Spring weather spurs searches for golf, gardening, hiking, boating, ziplining, water parks

Want to spend more time out of the house? You’re not alone. Turns out, many Americans are looking to beat the boredom and discover new family-friendly activities this spring.

Loading...

Load Error

The latest google search trends reveal that fresh air activities are in demand – and we want roller skates, hiking boots, gardening tools, golf clubs, or anything else to make it happen.

Golfing

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

No surprise here. Golf tends to be on the upswing this time of year as the weather warms. But, search terms like “miniature golf” and “golf for children” are seeing a big boost.

“Many of our chapters across the nation have seen a significant increase in interest and participation in our youth development program that teaches life skills through the game of golf,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee, a program designed to make golf affordable and more accessible for kids.

Water parks

Whether it’s taking a plunge down a waterslide, tubing down a lazy river, or swimming in a wave pool – families are interested in aquatic fun with online searches for water parks on the rise.

The good news is many parks are reopening after a COVID shutdown.Mask-wearing guests are already back at Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Universal’s Volcano Bay and following new safety protocols.

Hiking

  • Slide 1 of 15: GoAllOutdoors.com (https://goalloutdoors.com/popular-hikes), which publishes outdoor guides and information, has analyzed which U.S. hiking trails are the most Instagrammed based on hashtag use. Scroll through to see the top 15 Instagrammed U.S. hikes, starting with No. 15. Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park, Utah.

  • Slide 2 of 15: 14. Lake Blanche Trail in Twin Peaks Wilderness, Utah

  • Slide 3 of 15: 13. Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

  • Slide 4 of 15: 12. Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite National Park, California

  • Find remote work solutions with Surface


    Ad
    Microsoft

  • Slide 5 of 15: 11. Mount Whitney in Lone Pine, California

  • Slide 6 of 15: 10. Mt. Woodson Trail in Lake Poway Park, California

  • Slide 7 of 15: 9. Mammoth Hot Springs Trail in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

  • Slide 8 of 15: 8. The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park, California

  • Slide 9 of 15: 7. Rattlesnake Ledge Trail in Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, Washington

  • Knee Surgeons Are Losing It Over These Knee Sleeves (Here’s Why)


    Ad
    Microsoft

  • Slide 10 of 15: 6. Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine

  • Slide 11 of 15: 5. Devil's Bridge Trail in Coconino National Forest, Arizona

  • Slide 12 of 15: 4. Delicate Arch Trail in Arches National Park, Utah

  • Slide 13 of 15: 3. The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah

  • Slide 14 of 15: 2. Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah

  • Simple Trick To Clean Driveway 10x Faster (In Under 5 Minutes)


    Ad
    Microsoft

  • Slide 15 of 15: 1. Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

Exploring the outdoors – on foot – appears to be a family favorite. “Hiking is very on-trend right now. We’ve been stuck at home and we are ready to get back into nature. Many people are hitting the hiking trails to de-stress and re-center in the fresh air. It’s the perfect mental health break,” says Erin Gifford from Go Hike Virginia.

Boating

Boating ranked as one of the top search terms related to outdoor activities this month. In the northeast, there is pent up demand for getting back out on the water following a cold winter. 3A Marine in Hingham, Massachusetts, says its fleet of new and used boats have already sold out for the upcoming season.

Ziplining

Ziplining is an action-filled activity where thrillseekers zoom from one side of a suspended cable wire to another, while safely secured into a harness. And, apparently, we like that sort of thing.

Colorado’s Cloudscraper Zipline, dubbed America’s “highest zipline,” says attendance is already on the rise this month. The attraction expects to return to full capacity this year with 23,000 riders.

Meanwhile, zipline facilities located in cooler parts of the U.S. will reopen by late spring.

Gardening

Searches for gardening and lawn supplies started to go up this month. A new report by TruGreen and OnePoll backs up the trend, with 73% of Americans polled stating that spending more time outdoors has been therapeutic during the pandemic.

“These numbers, coupled with 69% indicating the intent to spend more time outdoors as the weather gets warm, leaves us to believe that gardening will be on the rise,” said Brian Feldman, director of technical operations at TruGreen.

Lowe’s ‘SpringFest’:  Free curbside ‘Garden-to-Go’ projects for families in April. Find out how to sign up

Roller Skating

Back in the 1970s, gliding around wearing boots with small wheels was all the rage (insert disco music). Now, thanks to a social media surge, skates are making a comeback and manufacturers are playing catch-up on orders.

“Interest in outdoor activities, even a neighborhood roller skating excursion, have increased dramatically since the pandemic began because they are considered safer for reducing the chances of exposure to COVID-19,” says Mark Jackson, the travel editor for Brad’s Deals.

