101 Ways to Explore Nature

Arch formations
Arches National Park

NPS Photo / M. Reed

On August 25, 2017, the National Park Service will turn 101! Celebrate and explore nature in one (or more!) of these 101 ways.

  1. Find Your Park – There are over 400 national park units to choose from, where will you visit?
  2. Go hiking
  3. Sleep under the stars at one of 130 campgrounds in national park units
  4. Go climbing
  5. Hit the trail on your bike
  6. Observe the world around you, watch wildlife in any season
  7. Learn about the stars at a night sky program
  8. Take a deep breath in nature (ahh, fresh air!)
  9. Enjoy the view from home – check out the NPS Air Quality webcams and get current air quality information
  10. Sink your toes in the sand at one of the ocean parks
  11. Earn a badge in one of the Junior Ranger programs
  12. #FindYourWay and float down a wild and scenic river
  13. Have a picnic and be sure to store your food properly!
  14. Go on a ranger led tour, see if you can spot #RangersPointingAtThings
  15. Bring a kid to a park – thanks to the Every Kid in a Park program, 4th graders get free admission to national parks
  16. Explore biodiversity in parks
  17. Bee pollinator friendly, plant a pollinator garden
  18. Discover the secret lives of bats
  19. Learn about an endangered species
  20. Lay down and watch the clouds roll by
  21. Visit a park with bears
  22. Be bear aware
  23. Create art in a park
  24. Watch an episode of Outside Science (inside parks)
  25. Explore the seashore with these seashore activities
A person fishes on the seashore
Fishing at Fire Island National Seashore

NPS Photo

  1. Go fishing
  2. Boost your mood with a Park Prescription... Simply spend time outside!
  3. Browse the Explore Nature photo gallery on Flickr
  4. Rummage through a scientist’s desk
  5. Explore a cave
  6. Make your own cave at home
  7. Learn about America’s Natural Wonders – the National Natural Landmarks
  8. Hug a tree! Examine the bark, how does it feel and smell?
  9. Discover what’s beneath the surface of the ocean
  10. Dive into a park and learn about submerged resouces
  11. Find bison at home on the range
  12. Find evidence of an ancient life with Fossils and Paleontology
  13. Explore America’s geologic legacy
  14. Explore science in parks at Research Learning Centers
  15. Go paddleboarding on a lake
  16. Go water skiing
  17. Learn about your favorite wild animal
  18. Learn about the different ocean habitats
  19. Experience a natural phenomena
  20. Experience the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017
  21. Celebrate our geological heritage on National Fossil Day
  22. Go for a bike ride in your neighborhood, notice the weather
  23. Strike a pose in a park! Share your photos with us using #ParkPose
  24. Take a photo in a park that matches a historic one, use hashtag #retrogram and #tbt
  25. Plan a field trip to a national park
Visitors at Great Sand Dunes
Visitors at Great Sand Dunes National Park

NPS Photo / M. Reed

  1. Take an urban hike through a city park
  2. Go tubing on a scenic river
  3. Visit one of the famous trees in national parks
  4. Follow a journey of Science at Sea in the Gulf of Mexico
  5. Get a senior park pass
  6. Find a career in science
  7. Get up to speed on nature news
  8. Become a volunteer
  9. Become an artist in residence
  10. Travel a trail by horseback
  11. Take a closer look – examine the petals of a flower
  12. Watch a video and get your eye on science
  13. Explore a national heritage area
  14. Take Instagram-worthy photos like a pro with these quick tips
  15. Go on a nature photo scavenger hunt
  16. Build your own compass to help you get around
  17. Go birding, check out these helpful tips for beginners
  18. Host a "bativity" to learn more about bats
  19. Watch the sunrise
  20. Watch the sunset
  21. Get some vitamin sea – go surfing!
  22. Take a photo at the same place in a park at all 4 seasons, notice the changes.
  23. Go kayaking or canoeing
  24. Go boating
  25. See fish up close – go snorkeling or diving!
Two people snorkeling above a coral reef
Snorkelers on Elkhorn Coral in Biscayne National Park

NPS Photo

  1. Go on a bug hunt in your backyard – what kind of insects can you find?
  2. Discover the different types of ocean life
  3. Travel through geologic time online
  4. See the power of tectonic plates
  5. Learn about different land surfaces and park landforms
  6. Get immersed in caves and karst with these children’s books
  7. Dig into prehistoric paleontology and learn about fossils in parks
  8. Geology is extreme! See a list of highest, deepest, and widest geologic formations in parks
  9. Find a conservation internship program with Geoscientists in the Parks
  10. Experience your America everyday by working with the NPS
  11. Go dog sledding
  12. Go snowmobiling
  13. Go snoeshoeing
  14. Stargaze
  15. Explore natural sounds from home in the sound gallery
  16. Listen closely – enhance your soundscape with these listening tips
  17. Learn the 7 ways to safely watch wildlife
  18. Watch wildlife from home
  19. Camp in your backyard
  20. Visit a park and keep a journal about what you experience
  21. Tell a friend about your favorite national park experience, inspire them to visit!
  22. Draw a picture of your favorite place outdoors
  23. Visit Explore Nature online
  24. Be a friend to nature. Like Explore Nature on Facebook
  25. Tweet! Follow Explore Nature on Twitter
  26. InstaLike! Follow Explore Nature on Instagram

Last updated: August 1, 2017