As a hub of physical activity, local parks play a vital role in a persons’ mental and physical health as well as providing for social interaction—especially during the summer. And, of course, water is essential to utilizing parks for exercise, fun and relaxation.
Here are just a few examples of what different parks can offer who love the water.
- Swimming: Many states have hidden, or not so hidden, watering holes for you to cool off, hike, and swim. Falling Rock Park Quarry is a natural pool in LaGrange, Kentucky for those who want to spend more time outdoors. http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/kentucky/swimming-spot-pristine-water-ky/
- Canoeing and kayaking: Hundreds of parks across the country offer opportunities to exercise and enjoy scenery via canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and similar activities. If you are in Illinois visit Johnson Sauk Trail State Park, home to avid kayakers and a diverse flower and tree population. https://www.enjoyillinois.com/plan-your-trip/things-to-do/activities/kayaking-in-illinois/listing/johnson-sauk-trail-state-park
- Water slides: Mother Nature provides several natural slides, such as the one at Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania. The nature-made waterslide serves as a unique summer activity for Pennsylvanians. https://wilderness-voyageurs.com/ohiopyle-natural-water-slides-meadow-run/
- Surfing and windsurfing: Opportunities for water sports abound in New Jersey beaches like Manasquan, Ocean City, and Monmouth. Researching the varying tides and difficulty levels of many New Jersey beaches will help you find the perfect place to surf.
In addition, no discussion on physical activity and beautiful parks is complete without a reminder on staying hydrated. Whether you are engaged in a water-based activity or something more land-focused such as hiking… headed out in a cooler autumn month or the scorching days of August, you need to take care to remain hydrated.
For your hydration needs, purchasing a reusable water bottle rather than a disposable plastic one, is a great way to contribute positively to your environment and save money. When deciding on a reusable water bottle, remember to consider the different materials available and your intended use for the bottle. Each material, whether it’s stainless steel, glass, or plastic, serves a different purpose. For instance, glass can be seen as a safer and cleaner-tasting alternative to plastic, but it can also be more fragile to handle and not ideal for certain activities.
So, when planning your outdoor activities for the remaining weeks of summer, keep local water-centered activities in mind as a resource for fun and exercise. And, don’t forget to bring along your reusable water bottle so you can stay hydrated as well as help keep our parks and recreational areas looking great and safe for the environment.