National Forest Week starts July 13.

 

By Andrea Romano
July 06, 2020
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While some Americans are starting to travel again as coronavirus lockdown measures ease, some are still opting to stay home.

This is where virtual travel becomes such a handy tool for people who want to “go on vacation” without leaving their homes. You can experience museums around the world, famous tourist attractions, tours of destinations, and much more.

And now, you can visit some of the country’s best National Forests, virtually, just in time for National Forest Week July 13 through July 19.

Matthew Skubis/Getty Images

Darley Newman, TV host and producer of PBS travel series Travels with Darley, in collaboration with the National Forest Foundation and the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, is bringing about two new online video series that will help you see the beauty of U.S. national forests from the comfort of home.

“I’ve been filming in National Forests for over five years and eight seasons of Travels with Darley,” Newman said in a statement. “I’m constantly amazed by the diversity of our public lands, on every level. From extreme mountain biking trails in the Santa Fe National Forest to volunteer experiences on the Angeles National Forest, only a short drive from the heart of L.A., there are so many different adventures to enjoy in varied settings. At a time when we’re not traveling, I’m excited to look back and share my national forest experiences in new and different ways.”

The first video series, entitled Virtual Field Trip, is available online through social media and partner websites to inspire and educate viewers. These virtual tours of U.S. national forests offer insight and travel inspiration on certain forest experiences, as well as history, ecology, astrology, and stewardship topics like the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote to the American bison (in honor of National Bison Month in July).

The second video series, entitled #RecreateResponsibly, and available in both English and Spanish, will focus on responsible recreation and provide useful advice for travelers to keep in mind while planning trips as national forests begin to reopen. Tips on leaving no trace, practicing physical distancing, and how to best plan ahead provide travelers ways to safely and responsibly get back outdoors.

Newman and the National Forest Foundation are also hosting a Facebook Watch Party to kick off this year’s National Forest Week on Thursday, July 9 at 8:00 pm E.T. The watch party will feature segments from Travels with Darley episodes that have never streamed online before, and include destinations from Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois, to Lake Tahoe, and New York’s Finger Lakes.

Anyone can sign up for the National Forest Facebook Watch Party on Facebook. Watch the Virtual Field Trip series on Vimeo, or check out the #RecreateResponsibly videos in English and Spanish.

For more information on National Forest Week, visit the National Forest Foundation website.