Picnicking is a long-established American pastime. With so many outstanding national and local parks sprinkled throughout the country, there’s no excuse not to grab a cooler and pack some snacks for an outdoor feast. Start by reacquainting yourself with the basics (read: how to prepare, what to pack, etc.) and then get your imagination running with possibilities! Check out these national parks which offer unforgettable picnicking accommodations.
This squirrel-filled park in New Mexico includes 2 picnic areas, one of which includes grills. We ask that you refrain from feeding the bushy-eared Albert’s squirrels, no matter how much they beg, but feel free to enjoy the over 70 miles of trail. Bandelier National Monument’s Main Loop Trail is a favorite among visitors, as it provides the option to go to Alcove House, the reconstructed former home of 25 Ancestral Pueblo people. To reach the house you must first climb up 4 wooden ladders and a set of stone stairs, making your way 140 feet up the canyon wall. Burnt Mesa Trail is also a great post-picnic option. A short flat trail perfect for summer, this 2.5-mile jaunt (5 miles total) offers the chance for guests to see wildflowers, birds, and butterflies.
If you’d like to host a large group during your trek through Colorado National Monument, the park offers a few options which require an application and fee. Whether you choose to chow before or after grilling with the crew, the park offers several short hiking trails, including Serpents Trail, the “Crookedest Road in the world.” If you’re interested in something more leisurely, Alcove Nature Trail is another scenic option. This trail is great for families with small children and acts as a perfect introduction to the park’s flora and fauna.
Courtesy of the National Park Foundation