Healthy Parks Healthy People

Three hikers on a wooded trail

NPS Photo

Give yourself the gift of better health with a walk in the park. Healthy Parks Healthy People is a global movement that harnesses the power of parks and public lands in contributing to a healthy society. It is founded on the idea that parks can be gateways to good health—providing fun, accessible places to get some physical activity and to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

Here are just a few reasons to get outdoors and enjoy a walk in the park.

  • Visiting a park is a great way to enjoy outdoor fun with friends and family.
    Parks and their health benefits can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of who you are and where you come from.
  • Being in nature can improve your mood.
  • Contact with nature through parks improves all people's physical, mental, and spiritual health.
  • Parks foster social connections, which are vital to community cohesion and contribute to social well-being.
  • For children, parks foster active play, which is associated with physical, cognitive, and social benefits.
  • For adolescents, parks improve mental and social health during what is often a challenging time of life.
  • Park use is linked to physical and mental health benefits among adults, especially older adults.
Learn more about the Healthy Park Healthy People movement in national parks.

There are more than 400 national parks across the country with countless recreational opportunities to connect people to nature for their health, including many ranger programs and special events.

Join the Movement

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Upcoming Events

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  • Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Check the Schedule for Days and Times

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    • Location: Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 ft)
    • Fees: No Fee
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Stewardship at the Summit

    Friday, December 15, 2017

    Come help out the park and the 'aina (land) by cutting invasive himalayan ginger (Heydechium gardnerianum) on park trails.

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    • Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    • Location: Kīlauea Visitor Center
    • Fees: Free event - Park entrance fees apply
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Trail Tuesdays with the Valley Forge Park Alliance

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    Join us for Trail Tuesdays as we walk, talk, get healthy, and be happy! Walk is for all fitness levels. Dogs and strollers welcome.

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    • Time: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
    • Location: Meet at the Visitor Center Parking Lot
    • Fees: Free
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Palm Trail

    Saturday, December 23, 2017

    Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone

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    • Time: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
    • Location: Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    • Fees: Free Event
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Birth of Kahuku

    Saturday, December 30, 2017

    Join us in exploring the rich geologic history of Kahuku.

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    • Time: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
    • Location: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    • Fees: Free event
  • Obed Wild & Scenic River

    Coffee and Climb With a Ranger

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    Join rangers for a free cup of coffee at Lilly Bridge from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (ET). Then, beginning at Lilly Bridge at 11 a.m. (ET), NPS rangers will be leading the Climb with a Ranger program.

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    • Time: 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM,10:00 AM
    • Location: Lilly Bridge Climbing Area
    • Fees: Free
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Hiʻiaka & Pele

    Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pele and Hiʻiaka.

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    • Time: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
    • Location: Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Kahuku unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    • Fees: Free Event
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

    Qigong Class

    Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Enjoy a free exercise class based on an ancient Chinese system.

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    • Time: 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
    • Location: Acadian Cultural Center, Lafayette
    • Fees: free
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

    Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club Work Day

    Saturday, January 13, 2018

    The Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club is a group that maintains the 20-plus miles of park trails. All trail work is done in a manner that is environmentally friendly and consistent with the historic mission of the Battlefield.

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    • Time: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    • Location: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
    • Fees: Free