A scenic drive along the Molalla River in Oregon offers easy river access and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, camping, whitewater boating and fishing. The river is one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River and cuts a picturesque gorge on its way to the valley floor. Molalla River Recreation Area offers an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Take your time on the trails to enjoy the changing colors. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management.
Dinosaur National Monument offers a lifetime of places to explore. Depending on your interest and time, you can discover dinosaur fossils, Native American rock art, homesteader cabins, early 20th century ranches, remote canyons, dramatic vistas, peaceful rivers or windswept peaks. Some places are easily accessible from the monument’s roads, while others may require extended hikes or river trips. Looking down hundreds of feet to the Green River as it curls past narrow canyon walls, you’ll know it was worth the exercise. Photo by National Park Service.
In the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, the Yampa River flows through Sand Canyon and meets the Green River in Echo Park. Following the water, you’ll pass through wide, rocky canyons and cross from Colorado into Utah. If you look close enough, you can see Native American pictographs and the dinosaur fossils that gave the park its name. Doesn’t that sounds like a terrific summer adventure? Photo by National Park Service.
There’s no better place to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week than America’s public waters. On rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands and oceans, you can paddle thrilling whitewater or float your way to relaxation. Grab your rod and reel (and maybe a friend) and try to hook the big one. Whatever you do, make a splash. Photo of Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area in Colorado by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management. #FindYourWay
Born in the Appalachian Mountains, the New River flows north through several states before joining the Ohio River system, then the Mississippi River and finally the Gulf of Mexico. In West Virginia, it tumbles through the wide valley of New River Gorge – an area rich in natural and cultural history. 70,000 acres of this forested valley are protected as New River Gorge National River, where people and wildlife can enjoy the endless natural splendor. Photo by Richard Burgess (www.sharetheexperience.org).
It’s National Wildflower Week! Of all the unique and colorful wildflowers on public lands, few are as fascinating as the Cahaba lily. A rare type of spiderlily with striking 3-inch white flowers, the Cahaba lily requires a specialized habitat of swift water flowing over rocks with lots of sunlight. Cahaba lilies bloom from mid-May to mid-June (or Mother’s Day to Father’s Day). The best and largest populations are located at Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Photo by Keith Boseman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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.
There are no roads to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Visitors arrive by plane or boat to discover a stunning wilderness of snow capped mountain ranges, rich forests, turquoise lakes and incredible wildlife. The size and beauty of Lake Clark is overwhelming, promising the intrepid an experience of a lifetime. Photo by K. Miller, National Park Service.
Here’s a look into the future at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Green hillsides and spring showers are still months away at our country’s largest national park, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of endless mountain views under the midnight sun. If this doesn’t inspire you to start planning your trip, we don’t know what will. Photo by Neal Herbert, National Park Service.