For 2019, our family goal was to complete the NC Parks Amazing Adventure Challenge – visiting all 41 state parks (including natural areas and recreation areas) in 365 days. We started the challenge on January 1, 2019 and finished it on October 13, 2019!
High points: it was exciting (we had never been to 40 out of the 41 parks), inexpensive, and educational. We spent a lot of time together as a family and got plenty of exercise!
Low points: using every available Sunday to day trip around the state, leaving us with less time to get things done around the house, and pushing the kids to their limits out on the trails.
Couldn’t have done it without the fantastic NC Parks website (www.ncparks.gov), a treasure trove of park fact sheets, maps, trail descriptions, activities, photos, and special events. The Passport Program is so well done! We love our state park prizes and they’ll always be a reminder of the year we did the amazing adventure challenge!
We were exploring New River State Park one day and started chatting with a park ranger. “You have such a beautiful park!” we exclaimed. “This is your park!” he responded. We hadn’t thought of it that way before – as taxpayers in North Carolina, our money funds the establishment and maintenance of the state parks. We have the privilege to use them and the responsibility to care for them. So yes, these are “our” parks. A beautiful thought and another reason to love our Naturally Wonderful state.