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During the COVID pandemic of 2020, government officials asked the public to avoid places where crowds could converge. Instead, they promoted outdoor activities that permitted ample space between families. Overall, this suggestion worked. As temperatures warmed up, families turned to outdoor activities they had never done before. Instead of exploring amusement parks, they explored natural areas around their homes. Instead of flying to a far-away destination, families walked, biked, or drove to local destinations. There’s no sign this enjoyment will falter in the coming years as we emerge from our residences. This is why the time to plan next year’s outdoor activities is now. To help, here are some activities you can do next year with your family.

Hike

Hiking is two things. First, it’s great exercise. Second, it provides your family with an opportunity to explore places a car can’t go. Hence, you can walk through the dense rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, climb a fourteener peak in Colorado, or traipse across the rocky beaches of New England. Actually, more paths have been created for hikers than they have for off-road vehicles. Like camping, hiking doesn’t require a huge budget. You need to purchase a solid pair of walking shoes, a sturdy backpack, and a proper water bottle. You also want to purchase protein-filled snacks to keep you going during longer treks.

Visit National Parks

The United States is blessed with dozens of national parks and monuments. All of them are ready to serve your family. Although, some of the more popular places, like the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park, may require timed tickets to enter in the next year to avoid crowding. If you don’t want to be bothered with those attractions, focus on national parks and monuments that don’t have as many visitors. For example, instead of a visit to Bryce Canyon in Utah try the Grand Staircase National Monument. Rather than braving the crowds at Gettysburg National Battlefield, you can stop at other Civil War locations in Antietam or Manassas.

Camping

The good news is camping sites weren’t affected a great deal during the 2020 pandemic. In fact, they were more popular than ever. Instead of staying at hotels and resorts, families resorted to tents and RVs during their outings. The better news is there are plenty of campsites in South Carolina where the state has tens of thousands of acres of protected land that you can enjoy. Hence, you can camp in the forest one night and near the Atlantic Ocean the next day. The best news is you can set up camp without blowing your vacation budget. In fact, you can rent camping equipment or an RV for a short journey.

Visit The Beach or Lake

There’s something about a large body of water that helps ease a family’s ragged nerves. It’s a combination of sunlight, smells, and the sound of water lapping onto the shore. Family members ground themselves even further when they put their bare feet into the water. There are millions of acres of beachfront across the East and West Coast of the U.S. as well as the Gulf Coast states like Texas and Louisiana. Those who live in the Midwest can access the Great Lakes for summertime enjoyment. Also, each state has its share of lakes and rivers ready for local and out-of-state visitors.

Biking

Biking increased in popularity during the 2020 pandemic. It was a chance for people to get from one place to another when public transportation offerings were limited. It helps that many towns and cities in the U.S. have become bike-friendly. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on your family’s bicycles. You can find deals at used bike shops. This is also where you can locate information on paths in your area. Soon enough, you might use your bike for something more than stopping at the supermarket.

Conclusion

The above suggestions are only a small sampling of outdoor activities to plan next year with your family. It’s up to you and members of your household to research others that may interest you. If you find enough, you may have next year’s activities planned well ahead of time.