Our US National Parks system is an incredible, priceless gift to the world.
If you aren’t visiting them, you’re really missing out.
State parks are definitely awe-inspiring as well. Make time for these treasures as you traverse our nation’s roads, especially if you’re roadschooling (or homeschooling in an RV).
You won’t regret it!
We hiked behind waterfalls, splashed in the ocean, climbed lighthouses, studied Civil War relics and tramped for miles under awesome redwoods.
The US parks system is vast, offers something for absolutely everyone, and is often overlooked in our fast-paced, instant gratification world. Here are reasons you need to add national parks into your travel.
Why You Should Include US National Parks During Your Roadschooling Travel
US National Parks Are Worth the Time
Every National Park we visited during our RV road schooling was worth our time and any effort it took to get there.
First, they are really well maintained by the national park system. I was pleasantly surprised about everything from the bathrooms to the trails to signage to ranger centers. We didn’t see a scrap of litter anywhere (which is a nod to visitors, as well. We all need to do our part). There were also yummy restaurants and bookstores right within the parks!
Most US National Parks Accept RVs
We only struggled once or twice with parking due to our destination being a popular spot.
We didn’t take the fifth wheel inside a park, but you can do that with many of them.
You Can Camp in US National Parks
Camping in a national park is reasonably priced, but you absolutely must plan far in advance to secure a campsite!
Did you know the largest national park is Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska?
It’s 8,323,148 acres!
Every Fourth Grade Kid (and Their Family) Gets Into US National Parks FREE
We were fortunate to travel during our daughter’s fourth grade year. US national parks offer a free program specifically for fourth graders called Every Kid in a Park.
With this pass, Reagan got us into nearly every, single park we visited for free (this included Benjamin Franklin’s house in Philadelphia but excluded the Statue of Liberty). She just flashed that fancy card and voila, in we walked. It was a huge blessing but even if you’re not traveling with your very own fourth grader, the parks are reasonably priced and worth every penny.
Educational Opportunities are Endless in US National Parks
We saw reenactments at a couple of different parks (Fort Sumter and Castillo de San Marcos) and the participants were knowledgeable, patient and kind with our children. At every park, rangers treated us with the utmost respect and made our girls feel very welcome. At a historical site in Natchez, Miss., one man stayed 20 minutes after closing to make sure we had enough time to walk through the museum.
Our girls loved the junior ranger program and participated whenever we had the chance. Each park has a little pamphlet of puzzles and questions pertaining to that particular place. Our daughters wandered around finding the answers (mostly on their own) while Danny and I slowly made our way through the exhibits. It was a wonderful way to include them in the experience and it also freed up mom and dad to just be adults for a while and breath free.
After they completed the pamphlet, we found a ranger and he or she did a little “swearing in” ceremony with our daughters. They promised to explore and preserve the parks and we took pictures and clapped.
It never got old.
Several of the bigger parks also offered park passports and ranger vests on which to pin the badges we collected through the program.
US National Parks are an affordable way to learn more about our history and appreciate our country’s glorious natural resources. Every time we explored one, we were so glad we did.
When you have the opportunity, please take it!
Lisa writes at www.armedonlywiththis.com about her adventures traveling in an RV with her family.