Are you feeling that 3 p.m. energy crash? Reenergize by viewing some flowers and breathing fresh air. Along with a sunny Monday, today is National Take a Walk in the Park Day. It’s the perfect chance to stretch those leg muscles, grab a buddy, and visit your favorite park.
Walking isn’t just good for the body. In fact, many people believe it provides therapeutic benefits. Leisurely walks outside offer low-impact exercise and give tired eyes a reprieve from florescent lights and back-lit screens, relieving the body and mind of tension. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, walking outside on a trail or near a stream can leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of your day. DNR natural areas include some beautiful trails and walking grounds that are open to the public.
Located in western Washington, the mysterious Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP) has roughly 637 acres of grassland and a diverse trail system including a paved, ADA-accessible loop and gravel paths branching out from paved loop. Visitors can schedule a group tour or explore the mounds on their own. A trip to the site’s interpretive center gives guests access to full color signs with information on geology, ecology, fire, and Native American use of the prairie.
Visitors can also learn about different hypotheses regarding the formation of the mounds.
- Roemer’s fescue
- Mima Mounds topography
- Garry oak woodland and savannah
- Prairie dependent butterflies and birds
- Douglas-fir forest
For those interested in a more riparian atmosphere, consider heading to the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), located near Yakima and Klickitat counties. This 1,516 acre conservation area, made up of a coniferous forest mixed with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, provides stunning views of the free-flowing Klickitat River. Take a walk along the river canyon or picnic on the shore while enjoying the view of Mount Adams rising in the distance.
Visitors can see a number of plant and animal species, including seven rare plant species and the endangered greater sandhill crane. The conservation area also houses black bears, bobcats, deer, and many species of bird including, occasionally, bald eagles.
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