The National Take a Walk in the Park Day is just around the corner. What’s better than celebrating the event by visiting a park filled with trees tall as skyscrapers? Trees’ canopies cool our houses and streets and protect us from UV radiation even on the hottest summer days. So having a stroll around a tree-filled park is absolutely ideal during this time of the year.
What’s more, the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, and our travel options become more limited. This makes the urban forests — and the appeal of the outdoors — seems more vital than ever.
If you’re also an outdoor enthusiast, check out 5 of our favorite tree-filled parks this National Take a Walk in the Park Day.
1. Muir Woods National Monument, USA
Muir Woods National Monument is tucked inside an ocean-facing fold of Mount Tamalpais, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The monument protects the final stand of uncut old-growth coast redwoods in the Bay Area. This area had been nearly depleted by loggers by the late 1800s.
Muir Woods gives an experience found in just a few places on the planet. Here, the tranquil groves of the coast redwoods are representatives of the species Sequoia sempervirens. This species is the sole remaining habitat on the globe. Their habitats are mostly the enclaves of the California Pacific Coast.
It was named after famed naturalist John Muir, who deemed the site to be “the finest tree-memorial lover’s that could possibly be found in all the woods of the globe” when President Theodore Roosevelt designated it as a national monument in 1908.
Even on busy summer days, especially if you visit early in the morning, there is a stunning calm here. Some of them are over a century old, rising 250 feet/76 meters overhead. To witness the arrow-straight redwoods, follow high boardwalks intended to safeguard the redwoods’ fragile root system. Check the park’s programs schedule for a guided stroll at night for a memorable experience.
Keep in mind that the road to the park is winding and narrow. The parking lots fill up quickly in the summer and on weekends. (If you miss a parking place in the lots, you’ll have a lengthy walk back to your car.) Take the public Muir Woods shuttle from neighboring Sausalito (March through October). Another method is to organize a trip with a local shuttle service or tour operator.
2. Congaree National Park, USA
Many often call Congaree National Park as the “Redwoods of the East”, or “Home of Champions”. It is the biggest preserved old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States. The park is filled with giants. From sweet gum, cherry bark oak, American elm, to swamp chestnut oak, overcup oak. The park also has a 130-foot-high tree canopy.
Congaree National Park, the biggest complete stretch of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the southeastern United States, boasts incredible biodiversity. The Congaree and Wateree Rivers convey nutrients and sediments across the floodplain, nourishing and rejuvenating the ecology and supporting the establishment of national and state champion trees.
3. Hyde Park, UK
A haven in the heart of England’s capital? Yes, it does exist, and the location is known as Hyde Park. Established as a public park in the 17th century, it is currently London’s largest park! You may hire boats, deck chairs, and go to the famed Speaker’s Corner on Sunday mornings when you can experience the park and the local people in its entirety.
Hyde Park is a 350-acre natural park in central London with 400 trees and a huge lake. Begin your tour of the park’s attractions with the Diana Memorial Fountain, a serene memorial fashioned of 545 pieces of Cornish granite dedicated to the late Princess of Wales.
Speakers’ Corner, a historic place of public protest, speeches, and debates historically utilized by Karl Marx, George Orwell, and Vladimir Lenin, are among the other attractions.
The Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Center, which features football pitches, a putting green, and a lawn bowls area, is open to sports lovers. In addition, there are two horseback riding stables in the park, as well as open-air swimming in the Serpentine lake.
4. The Imperial Palace East Gardens, Japan
Next to the Imperial Palace of Tokyo lies a real zen retreat, with the East Garden (Higashi Gyoen) in particular being particularly lovely. The Imperial Palace East Gardens cover an area of 210,000 square meters and are situated on the site of Edo Castle’s two innermost defense walls. The Honmaru area has a large lawn that marks the location of the main keep, while the Ninomaru section has a garden that dates back to the Edo era. It is particularly lovely in the fall.
The gardens are open every day except Monday and Friday. What’s more, they are free to enter! The Imperial Palace East Garden’s Ote-mon gate, which was previously the main entry to Edo Castle, is a good site to start your tour. Otemachi Station on the Chiyoda, Tozai, Marunouchi, Hanzomon, and Mita metro lines is a five-minute walk from the gate, while Tokyo Station is a 15-minute walk.
5. Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
The crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system is the Corcovado National Park. Corcovado National Park, located on the isolated Osa Peninsula in southwest Costa Rica, protects the biggest surviving area of primary rainforest on Central America’s Pacific coast.
Corcovado National Park covers 40% of the Osa Peninsula and is home to over 250,000 species, more than half of Costa Rica’s total. Scarlet macaws, squirrel monkeys, and tapirs, which are rarely seen in other parts of the nation, are prevalent in Corcovado. It has been dubbed “the most biologically intensive area on Earth” by National Geographic.
Sirena Ranger Station, a modest lodge halfway down the Osa Peninsula, is the major attraction in Corcovado National Park. This lonely outpost, surrounded by pristine jungle, is undoubtedly Costa Rica’s greatest site to watch animals. For day and overnight journeys, visitors come by foot, by boat, or by plane.
Corcovado isn’t for everyone, to be sure. It’s one of Costa Rica’s most isolated national parks. Strolling around this hot, humid park is a little uncomfortable. It is, nonetheless, one of the most beautiful sites on the globe for tropical wildlife watching.
Trees are essential components of their ecosystems, contributing to the environment by providing wildlife habitat, enhancing air quality, saving water, and avoiding soil erosion. These green giants may not be able to alleviate all of our issues, but they can provide a respite from the loneliness and fear that the current COVID-19 brings.
That is why Tenere encourages you to explore the woods in your own backyard or plan a journey to marvel at these iconic trees. Finding a serene spot for peace and quiet in the center of a hectic city, whether it’s a little green block or rolling hills with wildlife and a river, is something truly wonderful.
Do you have a personal favorite park? Let us know in the comment so that we can add it to the list.