Last Earth Day, we made a list of some of the most beautiful national parks to visit, either for quiet reflection or as a final resting place to scatter the ashes of a loved one. This year, in honor of National Park Week and Earth Day, we wanted to share seven more.
The Impact of Nature on Mourning
Calvin Coolidge once said that “There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.”
Mother Nature has powerful medicine for the grieving heart. From sympathy flowers to community memorial gardens, to the grand scale of our national parks, nature has given us gifts to help with healing.
Even if you aren’t looking to spread ashes, a trek out into nature can still help on a grief journey. In fact, some suggest traveling after a death can help a person confront feelings of grief honestly, and allows a person to see new perspectives. And what better place to visit than the tranquility-filled solitude of the great American national parks?
Things to Remember About Scattering Ashes
If you’re considering choosing a national park as a final resting place, there are some things to remember about scattering ashes. The good news is that most parks allow you to scatter ashes. But each park might have different requirements.
For example, some request you scatter ashes out of sight from public view and away from water. Other parks have specific sites dedicated to spreading ashes. To find out what the requirements are and to obtain permission, visit the National Park Service website.
The Seven National Parks to Consider
Hot Springs National Park
For thousands of years, Native Americans used these hot springs for their healing properties. Today, people flock to the giant thermal baths which can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Olympic National Park
The park is located in Washington and is home to many ecosystems. From the rocky Pacific shores to the alpine forests and the vast flower-filled meadows, the park offers endless opportunities for exploring.
Grand Teton National Park
The Grand Teton National Park encompasses the great Teton Range in Wyoming. It has more than 200 miles of isolated trails — perfect for those seeking solitude and a quiet place for reflection.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This park gets its name from the rolling morning fog that fills the forest and mountainsides. Inside, you’ll find diverse wildlife and abundant history. FDR said of the park, “There are trees here that stood before our forefathers ever came to this continent; there are brooks that still run as clear as on the day the first pioneer cupped his hand and drank from them.”
Acadia National Park
Acadia is located in Maine, with much of the park encompassing a large island off the Atlantic coast. Standing on the peak of the mountains, you’re guaranteed the best sunsets nature has to offer.
American Samoa National Park
One of the most underrated national parks, American Samoa National Park is a great place for seclusion. On top of that, it offers some of the best sights, sounds, and scenery of the South Pacific.
Isle Royale National Park
If you want a truly secluded experience that offers abundant time for reflection and thought, Isle Royale is the place to be. Located on an isolated island in Lake Superior, this park is far away from the noise of civilization.