Bring on Spring

Rocío LowerNPF Blog

Are you ready to stop hiding under covers, puffy jackets, and warm hats? Are you counting down the days until you can get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring? We are too.

We’ve had our fill of enjoying the most wonderful time of the year and we’re ready to see the national parks burst back to life with the sights and sounds of the new season. In short: we’re excited for Mother Nature to bring on spring!

As we shake off the remnants of a rough winter, we’re excited to share these ten ideas for celebrating the longer days and warmer weather in our national parks.

From top to bottom: Image of Muir woods, Fire Island Lakeshore, Lighthouse and coastline, Silhouette of Pelican at sunset on dock

1. Work up a sweat with a seven-mile hike at Muir Woods National Monument (CA) - Get your hiking shoes on, pack a lunch and water, and join a brisk seven-mile hike! You’ll get to trek through the redwoods, hike from the Bootjack Trail to the TCC Trail, then back downhill to the Ben Johnson Trail before returning back into Muir Woods. | Event

2. Look for signs of spring at Fire Island National Seashore (NY) - Grab your binoculars and walk along the shore, through the swale to the breach at Old Inlet. Along the way, you’ll be able to spy signs of the changing season! | Event

3. Walk along the waterfront at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (CA) - Enjoy the sights and sounds of the historic waterfront as you join a mile-long ranger-led tour. As you listen to the fascinating history of this vibrant area, you’ll stroll through the Aquatic Park Historic District, the Cannery, Hyde Street Pier, and "Fish Alley" at Fisherman's Wharf. | Event

4. Roll up your sleeves and learn about farm life at Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm (MD) - Get some fresh country air and take in some beautiful views, all while learning about chickens, livestock, and farm life through hands-on experience. Lend a hand with farm chores and understand why chickens are such an important farm animal.  | Event

5. Go for a stroll at White Sands National Monument (NM) - Take a gentle stroll (less than one mile) through the dunes at sunset. This nature walk gives you the chance to see the intriguing geology, plants, and animals as the sun sets on White Sands. | Event

6. Observe the diversity of bird life at Padre Island National Seashore (TX) - Nearly half of all bird species in North America can be found at Padre Island National Seashore! Join expert birding guides on this 2-to-3 hour driving tour of the park. Be sure to bring your binoculars! | Event

7. Transform your garden with lilies from Cane River Creole National Historical Park (LA) - Add to your stunning garden collection at the annual festival, Bloomin’ on the Bricks. This spring garden celebration, which takes place on the historic downtown riverbank, will send you home with a lily from Oakland Plantation's famous Bottle Garden!| Event

8. Learn the art of basket weaving at Tumacácori National Historical Park (AZ) - Learn how the O’odham men carefully constructed their functional baskets out of looped baling wire. You can also enjoy many other cultural exhibitions held at this park, which is one of our American Latino Heritage Fund sites, including a tortilla-making demonstration! | Event, Event

9. Develop your canoe or kayaking abilities at Biscayne National Park (FL) - Practice makes perfect! Here, you can join a ranger for an afternoon of fun as you refine your paddling skills within the beauty of this national park. | Event, Event

10. Take in the town at sundown at the National Mall & Memorial Parks (DC) - You may have seen the memorials by day, but have you ever experienced them under the night sky? Join this ranger-led tour of D.C.’s most famous memorial parks after sundown. | Event

How will you celebrate the new season? For more spring-inspired expeditions, check out our travel ideas here.

Last updated March 14, 2014.

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