From the Digital Revolution to the Social Media Boom
Since the Digital Revolution boom of the early 1990s, technology has become increasingly advanced. With that, we’ve been able to make huge strides as a nation, advancing ourselves in ways that were previously thought impossible.
About a decade later, the rise of social media began, launching the first recognized social media site, known as Six Degrees. This exclusive, invite-only social network jumpstarted what we know today as social networking.
Flash forward another couple decades and social media now consumes the lives of the majority of the world’s population. While there are benefits to being socially connected digitally, researchers are now beginning to realize that younger generations no longer understand how to interact face-to-face.
Cell phones, videogames, and social networking platforms have replaced time spent outdoors. And too much time spent on social media has been linked to an increase in depression and loneliness. Thankfully, there is a very simple way to combat too much time spent on your phone or gaming online – spending some time outdoors.
A study released by Science Daily stated that “living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits — according to new research. A new report reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.”
Education is Key to Change
We understand how vital of a role education plays on our generation and generations to come. In our film, National Parks Adventure, viewers are given a glimpse into the beauty and awe of some of our nation’s most stunning national parks.
Exploring, questioning, and learning leads to a better understanding of the world around us. By developing a relationship with the great outdoors, adults and children begin seeing things differently. Active outdoor lifestyles help create a healthier way of living, both physically and mentally.
Encourage your friends and family to visit a national park this year and you’ll soon find out why a digital detox is sometimes just what the body and soul needed!
1. Katmai National Park & Preserve
Location: Southern Alaska (King Salmon)
From backcountry hiking and camping, to bear watching, fishing, and sightseeing, Katmai Park & Preserve has something to give everyone who explores its beautiful and pristine lands. Due to its location, you cannot drive to Katmai. The best way to reach this hidden treasure is via air taxi flights or a boat. If you’re planning on visiting to catch a glimpse of the infamous bears at Brooks Camp, National Park Service and concessioner services are offered from early June to mid-September, though Katmai National Park is open year-round.
Fun Fact: Katmai National Park & Preserve is one of the most volcanic areas in the world! Including, at least 14 active volcanoes within its park boundaries!
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/katm/index.htm.
2. Yosemite National Park
Location: Eastern California (Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera)
Spanning nearly 750,000 acres, Yosemite National Park gives countless options to travelers who venture to its vast area. With 800 miles of hiking trails, 214 miles of paved roads, and 20 miles dedicated to walking and bicycle paths, it’s no surprise that Yosemite receives about 3.7 million visitors annually.
Fun Fact: Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park is filled with Giant Sequoia Trees that can reach up to 280 feet tall and can live to be 3,500 years old! (Source: Yosemite Fun Facts Sheet for National Parks Adventure)
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm.
3. Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park also referred to as the Crown of the Continent, is located in Montana, and sits right along the United States-Canada border. Those looking for views of alpine meadows, breathtaking lakes, bountiful forests, and rugged mountains are in for a treat with this national treasure. Families, or couples, looking for that perfect road trip adventure should look into driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 53-mile scenic highway, located within Glacier National Park.
Fun Fact: Don’t worry if you hear something that sounds vaguely like human yelling. Mountain goats are notorious for their high-pitched bleating noises and they are so plentiful that they have become somewhat of an official symbol of the park, usually watching visitors from a safe distance while rummaging around for food.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.
4. Yellowstone National Park
Location: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho (Mostly WY)
Yellowstone is most known for its vast naturally occurring geysers, with Old Faithful arguably being one of the most well-known. As a crowd favorite, it’s no surprise that this national park exceeds more than 4 million visitors in a given year (2015 stat). The most popular time to visit tends to be from June to August, so if you haven’t made those summer vacation plans yet it might be time to book a trip to Yellowstone and see Old Faithful for yourself.
Not able to make the trip? You can live stream Old Faithful’s eruptions here.
Fun Fact: Yellowstone is the world’s first national park and was established on March 1st, 1872. It was signed into effect by President Ulysses S. Grant as the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm.
5. Devils Tower National Monument
Location: Crook County, NE Wyoming
Devil’s Tower, surrounding the Black Hills in North America, may sound like something out of a horror story, but we promise it’s anything but. Its fascinating size and deep vertical groves make it a sight worth seeing, and while there are no rumors of any hauntings or paranormal activity happening around Devils Tower, it is considered a sacred place to over 20 Native American tribes.
Fun Fact: Devils Tower made a key appearance in Steven Spielberg’s eerie sci-fi film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Alternative Name: Devils Tower is also known as Bear Lodge, as noted in early Native American stories. Read more about the history of the name here.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm
6. Arches National Park
Location: SE Utah
The naturally occurring rock formations found in Arches National Park look like something straight out of a Hollywood picture, but the red-rock arches and perfectly balanced rock arrangements are one instead one of Earth’s own environmental masterpieces. From backpacking and biking, to rock climbing and stargazing, Arches National Park is a must-see for adventurers and explorers alike.
Fun Fact: There is a fascinating reason behind all of the intricate arch formations found in Arches National Park. Approximately 300 million years ago, an inland sea covered what now makes up the rocky terrain. In total, the sea evaporated and reformed itself 29 times, leaving behind salt beds that were thousands of feet thick. These salt beds were eventually buried by sand and boulders that were carried down by streams from the uplands. Due to the salt density being lower than the rock, it rose up through the overlying sediment and formed itself into the domes and ridges seen today.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm.
