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Visiting National Parks with the Family 0

Posted on August 21, 2009 by dorisch

National parks and family vacations just seem to go hand in hand. In fact, most people over the age of 35 have at least one fond childhood memory of a national park family vacation. Today, many parents long to recreate that magical childhood vacation experience with their own children; but at the same time they worry about appropriate access.

Visiting National Parks is educational for the children and is a great opportunity for family to bond. Sometimes, I like to take a break from my .home gyms and do an excursion to the parks.

Access varies from park to park, so advance planning is a must; however, generally speaking most national parks are a great choice for accessible and affordable family fun. Over in Yosemite National Park, the newest access upgrade was unveiled in April 2005 — the culmination of the massive ten-year $13.5 million Yosemite Falls Restoration Project. Designed by the same landscape architect who worked on the FDR Memorial in Washington DC, the project includes a new 3/4-mile paved trail to the bridge at lower Yosemite Falls. The gentle grade allows for wheelchair-access and the wide trail has many pull outs, resting spots and benches along the way. Indeed, for the first time there is barrier-free access to the base of Yosemite Falls.

No matter which national park you choose to visit, advance research is a must. The best place to start is on the National Park Service website (which is NPS dot gov). Some parks have access information listed, while others only have contact phone numbers. Sometimes you just have to pick up the phone and talk directly with a park employee to find out about access



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