Celebrate Nature and Independence in Maine and Washington State
(Port Angles, Washington) – Two opposite sides of the U.S. coastline are coaxing visitors with some fun and interesting features. In Washington state, the Olympic National Park is touting its trails, while a small town in Maine goes green for the Fourth of July.
Upon your arrival to the entrance of Olympic National Park briefly close your eyes and reopen them to find a natural wonderland. Start the morning in the Quinault Rainforest with a leisurely trek along Maple Glade where every shade of green imaginable can be found in the light of the new day. Birdsongs will be the soundtrack of the morning. Next travel over to the garnet colored sands of Ruby Beach and wander Beach Trail 4. Listen for the spray of whales while investigating the watery worlds of tide pools.
Leave the beach and head back into the forest to kayak Lake Crescent followed by a picnic next to its pristine turquoise waters. Follow part of the waterfall trail from Marymere to Sol Duc Falls and stare in awe at nature’s power. Take a dip in nearby Sol Duc mineral hot springs warmed in part by underground volcanic gases. For one final adventure, imagine the intensity of a howling storm while staring out from atop Hurricane Ridge, one of the park’s top destinations. After hiking to its summit, peer deep into the depths of the Olympic Mountains and find glacier-covered peaks and river valleys far below.
With lodges and campsites matching the brilliance found in each location it’s easy to take an extra day or two to explore. After touring the park, spend some time in nearby Port Angeles to slowly ease back into society. Breathe in deeply; with trees and trails compared to those found in Avatar’s Pandora the beauty and wonder of Olympic National Park is sure to take your breath away. www.olympicpeninsula.org
There’s a particularly green way to celebrate the Fourth of July – at least in Maine.
The new patriot wants to save our country and our planet. And what better way to do that than infuse some green practices into our nation’s birthday? Start the Fourth of July weekend with blueberry pancakes, end with fireworks and don’t forget the lobster races and seafood festival in between.
In addition to celebrating, the goal for Bar Harbor this year is to create as little waste as possible. Both the morning pancake breakfast and afternoon seafood festival are aiming for being zero-waste events. Biodegradable utensils, cups and plates will be used exclusively. After the events all compostable products, including leftover seafood shells, will be taken care of in green ways.
Another way to keep your carbon footprint low is to bike/walk around town. Bar Harbor offers extensive bike paths through and around town so you can park your car and forget it for the rest of your visit. Nearby Acadia National Park is a reminder of why eco-practices are so important and how beautiful our country can be. Family/car passes are only $20 for an entire week!
To keep the green theme going stay at either the Atlantean Cottage or Graycote Inn which proudly employ eco-friendly strategies. Graycote Inn was recently named one of the Top Ten Ecolodges and Green Hotels by Independent Traveler and offers nightly rates starting at $95. This Independence weekend visit Bar Harbor and help save the planet while celebrating. www.barharborinfo.com