If you find yourself craving time in nature, Washington County is the perfect destination for you! With 5 National Parks and 8 State Parks, there’s an abundance of hiking and biking trails throughout the county where you’ll find vast opportunities to view beautiful landscapes, see abundant flora and fauna, and enjoy the peaceful outdoors. Anyone, at any age, can reap the benefits of connecting to nature and you don’t have to climb a mountain to do so.
Scientific evidence indicates that exposure to natural environments is associated with better health and well-being. Experiencing the awe and wonder of the natural world positively affects mental health as well as chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Doctors have recognized that being active outdoors is even more beneficial than being active indoors and many are prescribing park prescriptions for their patients.
Time alone spent in nature can be very therapeutic, but it can also encourage social interactions and integrations. Positive experiences in nature can lead to a lifelong commitment and dedication to caring for and conserving natural resources, creating stewards for our public lands. So grab some friends, your family or your best adventure sidekick and fill your park prescription in Washington County, MD. Your mind and body will thank you for the nature therapy!
Some of our suggestions:
Bird Watching – Bird is the Word! Birdwatching has long been a favorite activity in Washington County. Professional ornithologists, photographers, birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers come from across the USA to soak up the scenery and snap the common and elusive bird pics, do scientific research, and simply enjoy.
Geocaching – Some call it a sport, some say it’s a treasure hunt. We think of it as a real-time adventure! Our counties three official Geo-Trails will challenge and engage you in your pursuit to locate over 50 caches. The beauty of our area coupled with our history, arts, and culture will surprise and enlighten you as search. Geo-Trail caches can be found at our national, state, county and town parks, as well as at museums, wineries, historical sites and places of natural beauty. Cachers have come from all over the USA to take on our trails.
Horseback Riding – Guided Western Pleasure Horseback Riding is available through Elk Mountain Trails, where you can ride the trails near historic along the Potomac River/C&O Canal in Maryland’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Horses available for all levels of rider, including beginners. Enjoy the peace, beauty and relaxation known as the experience of time spent in the wilderness with a horse. Reservations recommended.
Kayaking/Canoeing/Rafting– River & Trail Outfitters offers guided whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking and canoeing tours in Knoxville, MD, right next door to Harpers Ferry, WV. For those on the adventurous side, they have a 840 foot zip line. For those looking to explore the C&O Canal and other scenic trails in the area, biking and hiking are also available. Offering themed paddling tours, featuring wine & beer tastings, environmental educational trips for schools and youth groups, as well as unique team building experiences on land and water. Our paddling shop offers new and used canoes and kayaks from 5 manufacturers, as well as a variety of paddling gear and accessories.
For more information, visit our website: www.visithagerstown.com