7. Canyonlands National Park
If you’re looking for a complete escape, Canyonlands may be the perfect place for you. Divided by the Green and Colorado rivers, Canyonlands is split into three districts known as Island in the Sky, The Needles and The Maze. Most visitors find that they are only able to visit one to two districts on a single trip, due to the travel time between each location. There are no roads that cross the rivers to directly connect the Canyonlands districts, so expect about a two to six-hour commute by car when exploring the areas. Due to the remote location of Canyonlands, very few services are offered. Travelers should plan on bringing everything needed before embarking on their trip.
Fun Fact: The Green River was formally known as the Spanish River, but was renamed in 1824 as the Green River, due to the green-ish coloring of the water caused by green soapstone banks found along its course.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm.
8. Joshua Tree National Park
Location: SE California
Joshua Tree National Park links together two very distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and Colorado. Interestingly enough, the Joshua tree, otherwise known as the Yucca brevifolia, plays an important in the Mojave Desert ecosystem. These spiky, sometimes bushy, sometimes lanky, looking trees act as a home for birds, mammals, insects, and lizards that live in the desert forest. Visitors to the park can enjoy camping, hiking, and even art-centric activities during their stay. Joshua Tree’s busy season runs from October through May, but the park is open year-round.
Travel Tip: In need of a social detox? There is no cell service located in Joshua Tree National Park, so be sure to plan ahead and travel with a friend for added safety.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm.
9. Redwood National Park
Location: Coast of Northern California
When you think of Redwood National Park, land of the tall trees probably comes to mind, right? While this is true, there is much more to this beautiful redwood oasis. Travelers may be surprised to find that the park hugs 40-miles of coastline and includes three river systems within the park. The Smith River, the Klamath River, and Redwood Creek are a fisher’s paradise. For those looking for an alternative way to enjoy the park, scenic drives and nature walks are a great way for families and couples to take in the beauty of the area.
Fun Fact: By the time Redwood National Park was created in 1968, 90% of original redwood trees had been logged.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm.
Photo credit: David Fortney
10. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Location: Munising, Michigan
Does your heart call to the majestic ocean, but your head long for the peace of deep forest woods? What if we told you, you could have both? Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore brings together the best of both worlds, providing visitors with access to beautiful sandstone cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, and forest land. With so many distinct landscapes to explore, there are plenty of outdoor opportunities for adventure all year-round. Including, some trails and beaches that are approved for traveler’s four-legged friends.
Fun Fact: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore got its name from mineral stain streaks that “paint” the sandstone cliffs. When groundwater trickles down the rock-side through cracks, color-producing minerals appear. Some common coloring you’ll find at Pictured Rocks include red and orange (iron), blue and green (copper), brown and black (manganese) and white (limonite).
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm.
11. Everglades National Park
Unlike any other national park included on this list, the Everglades National Park is unparalleled when it comes to a landscape that plays habitat to rare and endangered species. From well-known crocodiles to manatees and even Florida panthers, this national park is a prime location for animal lovers and researchers to get a look at some of the rarest Florida species around. Check out the park calendar for ranger-led programs and tours during your stay.
Fun Fact: Since 1990, 50% of the Everglades have been drained for agricultural and urban development.
For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm.
Don’t forget to explore responsibly. You can join in on the movement and share your eco-conscious photos using the hashtag #ExploreResponsibly to show your love for America’s beautiful national parks.
Did your park not make this list? Tell us why it should have in the comments below or give us a shout-out on one of our social platforms using the hashtag #MacFreeFilms.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalParksAdventure/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/macfreefilms/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/macfreefilms
- Mammoser, Gigen. “Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness.”Healthline, Healthline Media, Dec. 2018, healthline.com/health-news/social-media-use-increases-depression-and-loneliness.
- “It’s Official — Spending Time Outside Is Good for You.”ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 6 July 2018, sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180706102842.htm.
- “Katmai National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/katm/index.htm.
- “Volcanoes.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/katm/learn/nature/volcanoes.htm.
- “Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/yose/index.htm.
- “Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/glac/index.htm.
- “Going-To-The-Sun Road.”Montana, 1 July 2019, visitmt.com/listings/general/scenic-highway/going-to-the-sun-road.html.
- “Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/yell/index.htm.
- “First Stories.”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/deto/learn/historyculture/first-stories.htm.
- “Devils Tower National Monument (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/deto/index.htm.
- “Just Fun Facts.”Fun and Interesting Site, 1 Jan. 1968, justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-arches-national-park/.
- “Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/arch/index.htm.
- Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Green River.”Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1 Dec. 2014, britannica.com/place/Green-River-Wyoming-Colorado-Utah.
- “Canyonlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/cany/index.htm.
- “Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/jotr/index.htm.
- “Just Fun Facts.”Fun and Interesting Site, 1 Jan. 1969, justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-redwood-national-and-state-parks/.
- “Redwood National and State Parks (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/redw/index.htm.
- “Pets at Pictured Rocks.”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/pets.htm.
- “Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/piro/index.htm.
- “Calendar.”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
- “Everglades National Park (U.S. National Park Service).”National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nps.gov/ever/index.htm.