From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year’s theme, “National Park Week: Go Wild!” invites visitors to celebrate all that America’s 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America’s national parks.
There are countless ways to enjoy National Park Week. Below are nine great suggestions happening April 19 – 27 in national parks. A complete list of National Park Week events taking place across the country is available at www.nationalparkweek.org.
Go wild for bears.This year the National Park Foundation has teamed with Disney on the new Disneynature film, “Bears,” premiering just in time for Earth Day and National Park Week on Friday, April 18. For every ticket sold during “Bears” opening week, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s National Park System.
Go wild for Junior Ranger Day. On April 26, young visitors can celebrate National Junior Ranger Day by taking part in special family-friendly activities.
Go wild for a walk in a park. More than 100 free, ranger-led walks are offered during National Park Week. Hike to a cloud forest, take a sunset stroll, wander through John F. Kennedy’s neighborhood, and more.
Go wild for Earth Day. Tour John Muir’s house in California and take part in a combined John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration with music, food, and family-friendly events.
Go wild for Hawaiian culture. Experience first-hand the traditions of Hawaiian sailing and Hawaiian crafts! Join a sailing expert guide for a ride on a double-hulled canoe and learn interesting tidbits about Hawaiian sailing techniques, history, and culture. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian crafts such as lauhala weaving, coconut leaf weaving, and lei making.
Go wild for Patriot’s Day. Commemorate the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War with parades, reenactments, and special ceremonies in Massachusetts.
Go wild for waterfalls. Take the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in beautiful northern California and hike to Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Crystal Creek and Whiskeytown Falls!
Go wild for national park road trips. Enjoy a self-guided tour to historic places, most of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Each trip takes you to a variety of places significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
Go wild for wildflowers. Spring has sprung and it is the perfect time to see nature in all of its colorful glory in parks across the country. Parks including the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and Cumberland Gap and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky will have wildflower walks and talks.
Using the resources on the National Park Week website, visitors can plan adventures, share national park photos, videos, and tips, and learn about all the ways to help support national parks.
National Park Week also offers many opportunities for the public to explore local parks, trails, and architectural gems sustained by National Park Service programs such as the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program and the National Register of Historic Places.