Author Archives: alirafws

About alirafws

Amber Lira is a Hurricane Sandy youth story corps Student Conservation Association intern and non-traditional student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When she's not blogging for US Fish and Wildlife Service, you can find her sauntering at Walden Pond or "jammin" to Marley with her two little humans.

Date-Worthy Refuge Visits for Hiking

This Valentine’s Day weekend, think “outside” the box and bring your sweetheart to a local national wildlife refuge! Sharing love for the great outdoors with your significant other can be a bonding experience for both. Walking is also a great way to boost creativity according to a 2014 Stanford study. Which may make conversation more engaging with that special someone you’d like to know better, or for creating new memories with someone you already know well.  Don’t let recent snowfall deter your date, snow covered trails just mean you’ll have to keep each other extra warm!

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Pennsylvania

heinz photo for powerpoint

Nestled in Philadelphia, PA, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum offers more than 10 miles of trails for you to choose from. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset and many offer a romantic view of the City of Brotherly Love’s skyline while experiencing the great outdoors at the same time. Click here for more trail information

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

Parker River boardwalk

Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge provides six date-worthy hiking trails to share with your valentine. Stroll along the Parker River boardwalk, part of the Marsh Loop trail, or become one of over 120,000 thousand people who frequent the Hellcat Wildlife Trail each year. Click here for more trail information

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, New York

INWR Snowy trail

Perhaps you and your loved one are more into cross country skiing – Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge may just be the place for you! Fall in love again (but try to stay on your feet!) on their 3.2 mile Feeder Road Trail. Click here for more trail information

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, West Virginia

snowshoe @ Canaan1

What’s more romantic than a gorgeous sunset? Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge is open one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset – making it the ideal location to watch the day turn in to night. With 28 trails to choose from, variety really is the spice of life at this West Virginia refuge. Click here for more trail information

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great swamp mist trail RickyNJ

As soon as you step foot on this paradise 26 miles west of Times Square you will rejoice that it is protected wilderness and did not become an airport (sorry Newark). 11.5 miles of trails await you at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Stop by the visitor center to learn some of the history of the refuge – the first federal land protected by the Wilderness Act – to give you and your loved one something new to talk about while exploring. Click here for more trail information

Wednesday Wisdom – Kahlil Gibran

Original image by USFWS

Original image by USFWS

Today is, poet and artisit, Kahlil Gibran’s birthday! As winter temperatures continue to drop here in the Northeast, we find thoughts of warmth in his words.

Wednesday Wisdom – New Beginnings

Original image by Brian Rudinsky/USFWS

Original image by Bri Rudinsky/USFWS

What story will you choose to “write” in the coming year? Will you have more adventures to national parks, landmarks or wildlife refuges? Is there a daily routine you’ll adopt to support a greener way of living? Just as Mother Nature renews herself in Spring, the coming year can be a type of renewal for us…