Family camping and nature go together like the perverbial horse and carriage. Having one without the other leaves the experience somewhat incomplete.
Families that flock to campgrounds nearly always choose this adventure holidays as a means to get closer to nature. The National Wildlife Federation released (in unnumbered order) its Top Ten Great Places to see America’s Wildlife. Family campers in Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Montana can view wildlife up close at the NWF’s top ten locations.
American Bison-southwestern Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The bison, or buffalo, which once roamed the wild west in the millions, numbers 650 in this refuge. Nearby campers may drive the roads available throughout the refuge to view this sturdy breed. Texas longhorn cattle and wild elk are also present.
Bald Eagle-Acadia in Maine. The bald eagle, our nation’s symbol, has replenished itself through national recovery programs. Acadia is a family camping birdwatchers haven. A national park record 300 bird species may be scene at Park Loop Road and the outer islands.
Regal Fritillary Butterflies-National Guard training facilities at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. Family campers on a day trip can get a free guided tour in July from fort staff personnel to watch these delicate natural beauties desert their cocoons.
Synchronous Fireflies-Great Smokey Mountains at meadows southwest of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Adult male and female fireflies (Photinus carolinus) find each other in their brief lives of just three weeks and mate by synchronized flashing between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. every night throughout most of June. groups can make the nightly shows by joining the bus caravan run by the National Park Service from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Green Jays-Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Documented to house as many as 413 tropical bird species local to this area, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is another birdwatcher’s dream nest. For the enjoyment of family campers, many of the exotic birds like the visitor’s center, where a photography blind and feeders are located.
Prairie Dogs-Badlands National Park at Roberts Prairie Dog Town in South Dakota. From Sage Creek Rim Road, thousands of black-tailed prairie dogs and some 20 members of the black-footed ferret clan make up the colony that lives here. North America’s fastest land mammal, the pronghorn, a 70 mph sprinter, may also catch the eye of family campers who traverse the park’s road.
American Alligators-Everglades National Park in Florida. The alligator is said to have survived for 65 million years. Family campers are advised to arrange tours through the Royal Palm Visitor Center, but the Anhinga Trail, a boardwalk, and canoe and hiking trips