Spring Into Your national parks!

By: 
Alanna Sobel

With winter vacation officially over and Spring Break already on the minds of so many, it's the perfect time to start planning an exciting trip to one of America's nearly 400 national parks. And lucky for you, we’ve pulled together some of the not-to-be-missed national park adventures to check out this season!

Here you go:

1. Glide along the shoreline at Biscayne National Park (Florida).

Explore tidal creeks and canals, and skim over vast seagrass meadows while watching for manatees, birds, fish and other critters. Weather permitting, this FREE 2-3 hour paddle begins at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until April. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9627.

2. Enjoy the snow before it's gone with a snowshoe hike in Crater Lake National Park (Oregon).

Explore one of the snowiest inhabited places in America, receiving an average of 44 feet of snow per year. Snowshoes are provided for free. Be sure to make reservations in advance as the ranger-guided snowshoe walks fill up fast! More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9559.

3. Capture beautiful moments with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia).

Do you love taking photos? Join fellow photo enthusiasts for an evening of photography demonstrations including helpful techniques and tips designed to get that perfect shot! Photographers of all levels are invited and encouraged to attend. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10628.

4. Compete in a scavenger hunt in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee, North Carolina).

Round up your friends and family for the 4th Annual Great Smoky Mountains Scavenger Hunt on March 3, 2012! The hunt uses roads and official trails all across the park. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=766.

5. Learn how your life compares to life in the Arctic at Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska).

Ever wanted to learn about life in the Arctic? Here's your chance! Come check out the Arctic Circle Film Series every Tuesday evening from 7-9pm! More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=2.

6. Celebrate Women's History Month at Lowell National Historical Park (Massachusetts).

March is Women's History Month! Since 1996, Lowell National Historical Park has been celebrating Lowell Women's Week. Join in on the fun and celebrate the important role women have played in history and present-day with Lowell Women's Week, March 4 – March 12, 2012. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10730.

7. Make a lei necklace at Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site (Hawaii).

Join "Aunty Martha" from the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association for lei making demonstrations! More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10824.

8. Enjoy a river walk at Tumacácori National Historical Park (Arizona).

Hike to the Santa Cruz River and explore the natural and cultural history found in this national park, one of the National Park Foundation's American Latino Heritage Fund sites. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9677.

9. Indulge your artistic side at Weir Farm National Historic Site (Connecticut).

Be creative, be inspired and Take Part in Art at Weir Farm National Historic Site, home to three generations of American artists! The park will provide graphite pencils, colored pencils and chalk pastels for all ages and experience levels. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=7921.

10. Sit back, relax and chat on the patio at White Sands National Monument (New Mexico).

Enjoy a weekend afternoon chat on the patio with the rangers! The rangers will lead discussions on a variety of topics. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=8171.

So what do you think of our list? Think you’ll venture out and take part in any of these fun activities? I wish I could hit up all of these parks and more this season! We’d love to hear your plans for the Spring - share them in the comments below!