Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Aerial View Don Carter State Park

Aerial View Don Carter State Park

Lake Lanier fans can look forward to a new place to play this summer when Don Carter State Park opens July 15.  Georgia’s first state park on the 38,000-acre reservoir will feature camping, boat ramps, fishing, picnicking, playgrounds, hiking and a large swimming beach.  Parking is $5 and most day-use activities are free.

Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the 1,316-acre park offers access to a quiet section of the normally busy lake. Swimmers will enjoy the large beach with sloped lawn and bath house.  New boat ramps provide quick access to the lake, and anglers can prepare their catch at a fish-cleaning station.  A 1.5-mile paved trail welcomes hikers, bikers and strollers to explore surrounding hardwoods, while a two-mile trail can be explored on foot.

Don Carter State Park offers overnight getaways as well.  A modern campground with hot showers accommodates RVs, while another camping area is reserved just for tents and hammocks.  Although the park will soon accept reservations, campsites will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis during the first few weeks of opening.

Those who prefer a soft bed over a sleeping bag can look forward to the eight rental cabins, opening later this summer.  The two-bedroom cabins are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake, with rocking-chair porches and fully equipped kitchens.

Don Carter State Park offers a bargain getaway on Lake Lanier, said Kim Hatcher, with Georgia State Parks. Visitors pay $5 for parking, and most activities – including swimming – are free.  Campsites range from $15 to $29, and cabins will be $110 to $160.  Leashed dogs are welcome on trails and in the campground, but not in the visitor center and most cabins.  Covered picnic shelters rent for $45 and are perfect for family reunions, birthday parties and casual receptions.

Georgia’s newest state park is named in honor of Don Carter, the longest serving member (29 years) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board.

Although the park officially opens July 15, the state will host a grand opening ceremony later this fall.

For more information, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/doncarter or call 678.450.7726 after July 15.

 

MONTROSE, Colo. – A water-filled wonderland in south-central Colorado is this week’s destination for the National Park Getaway.

Fewer than 12 inches of precipitation fall annually at Curecanti National Recreation Area, yet it is home to Colorado’s largest body of water. Blue
Mesa Reservoir is one of three reservoirs along the once wild Gunnison River that were created primarily to provide water storage in the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Well known for outstanding salmon and trout fishing, Curecanti also offers opportunities for hiking, boating, camping and bird watching. Beyond the lakes, you’ll find sagebrush covered mesas, tall cottonwood trees and lush undergrowth of willow, steep canyons, and areas of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and aspen.

Fire restrictions are in effect until further notice:
• No open fires are allowed, including beach fires.
• Campfires must be in the grates provided in designated campgrounds.
• Cooking on charcoal or gas grills will be permitted.
• Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle, trailer, tent, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.

Curecanti National Recreation Area RV Camping

Curecanti National Recreation Area RV Camping

The recreation area’s 10 campgrounds have a variety of services to accommodate tents or recreational vehicles.

You’ll be hooked by the rugged beauty and recreational opportunities. This week’s National Park Getaway article at www.nps.gov/getaways will lure you in.

National Park Service and National Park Foundation Suggest 10 Healthy Things to Do During National Park Week April 21-29

National Park Week 2012With nearly 400 national parks – and FREE admission the week of  April 21 – 29, – there are thousands of ways to enjoy this highly anticipated annual event. In fact, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to active and stay fit.

From hiking to biking to swimming, nature walks, kayaking, or bird watching, there are great outdoor activities in national parks for visitors of all ages. By introducing kids to these majestic places, we give the gift of learning a healthy lifestyle and help guarantee the future of parks for generations to come.

“During National Park Week, stroll a woodland path or around the grounds of a presidential home. Kayak through a mangrove forest or on an urban waterway. All 397 national parks are great places to get some exercise while taking in spectacular scenery or learning something new,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Whether you go to a natural, historical, or recreational site, or an urban, suburban, or rural park, every national park provides a place to exercise both the body and the mind. There really is something for everyone in every national park.”

