Healthy Parks Healthy People

Three hikers on a wooded trail

NPS Photo

Give yourself the gift of better health with a walk in the park. Healthy Parks Healthy People is a global movement that harnesses the power of parks and public lands in contributing to a healthy society. It is founded on the idea that parks can be gateways to good health—providing fun, accessible places to get some physical activity and to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

Here are just a few reasons to get outdoors and enjoy a walk in the park.

  • Visiting a park is a great way to enjoy outdoor fun with friends and family.
    Parks and their health benefits can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of who you are and where you come from.
  • Being in nature can improve your mood.
  • Contact with nature through parks improves all people's physical, mental, and spiritual health.
  • Parks foster social connections, which are vital to community cohesion and contribute to social well-being.
  • For children, parks foster active play, which is associated with physical, cognitive, and social benefits.
  • For adolescents, parks improve mental and social health during what is often a challenging time of life.
  • Park use is linked to physical and mental health benefits among adults, especially older adults.
Learn more about the Healthy Park Healthy People movement in national parks.

There are more than 400 national parks across the country with countless recreational opportunities to connect people to nature for their health, including many ranger programs and special events.

Join the Movement

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Upcoming Events

Showing 26 results

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  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

    Apple Picking

    Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Pick your own apples from park's apple orchard. More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Park Orchard
    Fees:
    $1 per pound of apples picked
  • Haleakalā National Park

    Summit Area - Guided Hike or Ranger Talk on Selected Days

    Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Check the Schedule for Days and Times More

    Location:
    Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 ft)
    Fees:
    No Fee
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

    Better Health BaYOU! Day

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    A health fair, dancing and exercise, trail walks, games, and more---all in the great outdoors! More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    Location:
    Barataria Preserve, Marrero
    Fees:
    free
  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

    Dog Walk

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Walk in the park with your dog in the park trails. More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    North Carolina Monument
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Fall Colors Hike

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Join a ranger for a fall colors hike on the Chellberg Farm Trail. More

    Time:
    1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    Location:
    Chellberg Farm
    Fees:
    Free
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

    Fit-History: Spotsylvania: Farms and Home Sites

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Part of our Fall Fit-History Hiking Series More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Location:
    Tour Stop #3, Spotsylvania Battlfield
    Fees:
    Free
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park

    Hike to the Hall

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Explore Devil’s Hall with a ranger. Learn the geology of the park and how the steep canyon walls were formed. More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Devil's Hall
    Fees:
    Free - Park Fees apply
  • Canyonlands National Park

    Horseshoe Canyon Hike

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Join a ranger for a guided hike into Horseshoe Canyon. You do not need a reservation. This is a strenuous 7-mile hike and lasts 3 to 5 hours. More

    Location:
    Horseshoe Canyon
    Fees:
    Free
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Kahuku ‘Ohana Day

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Calling kids age 17 and under for a day of fun and discovery at Kahuku Unit, Ka‘ū. More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    Location:
    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit - Hwy 11 between mile markers 70 & 71
    Fees:
    Free event
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

    Octivities

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Join us for an afternoon of traditional Halloween activities and celebrations and an evening with guided lantern tours of the darker side of the late 19th century. More

    Location:
    Millbrook Village
    Fees:
    Free
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Stewardship at the Summit

    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Come help out the park and the 'aina (land) by cutting invasive himalayan ginger (Heydechium gardnerianum) on park trails. More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Kīlauea Visitor Center
    Fees:
    Free event - Park entrance fees apply
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park

    McKittrick Canyon Day Hike

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Meet at the McKittrick Canyon contact station and hike to Pratt Cabin with a ranger. Relax in a rocking chair on the porch of the cabin and share stories and snacks before you hike back! More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
    Location:
    McKittrick Canyon
    Fees:
    Free
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

    Signs of Fall Hike

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Enjoy a great hike, and learn about the science behind the beautiful season of fall with the Pocono Environmental Education Center. More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Pocono Environmental Education Center
    Fees:
    $5
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Trail Tuesdays with the Valley Forge Park Alliance

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017

    Join us for Trail Tuesdays as we walk, talk, get healthy, and be happy! Walk is for all fitness levels. Dogs and strollers welcome. More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Meet at the Visitor Center Parking Lot
    Fees:
    Free
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Yoga in the Fields

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017

    Join us on the farm for yoga in the fields. More

    Location:
    Spice Acres
    Fees:
    Fee: $10 non farm-share members, $5 farm-share members.. Cash or check only
  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

    Birding Walk

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

    The 1.3 mile walk will give visitors an opportunity to identify birds. More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Appomattox River Wayside parking area
    Fees:
    Free
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways

    Ozark Trail Association Mega Event

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

    e Ozark Trail Association will host two events this Fall to complete the new connecting trail from Round Spring to the Blair Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. More

    Location:
    Round Spring
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Puʻu o Lokuana

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

    Puʻu o Lokuana is a short, moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike. More

    Time:
    9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Kahuku unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    Fees:
    Free Event
  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park

    Two Wheels Towards History: Bike Ride

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

    Ride to Long Leaf Vista. Reservations Required. More

    Time:
    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Magnolia Plantation
    Fees:
    Free
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Realms and Divisions of Kahuku

    Sunday, October 29, 2017

    Realms and Divisions of Kahuku is a moderately-difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on Kahuku Unit's newest trail, Pu'u Kahuku. More

    Time:
    9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
    Location:
    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    Fees:
    Free event
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Birth of Kahuku

    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Join us in exploring the rich geologic history of Kahuku. More

    Time:
    9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
    Location:
    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit - Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5
    Fees:
    Free event
  • Obed Wild & Scenic River

    Coffee and Climb With a Ranger

    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Join rangers for a free cup of coffee at Lilly Bridge from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (ET). Then, beginning at Lilly Bridge at 11 a.m. (ET), NPS rangers will be leading the Climb with a Ranger program. More

    Time:
    12:00 PM to 2:00 PM,10:00 AM
    Location:
    Lilly Bridge Climbing Area
    Fees:
    Free
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

    Fit-History: Virginia Central Trail and Idlewild

    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Part of our Fall Fit-History Hiking Series More

    Time:
    10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Location:
    Meet at Alum Spring Park, 1 Greenbrier Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
    Fees:
    Free
  • Hot Springs National Park

    Iron Ranger Challenge - Hike

    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Take the Challenge....100 miles in 365 days. Join us for all our scheduled hikes and you will achieve this goal in 2017! More

    Location:
    Hot Springs National Park
    Fees:
    Free
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

    Qigong Class

    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Enjoy a free exercise class based on an ancient Chinese system. More

    Time:
    8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
    Location:
    Acadian Cultural Center, Lafayette
    Fees:
    free
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

    Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club Work Day

    Saturday, November 11, 2017

    The Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club is a group that maintains the 20-plus miles of park trails. All trail work is done in a manner that is environmentally friendly and consistent with the historic mission of the Battlefield. More

    Time:
    8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
    Location:
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
    Fees:
    Free