A lot of the buzz around national parks centers on adventure and excitement. And while our parks are certainly great places to experience the outdoors, that's only part of their appeal. They're also perfect places to relax and unwind, and these easygoing activities will recharge your batteries in no time!
We're not talking about grueling backcountry treks that take you into the heart of the uncharted wilderness — leave those for another day — but rather leisurely strolls through the woods. National parks feature a wealth of short, easy hiking trails that offer amazing scenery without too much of a strain. You might tire yourself out just enough to zonk out in your hammock when you get back! Some of the best parks for a nature walk include:
- Sequoia National Park, California
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Olympic National Park, Washington
- Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C.
Photo by @Spono for the #BigBendTakeover. What do you do after hiking 20+ miles with 50lb packs for multiple days in the park? Hit up the #HotSprings of course and soak it up in the 105° gloriousness! it's an easy walk out to the site of the 100 year old former bathhouse, but not going to lie, It took a bit of nerve to dunk in when it was 90+ degrees outside. So worth it. Props to @mitchylada on the composition spotting for this one. #nationalpark #findyourpark #bigbend #bigbendnps #nationalparkweek #NPS #adventure #wanderlust #campvibes #explore #travel #nps100 #bigbendnationalpark #outdoors #camping #hiking #hike #exploring #texas #tx #bigbendboyz
Wade into the crystal clear Gulf waters of Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park, or kick back and relax in the hot springs of Big Bend National Park in Texas. Swimming is the perfect way to chill out, literally and metaphorically. You'll also find great places to take a dip at these parks:
- Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi/Florida
- Virgin Islands National Park, United States Virgin Islands
- Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana
- Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Just about every national park in America offers an opportunity for you to bring out your inner Ansel Adams. One of the reasons the National Park Service exists is to protect the most precious and unique landscapes in the United States, so pack your camera and get the pictures of a lifetime at these one-of-a-kind parks.
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
I had a lot of people asking me on my last trip where I bought my wrist strap for my camera. I told them all @strapsbyelroobs #fbf #hiking #rei #optoutside #ventureout #visitutah #werutah #brycecanyon #thorshammer #igsouthwest #utahisrad #brycecanyonnps #discoverbryce #hoodoo #findyourpark #fypyes #liveyouradventure #the59parks #nationalparkgeek #nationalpark #pentax
Waterfalls awe us with their power, but they can also be situated in some of the most peaceful, tranquil places on earth. National parks offer some of America's most secluded, beautiful waterfalls — perfect places to quietly reconnect with nature. Look for some of the best waterfalls in these national parks:
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Yosemite National Park, California
- North Cascades National Park, Washington
- Great Falls National Park, Virginia
The deeper you go in to the mountain, the bigger the satisfaction when you get out. #nationalpark #nps #statepark #optoutside #naturewhispers #in2nature #naturewhisperer #findyourpark #fyp #fypyes #goparks #hiking #mobilephotography #androidography #nationalparkgeek #statepark #nationalparkservices#glacier_national_park #_glaciernp #_gnp #glaciernationalpark #montana #bigskymontana #rockwellfalls #chasingwaterfalls #eastglacier #sharetheexperience
Some of the most incredible animals on earth live just off the shores of many of our national parks. West Coast parks are right along the migratory route of grey and humpback whales, while killer whales are a common sight off the coast of Alaska. If you live in the east, you can see several species in the waters of New England. Here are a few hot spots:
- Channel Islands National Park, California
- Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Olympic National Park, Washington
A low-key fishing trip is relaxation at its finest. Our national parks offer countless places to wet your line, from ocean beaches and the vast Great Lakes to trickling streams and secluded alpine rivers. Whether you want to catch a big one or just sit back and watch your bobber, these parks are the places to do it:
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
- Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee
- New River Gorge National River, West Virginia
The wide open spaces and awe-inspiring beauty of national parks can inspire inner peace and help you clear your mind. A sunrise yoga session is just what the doctor ordered, and you sure can’t beat the view! Some parks like San Antonio Missions National Historical Park offer classes throughout the year! Try striking your best warrior pose at these national parks.
- Zion National Park, Utah
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
- Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
#TBT to my trip to Zion, can't believe that was already two months ago. It's weird not packing for a trip this weekend. I actually have to finishing moving in to my new place! #yoga #yogainspiration #hike #life #hiking #yogi #52hikechallenge #findyourpark #zion #zionnationalpark #utah #latergram #adventure #lululemon #thelagirl
You don't have to go full-throttle to enjoy your national parks. Sit back, relax, and don't forget to bring your camera! Share your favorite laid-back park vibes at FindYourPark.com!