“National Park Week is the perfect time to experience all that our national parks have to offer,” said Neil Mulholland, President & CEO of the National Park Foundation. “It is also an invitation to join the community of national park supporters. Visit, volunteer or get involved with the Foundation or any one of the local friends groups that support our parks. Together, we can make this National Park Week one to remember.”

Here are 10 great ways to get some exercise and enjoy National Park Week:

Take a Hike
There are 18,600 miles of trails in national parks. Hit the trail for a short hike or a day-long expedition. Cross the Continental Divide on the High Line Trail in Glacier, go vertical on the Moro Rock Trail in Sequoia & Kings Canyon, or tackle a section of the Appalachian Trail. If you’d like to hike with an expert, many parks offer daily ranger-led guided tours, including the Everglades, Jean Lafitte, and Hot Springs.

Dive In
Enjoy 43,000 miles of national park shoreline. Walk on the beach, go for a swim, snorkel an underwater trail in the Virgin Islands, or dive the aquamarine water and fish-bejeweled coral reefs of Biscayne or the kelp forests and sea caves of Channel Islands. Or, take a canoe or kayak ride through Big Cypress to observe manatees and birds.

Go Underground
Travel below the surface and discover the dazzling sights found along more than 900 miles of passageways in caves. Check out Mammoth Cave – the longest cave in the world or the 14-acre Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns. If you are really adventurous, sign up for a spelunking trip.

Sleep Under the Stars
Experience the simple pleasure of an evening campfire, sleep in the great outdoors, and wake up in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world. Choose your setting – mountain view, ocean view, or even city view. The 12,000 campsites in national parks include spots in New York City and in Boston.

Go For a Ride
Some of the prettiest scenery you’ll ever see is along the 5,450 miles of paved road in national parks. In fact, 1,100 miles are designated parkways designed especially for sightseeing. Just be sure to get out of the car at overlooks or trailheads and stretch your legs. It’s amazing what you will find not far off the road. Wander to a waterfall at Shenandoah or meander through a meadow at Rocky Mountain.

View Wildlife
National parks are the best places to view wildlife in their natural habitats. Don’t get too close but enjoy seeing everything from baby birds to two-ton bison in a park. Watch the strutting age grouse perform its annual courtship dance in Grand Teton or the spring migration of grey whales at Point Reyes. Or, encounter prehistoric wildlife such as a saber tooth cat at Badlands or a Stegosaurus at Dinosaur. There are 233 national parks with preserved fossils, some which date back two billion years.

Be a VIP
Help out as a Volunteer-In-Park on National Volunteer Day on April 21. Participate in the spring planting at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a shoreline clean-up at Golden Gate, or park day at Stones River. Check out a list of volunteer opportunities at http://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm

Go Green
Take part in Earth Day activities at many national parks. There will 50 exhibiters, food, music, and family activities at John Muir’s birthday celebration at John Muir National Historic Site. Saratoga will host exhibits and an art show featuring pieces made from natural and recycled material. The Grand Canyon will have a variety of interactive exhibits at its largest ever Earth Day event. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial will host an Earth Day Jamboree.

Explore, Learn, Protect
Kids five to 12 years old are encouraged to take part in free Junior Ranger programs in almost every national park. Ask for a Junior Ranger booklet at the visitor center and earn a badge by completing different activities. Many parks will host special events on Junior Ranger Day – April 28.

Take to Two Wheels
One of the most popular things to do in a park is ride a bike. You set your own pace and can easily stop to relax or take in the view when and where you want. One of the newest bike trails was recently built in New River Gorge. More than 1,400 Boy Scouts and leaders volunteered 78,544 hours to construct a 12.8-mile mountain bike trail. Other popular parks for biking include Acadia which has 45 miles of old carriage roads, Canyonlands, home of the 103-mile White Rim Road loop, and the C&O Canal and its 184-mile long towpath.

Share Your Experience
Be sure to share photos, videos, and stories from your national park travels at www.nationalparkweek.org. The site also contains a calendar of events and plenty of information on how to visit and support national parks.

www.nps.gov

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