Aquatic Adventures In Your National Parks

By: 
Rocío Lower

Summer opens up a new world of possibilities within the national parks!

The long days give us more time to enjoy the parks, while the warmer temperatures are the perfect excuse to plunge into the refreshing and vast waterways across the nation. 

With such an incredible variety of national parks, you’ll be sure to find an experience that matches your interests. From relaxing on a boat, to submerging yourself into the underwater world, there is something for everyone.  If you’re seeking a reprieve from the heat within our magnificent National Park System, check out these exciting places that offer aquatic adventures.

Cape Cod National Seashore (Massachusetts)
Learn the art of saltwater fishing as you enjoy a quiet morning along the seashore.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)
Snorkel through the shallow waters of the Pamlico Sound as you explore the habitat of the small fish, shrimp, and crabs that call it home.  

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Georgia)
Float down a three mile section of the Chattahoochee River as you enjoy the sunset. 

Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)
Enjoy a relaxing and scenic boat tour of Crater Lake.

De Soto National Memorial (Florida)
Paddle through time as you explore the waters that Native American Indians and Spaniards used hundreds of years ago.  

Everglades National Park (Florida)
Explore the wildlife and mangroves of Ten Thousand Islands by canoe.

Fort Washington Park (Maryland)
Cast a line along the Potomac as you hear about the history of the river and learn about the wildlife in the area.

Padre Island National Seashore (Texas)
Capture and release small fish along the surf’s edge of the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (Hawai’i)
Experience the tradition and history of Hawaiian sailing as you ride on a double-hulled canoe.

Redwood National and State Parks (California)
Learn about the unique geology of the Smith River as you kayak the largest free-flowing river system in California.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
Try your hand at fly-fishing as you learn about the park’s fish management program and the stream’s ecology.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan)
Cool off as you float on a tube or raft down the Platte River, enjoying the wildflowers and birds along the way.

Virgin Islands National Park (Virgin Islands)
Discover the underwater world as you snorkel over a coral reef.

No matter what your comfort level with water may be, there is bound to be an option that suits you! Be sure to check out the National Park Service’s event calendar to find a fun activity to plunge into!