Explore U.S. National Parks: A Virtual and Accessible Tour
This week we are heading to the U.S. National Parks to explore the great outdoors. With 62 national parks there is something for everyone to enjoy in the National Park Service (NPS). We are trying to make sure the content we suggest is accessible in different ways. Although it can be difficult to find websites that are fully accessible, we review many to offer you the ones that are the most accessible. As always, if you find barriers or have suggestions please reach out to us at email@example.com and let us know so that we can improve!
Explore the Parks with Official NPS Resources
The NPS has curated many resources to help you explore the parks from the comfort of your own home. They have a list of resources to Find Your Virtual Park, including everything from live virtual events to activities for kids. To learn about the history check out their Learn and Explore page. If you are more interested in maps and visual content, you can check out their Story Maps. Lastly, in the era of COVID the NPS has put together resources to help bring the national park experience to you at home. They have a list of 20 ways to help you create a park at home and you can also watch their webinar on this topic (captions available).
Listen to Podcasts About the Parks
If you enjoy podcasts you are in luck! There are several podcasts about the national parks. The NPS has an official podcast, Voices of Science, focused on science and conservation (transcripts available). The America’s National Parks Podcast is sponsored by L.L. Bean and tells stories about our parks (transcripts available). For a different take on the parks you can check out Gaze at the National Parks. In this podcast by Dustin Ballard and Michael Ryan hike one trail in one of the parks each episode and play trail games. They also have photo galleries from their adventures. The last podcast on our list is Everybody’s National Parks, a podcast focused on family adventures in the parks. In one episode they discuss their experiences with accessibility while visiting the parks with Grandma Joy.
Tune in to Shows and Documentaries About the Parks
When you mention film focused on the U.S. National Parks, Ken Burns’ series The National Parks: America's Best Idea instantly comes to mind. You can watch it on Amazon Prime for a fee, or it is or free with PBS Documentaries add on (captions available). You can also watch the National Parks Adventure documentary, narrated by Robert Redford, on Netflix (captions available).
Disney Plus has multiple programs about the National Parks. America’s National Parks is a docuseries that covers several of our nation’s parks, from the Everglades to the Great Smoky Mountains (captions available). To explore two of the parks in more depth you can watch Into the Grand Canyon (captions available) or Wild Yellowstone (captions available).
Get Lost in Books About the Parks
If you’d prefer to read about the parks there are several lists of suggested books. Inside Hook has a list of seven books, including a companion book to Ken Burns’ series. Of these, six are available on Kindle and three are available on Audible. Travel and Leisure has a list of another seven books about the parks. Of these six are available on both Kindle and Audible. Lastly, National Geographic curated a list of five books, exploring parks from Yosemite, to the Everglades, to Saguaro. Of these four are available on both Kindle and Audible.
Where to Next?
Thanks for wandering the U.S. National Parks with us virtually. Join us next time as we explore Egypt.