The Best Ways to Celebrate National Parks Week

It’s National Parks Week! Here are some ways you can celebrate, both inside the parks themselves, and from the comfort of your own home.

Visit a national park, national historic park, national monument

Duh.

Take a virtual tour of national parks you cannot visit

Google Earth is celebrating National Parks Week in the most exciting way—by letting users get up close and personal with 31 national parks through Google Street View (#protip: you need to have Google Chrome to view it). Keep a notebook on hand while you drool over the images to make note of the places you want to visit in real life.

Research lesser-known national parks

Despite there being 418 national park sites in the United States, only a select few get all the love (looking at you, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park). Spend some time on NPS.gov looking at the historic sites and national monuments, find some near you, and pay them the respect they deserve!

Experience a national park from a different perspective

Even if you’ve been to your favorite national park 100 times, go for the 101st time and try something new. If you’re typically hiking on the trails, try renting a canoe, going on a horseback ride, bringing your bikes and going for a spin on a quieter road.

Stock up on guidebooks

Another duh. You can make your way around the entrances and popular (read: crowded) parts of the park without much guidance, but is that really fun? No. So treat yourself to some of our guidebooks and explore the best parts of national parks—the trails where the people are far and few between.

Turn your dog into a BARK Ranger

This is hands-down the best way to celebrate National Parks Week. You can go to a national park and make Fido an instant BARK Ranger, or go all-in and join the official BARK Ranger Ambassadors. Don’t own a dog? Go adopt one today and turn him into a BARK Ranger tomorrow!

Tanya Twerdowsky
tanya@adventurewithkeen.com

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

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