Trampolines

Kids like to jump high. Heck, grownups like to jump too. For a few hundred bucks, you can buy a 14-foot-high trampoline for use in the backyard.

As many families seek to provide more outdoor activities for their kids, the trampoline craze is leading to some lag time with deliveries. Skywalker Trampolines currently has an alert on its website citing shipping delays due to extreme high demand for the backyard bouncing units.

Today’s popular units are designed to be stable with added safety features, like netting, galvanized steel frames, and foam padded covers (worth noting that some experts do discourage home trampoline use due to risk of injuries).

  • Slide 1 of 11: For the ultimate outdoors experience, set your sights high, says Tim Palmer, author of "America’s Great Mountain Trails" (Rizzoli, $50.) The volume, part coffee table book, part guide, covers 100 trails and recently won a National Outdoors Book Award. Hiking on mountains offers both physical challenges and sweeping views, the author says. “They call to our sense of curiosity about the land and our sense of adventure about being outside.” Palmer shares some favorites paths with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

  • Slide 2 of 11: Mount Katahdin, Maine. Best known as the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, this Baxter State Park hike still rewards day trippers. “It’s the only mountain in the East that really evokes the spectacular mountain scenery of the West,” Palmer says. The 10-mile round trip hike to the more-than-5,000-foot summit can be done in a day, but it’s also a popular overnight trip. More information: baxterstatepark.org

  • Slide 3 of 11: Youghiogheny Loop, Pennsylvania. Whitewater rafters know the challenging rapids on the Youghiogheny River, but the area is also ideal for hiking, Palmer says. The flat, scenic trail trail cuts through western Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park. “There are waterfalls and rapids and trees that have been growing for 100 years and longer. “It’s one of these great hikes that most people can do.” More information:  dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/OhiopyleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

  • Slide 4 of 11: Flattop Mountain, Colorado. This popular Rocky Mountain National Park hike offers a workout, gaining more than 1,200 feet over a 9-mile round trip that crosses the Continental Divide. The trail’s easily reached by park shuttle bus, and hikers are rewarded with scenic mountain meadows. “It has this wonderful combination of being accessible and really spectacular,” Palmer says. “You get these awesome views of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies and these peaks leading out to the distance.” More information: nps.gov/thingstodo/romo_flattopmountain.htm

  • Find remote work solutions with Surface


    Ad
    Microsoft

  • Slide 5 of 11: Marin Headlands, California.  From downtown San Francisco you can literally walk to this network of hiking trails at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The green space is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Palmer particularly loves visiting in spring, when the meadows are green and flowery. “While the rest of the country’s locked up in winter, you get this breath of springtime,” he says. “It is one of the real highlights of mountain recreation terrain, right next to a major metropolitan area.” More information: nps.gov/goga/index.htm

  • Slide 6 of 11: Humbug Mountain, Oregon.  This southeast Oregon peak is among the state’s tallest ,rising directly from the ocean, which rewards visitors with dramatic Pacific views. Palmer, who lives in the region, says the state park trail offers old-growth forest scenery and a good mountain hike. The area doesn’t get a lot of snow, making it possible to climb in all seasons. More information: stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=40

  • Slide 7 of 11: Highline Trail, Montana.  Palmer has high praise for this Glacier National Park trail, calling it “an American masterpiece of mountain hiking.” The out-and-back trek climbs above timberline. “You walk across this cliff face with spectacular views into this immense U-shaped alpine canyon,” he says. More information: nps.gov/glac

  • Slide 8 of 11: Algonquin Peak, New York. The Adirondacks were one of the first areas in the country to attract outdoor vacationers, Palmer says. “The trails there have been hiked for centuries.” But this outing near Lake Placid still delivers, reaching the top of New York’s second-highest mountain. “You start out in the forest and end up above treeline. It’s a big climb with a long view across an ocean of peaks.” More information: visitadirondacks.com

  • Slide 9 of 11: Mount Rainier, Washington.  Palmer calls this Pacific Northwest national park an American classic. It’s the highest peak in the Cascades, and often seen from Seattle, 60 miles to the south. “It’s a big godlike mountain looming over the city.” He suggests hiking through its high-country meadows and even up to the headwalls of glaciers. But don’t plan to reach the peak without extensive experience and preparation. “It’s a very serious mountaineering event.” More information:  nps.gov/mora/index.htm

  • Knee Surgeons Are Losing It Over These Knee Sleeves (Here’s Why)


