“Go take a hike!” That is what the National Park Foundation is telling us.
They are the official charity of America’s nearly 400 National Parks that span some 84 million acres and they have unveiled “Happy Trails,” a new guide highlighting 25 unforgettable national park hikes that span all levels of expertise. The guide offers information on how to plan your next visit along with general hiking tips, length of the recommended trails as well as when to expect the peak season for visitors at each. It tells you what to know before you go and what to bring with you.
The National Park Foundation’s Happy Trails guide invites Americans to not only take an active role in preserving their parks, but to also take time to explore and enjoy some of the spectacular hikes America has to offer, some of which include:
Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas Beaver Slide, 1.5 mile loop – The short walk passes by several ponds formed by old beaver dams. Ethereal cypress trees rise from still waters, their knees poking the pond’s surface.
Everglades National Park, Florida Anhinga, .8 miles roundtrip – Starting at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, the wheelchair-accessible path winds through sawgrass marsh. Wildlife viewing abounds, especially in winter. Look for alligators, turtles, herons, egrets, and, of course, anhingas.
Point Reyes National Seashore, California Coast-Laguna, 5 mile loop – Experience some of these varied landscapes on the Coast Trail via the Laguna Trail. Laguna Trail leads through coastal scrub. Look for Anna’s hummingbird, which feeds year-round on Indian paintbrush and bush monkey flower.
For the complete list visit www.nationalparks.org/explore/download-center. There, visitors will also have access to other great resources from the National Park Foundation including the “Owner’s Guide” – a comprehensive guidebook to America’s nearly 400 national parks. You will also find a really cool screensaver there available for both Mac and PC machines and the best part is that it’s all free.