There was a time when spending time outdoors was what people did. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people more than ever are itching to go somewhere new without putting themselves at risk.
A 2017 study called The Nature of Americans National Report surveyed 12,000 Americans and found that a quarter of those polled spent less than two hours outside each week, and 31% spent around 3-5 hours outside each week.
However, a CivicScience poll taken this March found that 43% of Americans over thirteen years old said they planned on doing more outdoor activities this year due to the pandemic.
This summer, think about rediscovering America’s natural beauty and getting back in touch with nature. There’s so much to see, and most of it is right in your own backyard. There are snow-capped mountains, dry deserts, rolling hills, flat plains, vast forests, and stunning vistas – not to mention the wildlife that resides within each of these ecosystems.
The time to rediscover America’s natural beauty is now. When your world becomes overwhelmed with chaos, it’s important to bring yourself back to the basics: the fresh air, the feel of the earth against your feet, and you. Let the rest of the noise melt away and fade into the background.
Spending time in nature is proven to help with stress, anxiety, and is shown to help strengthen your immune system.
Some of the best National Parks have a surprisingly low volume of visitors each year. Washington’s North Cascades National Park provides an ample 300 glaciers, as well as forests that are home to eagles, bears, and wolves.
North Dakota’s stunning Theodore Roosevelt National Park has closed its campsites, but is still open for hiking, picnicking and backcountry camping. Named after the president whose conservationist efforts led to the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, this park boasts stunning vistas, incredible sunsets and a variety of wildlife.
Don’t know where the closest trail, park or campsite is near you? Believe it or not, there’s an app for that. It’s called the ParkPassport App. Created by the National Park Trust, you can use it to scope out all of the best places near you to spend some quality time outdoors. While created mostly to map out national parks, the app includes locations for local parks and trails, as well as historical sites. All you have to do is register with your name, email and password to get started.
To search for recent park closures, whether it be for COVID-19 reasons or rockfalls, visit the National Park Service website.
Additionally, every state has fascinating natural wonders out there, you just have to know where to look.
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