    Ad
    Microsoft

  • Slide 10 of 11: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico.  The highest peak in New Mexico dominates the Sangre de Cristo range near Taos. Hikers on the 8-mile out-and-back trail through Carson National Forest sometimes see bighorn sheep. “It’s a long walk above timberline with spectacular views to the very southern end of the Rocky Mountain range,” Palmer says. More information:  fs.usda.gov/main/carson/home

  • Slide 11 of 11: Old Rag Mountain, Virginia. This Shenandoah National Park trail offers hikers a scenic climb through dense Appalachian forest, ending with a boulder scramble to views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “It’s the greatest mountain hiking within easy reach of Washington, D.C, and the East Coast,” Palmer says. He suggests visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds. More information: nps.gov/places/old-rag.htm 

Mount Katahdin, Maine. Best known as the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, this Baxter State Park hike still rewards day trippers. “It’s the only mountain in the East that really evokes the spectacular mountain scenery of the West,” Palmer says. The 10-mile round trip hike to the more-than-5,000-foot summit can be done in a day, but it’s also a popular overnight trip.

More information: baxterstatepark.org

Youghiogheny Loop, Pennsylvania. Whitewater rafters know the challenging rapids on the Youghiogheny River, but the area is also ideal for hiking, Palmer says. The flat, scenic trail trail cuts through western Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park. “There are waterfalls and rapids and trees that have been growing for 100 years and longer. “It’s one of these great hikes that most people can do.”

More information:  dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/OhiopyleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

Flattop Mountain, Colorado. This popular Rocky Mountain National Park hike offers a workout, gaining more than 1,200 feet over a 9-mile round trip that crosses the Continental Divide. The trail’s easily reached by park shuttle bus, and hikers are rewarded with scenic mountain meadows. “It has this wonderful combination of being accessible and really spectacular,” Palmer says. “You get these awesome views of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies and these peaks leading out to the distance.”

More information: nps.gov/thingstodo/romo_flattopmountain.htm

Marin Headlands, California.  From downtown San Francisco you can literally walk to this network of hiking trails at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The green space is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Palmer particularly loves visiting in spring, when the meadows are green and flowery. “While the rest of the country’s locked up in winter, you get this breath of springtime,” he says. “It is one of the real highlights of mountain recreation terrain, right next to a major metropolitan area.”

More information: nps.gov/goga/index.htm

Humbug Mountain, Oregon.  This southeast Oregon peak is among the state’s tallest ,rising directly from the ocean, which rewards visitors with dramatic Pacific views. Palmer, who lives in the region, says the state park trail offers old-growth forest scenery and a good mountain hike. The area doesn’t get a lot of snow, making it possible to climb in all seasons.

More information: stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=40

Highline Trail, Montana.  Palmer has high praise for this Glacier National Park trail, calling it “an American masterpiece of mountain hiking.” The out-and-back trek climbs above timberline. “You walk across this cliff face with spectacular views into this immense U-shaped alpine canyon,” he says.

More information: nps.gov/glac

Algonquin Peak, New York. The Adirondacks were one of the first areas in the country to attract outdoor vacationers, Palmer says. “The trails there have been hiked for centuries.” But this outing near Lake Placid still delivers, reaching the top of New York’s second-highest mountain. “You start out in the forest and end up above treeline. It’s a big climb with a long view across an ocean of peaks.”

More information: visitadirondacks.com

Mount Rainier, Washington.  Palmer calls this Pacific Northwest national park an American classic. It’s the highest peak in the Cascades, and often seen from Seattle, 60 miles to the south. “It’s a big godlike mountain looming over the city.” He suggests hiking through its high-country meadows and even up to the headwalls of glaciers. But don’t plan to reach the peak without extensive experience and preparation. “It’s a very serious mountaineering event.”

More information:  nps.gov/mora/index.htm

Wheeler Peak, New Mexico.  The highest peak in New Mexico dominates the Sangre de Cristo range near Taos. Hikers on the 8-mile out-and-back trail through Carson National Forest sometimes see bighorn sheep. “It’s a long walk above timberline with spectacular views to the very southern end of the Rocky Mountain range,” Palmer says.

More information:  fs.usda.gov/main/carson/home

Old Rag Mountain, Virginia. This Shenandoah National Park trail offers hikers a scenic climb through dense Appalachian forest, ending with a boulder scramble to views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “It’s the greatest mountain hiking within easy reach of Washington, D.C, and the East Coast,” Palmer says. He suggests visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds.

More information: nps.gov/places/old-rag.htm 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spring weather spurs searches for golf, gardening, hiking, boating, ziplining, water parks

Source: Read Full Article