Thursday, January 28, 2016

Find Your Park!

To celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, the National Park Service launched a new advertising and marketing campaign called "Find Your Park" last year. Although it has only been in the last several years that I have begun to fully appreciate the NPS and its diversity, I now count myself as a huge fan. Just check out this video, and tell me this isn't an impressive park system?
Over time I have been fortunate to visit quite a few parks across the country: from Alcatraz Island in California to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, from Craters of the Moon in Idaho to Boston National Historic Park in Massachusetts. A few visits I've blogged about include: Shenandoah National Park in Virginia,Yellowstone which I visited a few years ago, Cape Hatteras National Seashore which I saw and loved in 2014, Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland on a hot summer's day, Harper's Ferry National Historical Park in nearby West Virginia, plus recalling an earlier visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes. Naturally, given that the National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington is also a national park, that's another spot about which I have blogged.

A park that I visited on the same trip as Yellowstone was neighboring Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Although I was there for only part of a day, it was a beautiful and memorable visit, as the place is stunning!
Doing some hiking for the best views!
There are many more I would love to visit some day, including Acadia in Maine, Yosemite in California, Glacier in Montana, Arches in Utah, and - well, the list goes on!

However, if you asked me to name "my" park, I would quickly answer: the C&O National Historical Park. While spots like the Grand Canyon (which I've had the fortune of visiting twice!) are far more impressive, the beauty of the C&O is that it's close enough for me to visit frequently. Also, the impressive 180+ mile length, which stretches from the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington through all the way to Cumberland in western Maryland, means that there is lots to explore! I have hiked only about 25 miles of that. I have written about several (but certainly not all!) of my visits over the last several years, both in areas that are close to Washington, such as the ever-popular Great Falls overlook, and areas further away, such as the Monocacy Aqueduct and the town of Williamsport.

It's no surprise that my first outing to a national park this year was to the C&O. I took a five year old friend for a walk in the Great Falls area. The weather had been quite variable that day, and as we drove to the park, a quick downpour almost changed our plans. However, perhaps sensing our dire need to experiences the great outdoors, the rain stopped. After parking the car, we began walking, and I noticed other hikers looking above us, so we turned around to spot a lovely rainbow. I did not have a camera along; this photo was snapped with my very old cell phone. I'm hoping for many more visits to national parks this year (as well as better quality photos)!

Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service!!!

1 comment:

  1. If you add all the national wildlife refuges and national forests in to the pool, there's one in everyone's backyard. I love the NPS campaign, and I hope it helps people realize how diverse the national park system is - NPS manages not only the famous parks, but also National Scenic Highways, National River and Rec Areas, National Battlefields... not just for recreation, but also for the historian, the fitness or adrenaline junkie, and most importantly, the kids!


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