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Google Maps offers virtual tours of closed National Parks

Yosemite National Park
Mikhail Kolesnikov | Shutterstock
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Enjoy the Great Outdoors from the safety of your isolation.

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With so many people stuck at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, lots of us have been introduced to a few new enemies of mental and physical health: boredom, lethargy, and stagnation. This troubling trio can wreak havoc on one’s positive outlook in these trying times, but thanks to Google you now have a way to enjoy the “Great Outdoors” without ever leaving your home!

America’s National Parks are certainly large enough to allow visitors to keep a safe social distance from one another, but because of the risk of spreading coronavirus, several parks have already closed. Many more are canceling events and activities, as well as shuttering their guest amenities like visitor centers and camp sites, which every year attract more than 300,000 nature enthusiasts.

While all the nation’s wildlife reserves are shutting down to the public, Google Maps has launched a series of virtual tours of America’s greatest National Parks. They have highlighted some of the most beautiful landscapes from sea to shining sea, with 360-degree views of God’s glorious creations.

They currently have 31 tours available through Google Maps. Pick from a list that includes California’s Redwood National Park, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, the Everglades, and even Death Valley. Each tour will take the virtual guest through a new and interesting biome, filled with gorgeous natural scenery and even the occasional animal caught on camera.

In the Redwood National Park tour, visitors can follow an actual footpath, with another full 360- degree view at each step. It may not be quite the same as walking through Star Wars’ Endor, but it’s an excellent simulation. To make it even better, we suggest opening a window or utilizing some porch space, that is, if your wifi reaches that far.

Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful tours of National Parks that Google Maps is offering.

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