This year’s National Park Week, celebrated from April 22 to April 30, highlights the profound connection between national parks and their surrounding communities.
Hosted by the National Park Service, this event emphasizes the significance of these natural treasures for campers, RV enthusiasts, and outdoor recreationists.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) has joined the celebration, sharing staff’s personal park stories to demonstrate the lasting impact these parks have on the outdoor hospitality industry.
As per the News & Insights report of the RVIA, national parks are an essential component of the outdoor hospitality industry, drawing millions of visitors each year and stimulating local economies.
They also provide a market for RV and camping-related products and services. In honor of National Park Week, the RVIA staff shared their park stories, illustrating the profound influence these parks have on individuals and the industry as a whole.
Catherine Barsanti, an RVIA member, fondly remembers a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains with her fiancé. An unexpected encounter with a herd of wild elk near the park exit provided a memorable experience and a deepened appreciation for nature.
Jenna Tomovich from Go RVing shares her family’s multigenerational camping tradition at the Delaware Water Gap in the Pocono Mountains. She credits her love of nature and the outdoors to the time spent at Dingmans Falls Campground and the awe-inspiring sight of Dingmans Falls.
Tracy Anglemeyer of the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) highlights the educational value of national parks. Visiting historical sites such as Gettysburg and Appomattox Court House with her children helped them better understand their history classes.
Family trips to geological parks like Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon further enriched their knowledge of the country’s natural wonders.
Greg Wischmeyer, another RVTI staff member, shares his admiration for Gulf Island National Seashore. The pristine white sand beaches and historical fort offer endless opportunities for relaxation and exploration, while the park’s visitor center provides a wealth of information on the area’s rich history.
Jason Rano from the RVIA recounts a fortunate visit to Denali National Park in 2017. A rare clear day allowed him and his wife to witness the full grandeur of the mountain, as well as a thrilling encounter with a wolf on the park road.
Laura Baird, also from the Association, tells the story of her solo hiking adventure at Catoctin Mountain Park in July 2021. The challenging trek to Chimney Rock instilled a sense of accomplishment and inspired her to continue exploring more National Park trails in the future.
National Park Week serves as a reminder of the vital role these parks play in the outdoor hospitality industry and their impact on the lives of campers, RV enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers.
The personal stories shared by the RVIA staff highlight the deep connection many people have with these natural wonders, and the experiences they provide will continue to inspire future generations to explore and cherish the great outdoors.