Made up of flourishing forests and thriving wetlands, Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is a dazzling sanctuary found in both New Hampshire and Maine. Because the majority of the refuge includes lands surrounding Lake Umbagog and the Magalloway River, the best access to the refuge is by boat or kayak. Boating or paddling will allow you to explore or paddle through the marshes and waterways. Enjoy great fishing and beauty with the opportunity to see bear, moose, deer, eagles, loons and so much more. Photo by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Let’s talk about a legacy of fun! On October 8, 1964, President Johnson signed an act formally establishing Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona and Nevada. The act redesignated the old Boulder Dam Recreation Area and included Lake Mohave. Now the first National Recreation Area established by Congress covers almost 1.5 million acres of land and water. Boating, hiking, photography, fishing and swimming are all popular at this aquatic playground. We recommend taking a kayak to Emerald Cave to see the unbelievable green waters. Photo by Cheryl Hobbs (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park, their summer waters eventually running into the Gulf of Alaska. Tens of thousands of years of glacial carving and strong waves have scoured much of the existing shoreline in the fjords, creating a dramatic meeting of land and ocean. Visitors with a sense of adventure can brave the waves and experience the awe-inspiring power of a tidewater glacier, while dipping a hand into these frigid blue waters. Photo by Courtney Wright (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Part of Gateway National Recreation Area, Jamaica Bay is a wildlife refuge within sight of the New York City skyscrapers. Walk along the water, kayak, boat or birdwatch and take pleasure in the serene views of the open bay. One of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeast, Jamaica Bay provides vital woods, fields and marshes for wildlife to flourish. The National Park Service stewards this remarkable place that serves as a break from the bustling metropolis of the city. Photo by Micael Fano (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Peering through a sea cave at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and you’re given a secret glimpse of the world. Located near the southwest tip of Lake Superior – the largest and most pristine of the Great Lakes – Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is comprised of 21 islands and 13 miles of Wisconsin shoreline. The colorful Precambrian sandstone has eroded into fascinating cliff formations and the park’s waters offer sailing, power boating, sea kayaking, fishing and scuba diving. This photo captures a view from a little cove on Stockton Island that came down during powerful breaking waves in 2017. Photo by Michael DeWitt (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Huron National Wildlife Refuge is made up of eight small islands three miles off the Michigan shoreline of Lake Superior. Accessible only by boat, the refuge’s forests and bog provide habitat for birds like the herring gull, cedar waxwing and bald eagle. Visitors can stroll along Huron’s lone trail and take pictures of the historic stone lighthouse, the grays and pinks of the exposed bedrock, the blues of the lake and the contrasting greens of the trees. The bedrock itself offers shutterbugs a chance to capture the unique patterns caused by boulders cutting grooves into the rock as glaciers moved slowly over the landscape 8,000 years ago. Photo by Garrett Peterson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Imagine a network of pathways and waterways through a corridor rich in natural beauty and historic importance. The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail runs from Pennsylvania through Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Visitors can explore by biking, hiking, riding or paddling. It’s a great place to get exercise the mind, body and spirit. Photo of Bonds Landing on the Potomac by Monica Larcom, National Park Service.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s protected bays, pristine beaches and natural beauty provide outstanding water recreation. Public docks are found on 12 of the islands in the Wisconsin national lakeshore, and visitors can explore this area of Lake Superior by boat, kayak or canoe. Use safe boating practices and you’ll enjoy fun times and stunning scenery. Photo by Jasmine Wilhelm (www.sharetheexperience.org).