Need some fresh air to clear your mind? How about a stroll through a garden to mellow out the stress of a busy day? Or maybe winter has packed on a few extra pounds, and it's time to hit the bike trails again.
America's 394 national parks offer many close-to-home opportunities for outdoor recreation. A growing number of doctors even write "Park Prescriptions" to get patients outside and active. The growing connection between public lands and public health is the focus of National Park Week, April 16-24. Entrance to all national parks is free throughout the week.
"National parks have always been great places to go on vacation, have fun, and learn something, but for millions of Americans national parks are also a daily part of a healthy lifestyle," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. "If you've never thought of your national parks that way, we'd like to invite you to come out to see how parks can help you meet your fitness goals. Getting outside and moving is the first step."
In addition to waiving entrance fees throughout the week, national parks and park partners are offering programs as part of National Park Week festivities, including Shenandoah National Park, Congaree National Park and Stones River National Battlefield. For more information on all of the special events scheduled during National Park Week, please click here.