Go National Park Hopping, Part 2
By Sara Novak
The U.S. National Park System is second to none and heading outdoors is the best way to learn for yourself and teach your children the importance of preserving all the natural beauty that we are lucky enough to get to enjoy. In my series we'll continue to explore the best places to hit up in our National Park System. This year skip the cheesy themed parks that do nothing but waste tons of natural resources and instead, checkout what Mother Nature has to offer.
Here are some truly amazing parks to visit:
- Dry Tortugas National Park encompasses a cluster of seven remote islands, reefs, and shoals about 70 miles west of Key West, that protect the southwest tip of the world's third largest barrier reef system. Start your adventure with a tour of historic Fort Jefferson on Garden key, on which construction began in 1846 though it was never completed. The park is a great place for bird watching, snorkeling, and beautiful sunsets. Camp in the park for a nightly fee of $3 per person with discounts available for annual pass holders. But remember, the park is only accessible by boat or seaplane.
- The Obed Wild and Scenic River. The Obed stretches along the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Go canoeing on one of the best whitewater rivers in the eastern United States or get your adrenaline pumping rock climbing on one of their sandstone face rocks. Go hiking along the Lilly Bluff Overlook Trail and view the river from a boardwalk overlook that is over 200 feet above the river. Visiting the Obed Wild and Scenic River is free for everyone. However, there is a $7 fee for those wishing to camp overnight at the Rock Creek Campground.