How are you getting outside this winter? Each fall when the clocks go back, we have to remind ourselves that, yes, it's okay to be out in the dark (ahem, 5 p.m.), and in the colder temperatures. And then comes the realization that the crisp air on our cheeks feels nice, the dark makes us slow down, and the outdoors in winter can feel magical. With that in mind, here are four links full of 21 inspirational ways -- from stargazing to state park safari-style tents -- to enjoy this season.
The George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas (image from Garden & Gun).
1. See Stars Close to Home in the South
Has the recent launch of NASA’s Artemis I moon rocket piqued an interest in stargazing? Enjoy Garden & Gun's list of seven spots where you can go on late-night astro-adventures to see the stars, all within easy access of Southern metropolitans. They offer prime views of the night sky, and many of them host periodic stargazing events with astronomers on hand to explain just what’s up there. Of course, we would add an eighth spot, at Splinter Creek, naturally.
Brittanie Wilson traverses the snow in a track chair at Minnesota's Myre-Big Island State Park (photo by Deborah Rose/Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, via the Washington Post).
2. All-terrain Wheelchairs At U.S. Parks
Many hiking trails and state parks have previously been off-limits for those confined to a wheelchair. No longer. Georgia and South Dakota are the latest states to provide off-road wheelchairs on public trails. According to the Washington Post, "Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources and the Aimee Copeland Foundation unveiled a fleet of all-terrain power wheelchairs for rent at 11 state parks and outdoorsy destinations. The Action Trackchair models are equipped with tank-like tracks capable of traversing rocks, roots, streams and sand; clearing fallen trees; plowing through tall grass; and tackling uphill climbs."
Safari-style tents at Fontainebleau State Park in Louisiana (photo via Garden & Gun).
3. Five Unique State Park Stays in the South
From cozy Texas cabins to a yurt in Virginia, these lodging options show how state parks have been upping their games.
4. Share Your Favorite Outdoor Activity
A team of writers and photographers share how they’re getting outside this winter, from simple nature walks to playing outdoor basketball, it all counts and we love to see it! What are your favorite ways to be outside?