National parks have been attracting big numbers of visitors recently as many find peace and harmony when closer to nature. However, a lot of newcomers are unaware of rules and regulations that exist in such places, which leads to damaging natural objects and can even become a life threatening experience.
Different parks have a slightly different privacy rules, but in general it’s about protecting visitors and natural features. So the rule of thumb is to leave parks as you find them – this way they can be preserved for others to enjoy.
Consider other important tips below, to make some basic preparations before entering a national park.
Don’t come too close to animals
You are supposed to view wildlife from a safe distance, and use binoculars, sighting telescopes and special lenses. Getting close enough to affect animals’ behaving is forbidden because provoking their defensive reactions can be dangerous for you, not mentioning that approaching them isn’t legal. Generally, most natural parks require their visitors to remain a minimum distance of 90 meters away from bears and wolves, and 25 meters away from wild cattle and other animals. Check the park’s web resource and information materials it provides, to learn more about its specific regulations.
Watch, but don’t touch
Human nature is often fond of owning things. And instead of enjoying them in their natural habitat, we want to cut beautiful flowers, pluck pinecones, gather seashells, etc. But you aren’t allowed to do that in a national park! Picking up a pinecone from underneath a rare giant sequoia (one of the two largest trees on this planet) may seem like a harmless thing – especially if done by a child’s hands. Nevertheless, carrying seeds out of the parks is forbidden. Yes, even in case of a fallen pinecone.
It goes without saying that in most cases people never return objects they take as souvenirs. Some go further than pinecones, seashells, minerals, plants and feathers, and take home silicified wood, rock carving, and even animals. All natural objects found in a national park are officially protected and must remain right where you have discovered them.