Find Inspiration during National Park Week April 19 – 27, 2014

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Ranger Led Program in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Fla.

Ranger Led Program in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Fla.

Stepping onto a Yellowstone hiking trail for the first time felt as comfortable as being wrapped in my grandmother’s arms. I was 17 years old and it was a new experience being dwarfed by the grandness of the Rocky Mountains, inhaling the distinct geothermal odor of sulfur, and feeling the crispness of fresh mountain air.

Denali National Park, Aug. 31, 2011

Denali National Park, Aug. 31, 2011

Regular blog readers know how that summer vacation literally changed my life which is why I’m a big supporter of the national parks. Whether you have or have not been inspired by visiting a national park, I encourage you to visit one April 19 – 27, 2014 during National Park Week. Every American lives less than 100 miles from a national park experience so it should be relatively easy finding one near you.

Related: 8 Tips for a Budget Summer Vacation in Yellowstone National Park

Alligator at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Feb. 27, 2012

Alligator at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Feb. 27, 2012

Free National Park Admission April 19 & 20, 2014
Of the 401 national parks, 268 NEVER charge an entrance fee!

Kicking off National Park Week, all national parks are offering free admission April 19 and 20, 2014.

Badwater, Death Valley National Park, April 2013

Badwater, Death Valley National Park, April 2013

National Park Week Happenings
I love Disneynature films and just in time for National Park Week, “Bears” premiers on April 18. See the film during National Park Week and Disneynature will make a donation to the National Park Foundation which is the official charity of America’s national parks. View the “Bears” trailer on the NPF’s National Park Week webpage.

Related: 5 Reasons Why National Park Vacations are Perfect for Solo Travelers

Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Feb. 27, 2012

Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Feb. 27, 2012

Several parks are offering activities during this celebration. Some have fees and some are free. For instance, on Saturday, April 19, you can visit the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Georgia) to join in the Earth Week Campfire, Reptile Program, and Night Hike. Conquistador Hernando de Soto will come ashore at the De Soto National Memorial and claim Florida during the De Soto Landing. Learn how the racing history in and around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area shapes the national park experience during a program called Mulholland, Miller, and Motor Sports.

Find an event by visiting the National Park Service website.

Related: 5 Luxury National Park Camping Lodges

Lunch Stop, Rocky Mountain National Park

Lunch Stop, Rocky Mountain National Park

National Parks Positively Impact Our Economy
National parks aren’t just for tree hugging and picnicking, the system is good for our economy. For every $1 of American taxpayer money invested in the national parks, $10 is generated. *

Were you one of the 282 million who visited a national park in 2012? If you were, you supported some of the 243,000 jobs across the country generated by visitation into national parks. And, the economic impact on the nation’s economy was $26.75 billion. In the state of Florida, national parks welcomed more than 10.4 million visitors resulting in $788.4 million economic impact and that ain’t small potatoes..**

Now go on, find a park and find your inspiration.

*Source: National Park Service Press Release: “Secretary Jewell, Director Jarvis Release New Report Showing National Parks Remain Strong Economic Engines, Support 243,000 Jobs Nationwide,” March 3, 2014.

**Source: Source: National Park Serice, U.S. Department of the Interior, “2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States and the Nation”, Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR—2014/765, February 2014

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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2 Comments

  1. When I go back to the US, I’ll be sure to visit more national parks. For now, I’ll have to visit national parks in other countries.

  2. I love exploring national parks in other countries! Keep on taking photos to share.

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