Hi, I am Nate and I am an outdoor freak in the true meaning of that word. I almost go nuts when I have an upcoming outdoor vacation, you know, like a squirrel that comes across more nuts than he can eat. I mean I live for the outdoors and I would never ever give up this love for anything. Thankfully, the United States is a land of marvels, some of them man-made and most of them natural. That means that if the outdoor bug has bitten your family, there are a thousand and one places to take them for camping, hiking and backpacking.
Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, sand kicking on the beaches and many more outdoor adventures appeal to many people. Today, if you would like to know weekend getaway places where your family can enjoy camping, picnicking and other outdoor adventures, you have come to the right place.
Virginia – Shenandoah National Park
There is a small entrance fee of 20 dollars for every vehicle and it will remain valid for a week. However, that notwithstanding, you will love the number of hiking trails available in the Shenandoah Park, with difficulty rating ranging from easy to challenging. There is something for everyone. If your children are older, take them to the grueling 8 miles of hiking to the peak of Old Rag Mountain. They will enjoy great panoramic views from the top. Sometimes, the road is closed due to winter. Find out.
Vermont – The Green Mountain National Forest
This place is open for camping throughout the year, even during winter. It has many campgrounds and the good thing is that with the weather allowing, there are many areas where you can camp in the backcountry away from anyone else. Be ready to hike the famous Long Trail in Vermont. It is great, with trees, wildflowers and different types of animals. There are no entrance fees.
New York – Minnewaska State Park
First, you will enjoy an averagely long drive of 94 miles from New York City to Minnewaska State Park. Then you will enjoy some cool hiking and biking when you get to the park. There are more than 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. A wonderfully diversified collection of flora and fauna, rock formations as well as waterfalls are available. There are ready camping grounds too for use from the mid of May to the mid of September. You will pay a small fee.
Pennsylvania – Pine Grove Furnace Park
There are many trailer and camping sites in the Pine Grove Furnace Park in Pennsylvania. This park is famous for most reasons and one of them is that the famous AT – Appalachian Trail passes through here. Actually, that is why most people go to this park, to hike just a part of the AT. You will pay a small fee for camping, backpacking but there is no entry fee. This is one of the most visited national parks in the country.
Maryland – Assateague Island
The full name is Assateague Island National Seashore, which offers camping enthusiasts an opportunity to enjoy more than 35 miles of beach, sand and sun. Other features include wild horses – fancy that, salt marshes, bays and even forests. You can only camp on the side of Maryland, and that is more than enough. Note that there are few campsites so the people who book them first get them. They are open throughout the year though.
Apart from the above 5 parks, other national parks that I am planning to visit soon include Badlands in South Dakota, Glacier Bay and Denali – both in Alaska, California’s Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Olympic National Park in Washington to name but just a few.