Looking for fun ways to enjoy your national parks this fall? We’ve got more than a handful of ideas for you!
Here is just a sampling of the awesome autumn activities taking place in the over 401 national parks across the country:
CALIFORNIA – Set out on an adventure along one of Lassen Volcanic National Park’s more than 150 miles of hiking trails and see for yourself how aspens, oaks and sagebrush light up the park with splashes of bright orange, yellow and red. Click here to check out some of the incredible colors spotted during the fall season.
FLORIDA – Paddle through time and explore the waters that Native Americans and Spanish Conquistadores traveled hundreds of years ago with a free ranger-led kayak tour along the Manatee River at De Soto National Memorial, an American Latino Heritage Fund site. Find out more here.
IOWA – Celebrate the fall migration with birds and experts on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 at Effigy Mounds National Monument! Learn all about Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Raptors, American Eagles, and Osprey. Find out more here.
LOUISIANA – Step back in time with a Cane River Country Tour! Visit historic homes dating back to the 1800s including the Oakland Plantation in Cane River Creole National Historical Park and Heritage Area, an African American Experience Fund site. Explore a raised Creole plantation Main House and 27 historic outbuildings and see for yourself how plantations were often more like small villages than farms. Find out more here.
MAINE – Treat yourself to a ranger-led “Autumn Ramble”, a relaxing 1 ½-hour, one-mile hike and discover what is happening to the maple, birch and poplar trees in Acadia National Park as the season changes. Leaves started turning to fall colors in September, but the peak time is usually mid-October. Find out more here.
NEBRASKA – Get your fill of delicious and fresh apples and apple-themed games at the 2nd Annual Hedge Apple Festival at Homestead National Monument of America on Sunday, October 6! There will be an apple craft contest, apple bucket toss, apple bowling and more! Find out more here.
NORTH CAROLINA – Head on over to the Blue Ridge Parkway for the 2013 Fall Heritage Series Concerts at the Blue Ridge Music Center! Mandolins, banjos, fiddles – come hear them all and learn how they are made and played in the mountains! Find out more here.
OHIO – Hop aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Cuyahoga Valley National Park for one of their fall excursions: “Akron Explorer”, “Canal Explorer”, “National Park Scenic” or “Peninsula Explorer”. Find out more here. If you’d rather stretch your legs a bit, join the Fall Running Series. Runners and walkers of all levels are welcome. Find out more here.
PENNSYLVANIA – More than 30 varieties of apples await your picking in the orchard at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site! Apples are grown without herbicides and pesticides and many are historic types! Find out more here.
WYOMING – Cottonwoods, aspens and willows are peppered throughout Grand Teton National Park and come fall they shine yellow and orange (and occasionally red)! In general, fall in the Tetons starts at the beginning of September and continues through mid-October. Find out more here.
For more national park inspiration download one or several of National Park Foundation’s free special edition Owner’s Guides. For more information about events happening in America's national parks, visit the National Park Service's calendar.
P. S. Don’t forget to take a couple pictures while you are enjoying all that autumnal national park beauty! We invite all amateur photographers to enter your photos into the 13th annual Share the Experience photography contest. Imagine this – if your image is selected as the Grand Prize Winner, your pic will be featured on the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass (2015)! Nearly 500,000 people annually receive one of these passes, and besides that, there are many other incredible prizes that you could win! Check out www.sharetheexperience.org for a complete list of Share the Experience rules and prizes.