Family Camping and Eco-Tourism
Before heading out for a weekend of camping, get a few handbooks on local birds and other animals. Birding is again becoming a very popular past time and an event that everyone can enjoy from childhood through their entire life. Even going to a city park is more fun with a bird handbook. Make a game of identifying as many birds as possible as a family. Next trip, try to get a higher score. The whole family will quickly learn which birds live in your area and how to identify them by their calls. Expand searches to plants as well. An extra benefit is that it’s always good to know what poison oak and poison ivy look like so everyone can stay away from it.
Almost every state and national park have guided tours conducted by park rangers or volunteers. Contact your local offices for dates and times. Many large city parks such as Balboa Park in San Diego, California, have guided hikes like the Botanical Walk through Florida Canyon. It’s not only educational, but good exercise as well. And kids just eat this stuff up.
The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and other national parks frequently offer week-long camping tours such as the river rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This type of vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime experiences for everyone involved. These guided experiences are some of the best eco-tours available in the United States. But it’s not necessary to go to these extremes to have a rich camping experience.A good resource for finding local tours is museums in the area you will be local newspaper has a section for upcoming events which will give you great ideas as well.
Our large and beautiful country offers virtually every type of environment available in the world. Denali National Park in Alaska offers alpine hiking on Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in the United States. However, if you only want to travel as far as California, Mr. Whitney has white-out conditions even in the summer because it is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. If you prefer to visit the tropics, Jean Lafitte National Park in Louisiana offers guided swamp tours. Maybe the rain forest calls you. If so, visit the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park in Oregon. When you return to work after your vacation, when your co-workers ask how you spent your vacation, you can tell them that you spent three days hiking through a rain forest. How cool is that?
With just a little research, you will find that family camping in the United States provides an unparalleled camping experience. What are you waiting for? Go camping!!