile bike ride, three-mile hike and a 3.5-mile canoe or kayak ride through Everglades City. At the end of each leg, athletes are prompted with a question about an observation along the trail, and prizes are awarded once all three are completed.
Fort Scott National Historic Site, Kan.
Visitors to this historic site are presented with the opportunity to participate in a Civil War encampment. Re-enactors will bring Civil War history to life with a recreation of the Union Army’s occupation of Fort Scott. The park is home to 20 historic structures and five acres of restored tallgrass prairie, which can be explored via a short but scenic walking trail.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, La.
Explore the history of New Orleans with an hour-long stroll along the Mississippi River. The guided tour takes place weekly Tuesday through Saturday up until May 30, 2015 and is open to 25 participants per day free of charge.
Homestead National Monument of America, Neb.
This historic park is a tribute to The Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed all Americans the freedom to submit a claim for up to 160 free acres of land. Visitors here can immerse themselves in American history, learning about everything from the real-life stories of homesteaders and American Indians who lived on the land to the innovative advancements that allowed them to turn the “Great American Desert” into the “Bread Basket of the World.” Kids are also encouraged to take part in an educational birdwatching program, which teaches how to identify the many different birds that call this park home.
Fort Stanwix National Monument, N.Y.
A walk through Fort Stanwix will take you back in time, allowing for a close-up exploration of 18th century military life. Park rangers conduct 30-minute tours in which visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in a long-ago time period, imaging the settlers who created the history of Mohawk Valley before, during and after the American Revolutionary War.
Wind Cave National Park, S.D.
The scenic setting of Wind Cave provides visitors with the perfect backdrop for outdoor exploration during the spring. Main attractions include the world’s longest and most intricate collection of caves and more than 28,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie, ponderosa pine forest and its accompanying wildlife. Join in on one of the park’s “Adventures in Nature,” which provides a comprehensive overview of all the park has to offer.