MADDEN PHYSICAL THERAPY Happy Trails
Adventure Through National Parks
I’ve always valued the outdoors, but when I studied abroad in New Zealand for a semester during my undergraduate schooling, I earned a greater appreciation for nature. New Zealand is known for its eco-friendly practices and its natural wonders, so it would have been difficult not to become further enamored with the outdoors while venturing overseas. Strolling outdoors is about as natural of a stress reliever as you can get. It pushes us to get away from social media and the hustle of life, focus on the present, and learn more about the vast world around us. I love spending as much time in the world as I can, and that’s why you can often find my fiancée and me hiking around central Pennsylvania whenever we get the chance. But when we’re not venturing around our local mountainous landscape, Maria and I enjoy visiting national parks. When you enter a national park, you’re getting the best of the best that nature has to offer. Whether it’s the volatile plains of Yellowstone, the sea of greenery in Shenandoah, or the rustic reds and oranges in Zion, you’re bound to see something amazing at a national park — and that’s just the landscape! The wildlife is also phenomenal at each park. Maria and I have a goal of visiting every national park together. So far, we’ve crossed seven parks off our list out of 67, including one on the East Coast and a few out west. As for which park Maria and I plan to visit next, I have a few at the top of my bucket list. Of course, I want to see Yellowstone National Park for its history — it was the first national park in the U.S. — but Yellowstone also has some amazing geothermal activity and wildlife that you can only see in the plains.
taught classes near Yosemite, I’ve never been close enough to visit. I can’t wait to make it out there again.
Finally, Acadia National Park in Maine tops the list as one of our next national park visits. Vastly different than Yellowstone and Yosemite, Acadia sits in jagged cliffs with gorgeous blue oceans. It’s one of the best sites along the East Coast, and Maria and I are itching to get up there. I always say Maria is such a trooper for venturing up and down these mountains with me. The truth is there’s no one else I’d rather explore these parks with, and I am just as excited with every park we cross off our list. I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us next.
P.S. If you ever find yourself curious about visiting a national park, then I recommend using the resources at the park. Go to the visitor’s center when you first arrive and ask plenty of questions. If you’re looking to see wildlife or want a moderate hike for the whole family, then the rangers will be the experts you need. Rangers and the visitor’s centers are tremendous resources for national park users everywhere.
Yosemite is another high bucket-list item because of its towering ancient sequoia trees and rugged mountains. It’s a legend out West, and while I’ve
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