Three Road Trips to Take Over Summer Break

As summer rolls around, it gives us all an opportunity to take a break and relax from the stressful school work we’ve been doing throughout the year. This free time gives us a chance to get our friends and family together and go on roadtrips to see beautiful state and national parks that are closer than you would think. We have listed here three state and national parks that you can take a trip to and explore nature in the beautiful summer weather.

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is located in the village of Watkins Glen, South of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This park is a four hour trip from campus but the views you will see when you finally make it are worth the drive. You definitely want to plan ahead for this trip, the park is its busiest on the weekends so plan on going during the week and early in the morning.  Take your time when hiking the trails, plan at least two hours or more of hiking if you like to take photos and enjoy a more relaxing hike. If this is your first visit to the park use the main entrance and hike uphill for the most beautiful views and experiences. On the hike you’ll see a total of 19 waterfalls and hike over 800 stone steps.

Address: 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Watkins Glen State Park Water Gorge. Picture taken by Kami Hall

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, just West of Washington, D.C. The park is a little under four hours from campus and there is a wide variety of activities to do once you arrive.  The best time to visit is during the spring on weekdays from June through October .This park is worth visiting because of the flexibility Shenandoah offers, you can do either chill or strenuous activities. Across the 105 mile park you can:

Address: Front Royal (North Entrance) GPS Coordinates: 38.905729, -78.198624

View from the peak of Old Rag Mountain. Photo taken by Brian Scarpato.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located on a stretch of the Delaware River on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania border. This trip is only two hours from campus if you’re looking for a short day trip to see the beautiful views this park has to offer. The best way to avoid crowded hiking trails is to start your hike early in the morning on a summer weekday or choose a less popular trail. The park offers a variety of hiking options ranging from easy, moderate, or difficult, in total the park has over 150 trails. Also included in the trails is the Appalachian National Scenic Trail which goes through the park for many miles. The most visited part of the park is the Delaware Water Gap which is a water gap that is located in the southern portion of the park and is used for mainly recreational purposes such as rafting, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and rock climbing.  This water gap is also great for pictures! Along with the water gap there are many different activities you can do within the park such as:

Address: 1978 River Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324

Delaware Water Gap. Picture taken by Brooke Neal

Whether you want to go on a hike or enjoy the variety of activities that these parks have to offer, making the trip to one of these scenic parks should definitely be on your checklist this summer. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast for the day of your hike, nothing worse than a hike in the rain!