Published On: Thu, Jun 18th, 2015

9 unforgettable national park activities to enjoy July 4th weekend

Phuket-Stag-Party-Weekend-Plan1The summer’s first long weekend is just around the corner! Have you given any thought to how you’ll enjoy your national parks this July 4 weekend?

As you gather with family and friends in honor of Independence Day, make some time to explore the many treasures of the National Park System. Between our stunning natural beauty, our fascinating and unique history, and our rich cultural stories, we have a lot to celebrate as a nation!

National parks offer everything from ranger talks, to volunteer-guided tours, to eye-opening exhibits but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not plan on trying out a new activity in some of our country’s most exciting places?

If snorkeling, kayaking, backcountry hiking, or rock-climbing sounds up your alley, check out the National Park Foundation’s recommendations for how you can spend the holiday discovering our national inheritance. Here are just a few ways you can find your park this July 4:

1. Take a refreshing dip in the waters of Echo Lake Beach in Acadia National Park (Maine)

2. Explore Arches National Park (Utah) on horseback

3. Get a closer look at the shallow reefs of Biscayne National Park (Florida) by snorkeling

4. Scale the canyon walls by rock climbing at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

5. Kayak the Cedar Creek through Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

6. Go backcountry hiking through the wilderness of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

7. Bike through the landscapes that witnessed the opening battles of the American Revolution at Minute Man National Historical Park (Massachusetts)

8. Cast your line in the Gulf of Mexico at Padre Island National Seashore (Texas)

9. Discover a sunken world by scuba diving to the shipwrecks of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan)