Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

White-Water, Apple Harvests, And Indian Summer On The Coast Are Among 10 Great Fall National Park Activities

Fall is, in many people's eyes, the best season to enjoy the National Park System. Temperatures are moderating, insects are a thing of the past, forests wrap themselves in dazzling colors, and wildlife is easy to see and often vocal. Here are ten great fall destinations in the park system.

Wolf Trap Foundation For The Performing Arts To Present Face Of America: Spirit Of South Florida

Inspired by graceful herons, crawling insects, and even alligators, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is focusing on south Florida's national parks in its latest edition of Face of America.

Report Warns Of Climate Change Impacts To National Seashores Along Eastern Seaboard

Seven national seashores dotting the Eastern Seaboard stand to suffer significant storm damage, loss of acreage to sea level rise, and hotter summer temperatures if climate change isn't blunted, according to the latest in a series of reports describing how the National Park System stands to be impacted by the phenomenon.

Trails I've Hiked/Video: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 4th, the popular National Park Exploration Video Series releases "The Great Smoky Mountains: Crown Jewel of the Appalachians." The video's on-camera guide is Randy Johnson, Traveler's travel editor and author of "Best Easy Day Hikes of Great Smokies." Our 10-minute video preview showcases why the Smokies is such a great place to hike.

Scientific Panel Calls On NPS To Recommit To, And Reemphasize, Science In The Parks

A year-long review of how wildlife management and other sciences are studied in the National Park System has produced a call for the National Park Service to both recommit its staff to the sciences and to reemphasize science in the park system.

Off-Beat And Unexpected—Assateague Island National Seashore

Most points along the Atlantic shorelines of the United States are polluted by the lights of crowded cities when the sun goes down. When sitting beneath the stars on the fine sands of Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, you can become distracted by the gleam of lights from Ocean City to the North. But if you peak above, the sky is a pure midnight black with the constellations brightly shining.

Discriminating Explorer: Enjoy Western National Parks With Tips From National Park Friends Groups

August is on the run, but that doesn't mean the time to get the most out of your favorite national park in the western part of the country has passed by. Take the following tips from friends groups in Big Bend, Glacier, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone national parks to heart and you'll create years of memories.

The Blue Ridge Parkway's Linn Cove Viaduct: 25 Years As An Iconic National Park Experience

Linn Cove Viaduct in Fall.
The Blue Ridge Parkway's iconic Linn Cove Viaduct will have been wowing motorists for 25 years on September 11th, 2012. After decades of controversy over the long-waited, much delayed completion of the road on Grandfather Mountain, the Parkway was done. But the classic postcard views—and even TV commercials—were still in the future for the most spectacular section of “America’s Most Scenic Road.”

Founder’s Day: Honoring The Legacy Of Those Who Built The National Park Service

Sure, the National Park Service could just call August 25th its birthday, but the term “Founder’s Day” seems more fitting since the Park Service was the brainchild of a great many people who contributed to its inception.

Fall Is The Best Time To Make Discoveries At The National Parks

If you’re in mood to travel, September and October are wonderful months to spend in the national parks. The crowds have departed, the animals are busy, and the fall color beckons. Now is the time park friends also host an array of workshops tailor-made for life-long learners.

Discriminating Explorer: Friends Groups Sample The Secrets Of The East’s Best National Parks

Cataloochee Valley Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.

Appalachian Trail Celebrates 75 Years As The World’s—Yes, The World's—Quintessential Hike

Appalachian Trail Lakes of the Clouds Hut Mount Washington, NH.
2012 is the 75th anniversary of the world’s quintessential hike—the Appalachian Trail.

Discriminating Explorer: Fort Monroe National Monument—Hub Of A Classic Historic Harbor Tour

“Freedom’s Fortress” is the perfect place to start a visit to one of the nation’s most historic harbors. The massive Chesapeake Bay and the historic towns that cluster at its mouth are a premier destination for history buffs and water enthusiasts.

Explore Yellowstone National Park With Yellowstone Park Foundation's Insider Tips

Yellowstone National Park is huge, covering some 2.2 million acres. How best to explore this landscape? Take to heart some of the following tips from the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Indiana Boy Enjoys Yellowstone National Park Dream Vacation After Recovering From Leukemia

An Indiana boy and his family enjoyed a Yellowstone National Park dream vacation last month thanks to a charity in his home state and the generosity and hospitality of people in the park and a nearby gateway community.

Yellowstone Park Foundation: Working Hard For Wonderland

As Congress continues to look for ways to cut federal spending, non-profit organizations such as the Yellowstone Park Foundation are becoming invaluable for the direct funding they provide the national parks. Often without their help trails would go without maintenance, wildlife research would dip, and facilities would deteriorate.

Fort Monroe: A New National Monument Has A Rich Past And A Potentially Complex Future

jet over Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe, Virginia, our newest national monument—is the largest stone and masonry fort in the United States. But this site embodies much more than just a look back at coastal fortifications. Fort Monroe's pivotal military and even cultural significance reaches back centuries before the United States and forward as recently as last year.

Take Some Insider Tips From The Shenandoah National Park Trust When You Head To Shenandoah National Park

Planning to visit Shenandoah National Park? Let the Shenandoah National Park Trust help you get the most from your visit with its insider tips.

Exploring Dinosaur National Monument Via The Green River

If you ever sat down to list the units of the National Park System that are misunderstood and under-appreciated, Dinosaur National Monument would be near the top. That realization can't be ignored if you've ever floated either the Yampa or Green rivers that cleave into and expose the underbelly of Dinosaur.

The Shenandoah National Park Trust: A Solid Base For The Future

Shenandoah National Park is one of the crown jewels of the national park system. Its partner, Shenandoah National Park Trust, is dedicated to ensuring that it remains that way for generations to come.

A View From The Overlook: The Petrified Wood Olympics

You'd be surprised by the lengths some folks would go to to take a colorful piece of rock from Petrified Forest National Park.

Exploring Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Overlooking the Knife River not far from its confluence with the Missouri, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site today preserves vestiges of what 200 years ago was the heart of Northern Plains tribal trade.

Historic Preservation In The National Park System And The 1916 National Park Service Act, Part I

It took a natural resource issue of epic proportions—the proposal to dam Yosemite National Park’s magnificent Hetch Hetchy Valley—to spark what would become a prolonged campaign to establish a central federal office to administer the national parks.

Pedaling In The Parks: A Morning Ride To Devils Tower National Monument

The 3-mile-long pedal from the entrance station at Devils Tower National Monument to the base of the rocky tooth is all uphill, a constant reminder that nothing worthwhile is ever easily attained.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park With Insider Tips From Friends Of The Smokies

Planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Use these insider tips from Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help make the trip memorable.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

All Aboard! We're Riding The Rails On A Transcontinental National Park Train Trip in Canada

VIA Rail runs from one end of Canada to the other. By itself, or with the luxe Rocky Mountaineer, this cross-country rail ramble offers easy access to countless national parks, historic sites, and marine reserves. British train writer Jools Stone took that trip across Canada last autumn on a visit to Jasper National Park. Here's his review of two great rail services: VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park—With Insider Tips From The Grand Teton National Park Foundation

No photograph can truly capture the razor-sharp way Wyoming’s Teton Range soars above the Jackson Hole Valley—but here's a guide to capturing it on a visit with tips from Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

The Plight Of The Plover At Cape Cod National Seashore

Spotting piping plover nests, eggs, and even fledglings on a sandy beach can be difficult to do, as Theresa Conn discovered during her summer with the Student Conservation Association. That's why it's so important to protect the threatened shorebirds.

A View From The Overlook: Sometimes Bad Things Don't Happen -- The Pine Lands Reserve

Every so often, but not often enough, environmentally bad things don’t happen. One example was the predicted destruction of a unique ecosystem: The Pine Barrens of New Jersey.