Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

111th Congress Did Well When it Comes to National Park Wilderness, But It Could Have Done Better

A review of how Congress acted on wilderness legislation shows that the National Park System benefited quite nicely during the 111th session, but it could have fared better.

Traveler's Checklist: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

GUCO - Nathanial Greene Statue
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park offers a quiet oasis of Revolutionary War history and good walking paths in Greensboro, North Carolina. On her way to hike another section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Danny Bernstein spent a day in the first military park to preserve a battlefield of the American Revolution.

Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Defends "Addition" Lands ORV Use

Amidst charges that he circumvented National Park Service policies on wilderness preservation to provide greater off-road vehicle access to Big Cypress National Preserve, Superintendent Pedro Ramos offers a short history lesson.
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Big Cypress Wilderness History-PEER.pdf89.71 KB
PEER-Big Cypress Complaint.pdf237.11 KB

National Park Stories We'd Like To See In 2011

Here's a look at some stories involving the National Park System that we'd like to see in the coming year.

Looking Back On 2010 Across the National Park System

What were the top stories across the National Park System in 2010? There were more than a few, ranging from the tragic loss of three Katmai National Park and Preserve employees to a small-plane crash to the ongoing controversy over whether birds, turtles and off-road vehicles can co-exist at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Let's take a look back through the year at some of the stories.

Much Thanks To All Our Writers and Contributors in 2010

Trying to cover 394 units of the National Park System is no easy task. Here at the Traveler we couldn't even make a dent into that task without the welcome and generous support of a long cast of contributors.

A Year's Worth of Trails to Hike in the National Parks

Hiking trails are one of the best ways to enjoy national parks. They lead you out into nature, get you some exercise, and quite often showcase some gorgeous vistas. Here's a look back at some of the great trails we've mentioned on the Traveler during the past 12 months.

2010 in Review: Creature Features

Tarantulas, banana slugs, crocodiles, muskoxen and more. The Creature Features we posted in 2010 represent quite a menagerie. Here's a complete list with handy links.

Books We've Read, And Liked, in 2010

There were quite a few books relating to national parks that arrived in 2010, and while we didn't get to read them all, the ones we did we liked. Here's a look back at our Fireside Reads from the year.

2010 in Review: Traveler's Checklists

This year we posted 16 Traveler's Checklists to help you plan your park visits. Did you miss any? Here's a list with handy links.

Yellowstone National Park’s ‘Psychedelic’ Wolves: Using Thermal Imagery To Study Disease

A wolf howls in yellow. They sleep in blue. And a wolf in motion in the sunlight is a rainbow.

Jennifer Pharr Davis Discusses Speed Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking, And Youth in the Outdoors

For some, hiking can be addicting. For Jennifer Pharr Davis, it became both an avocation and her vocation.

A Year in the Parks

The past year was very kind to me in terms of getting out to visit some of the incredible units of our National Park System. Here's a look back at a year in national parks.

By the Numbers: John Muir National Historic Site

John Muir, perhaps the best friend the national parks ever had, died on Christmas Eve, 1914. Here are some numbers that tell the story of the National Historic Site created to preserve and interpret the place he called home for the last 24 years of his life.

Some Members of the Continental Army That Wintered At Valley Forge in 1777-78 Were "Fond of Strong Liquor"

Stories passed down about the harsh Continental Army encampment at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 often note the brutally cold, snowy weather and the under-equipped and hungry troops. Should we be surprised that some of the soldiers were "fond of strong liquor"?

A Highway Project in Congaree National Park Sparks Legal Challenges

Plans to replace a defective bridge on the Congaree River call for rebuilding a causeway system crossing a flood plain in Congaree National Park. The plan's critics insist that modifications are needed to minimize environmental impacts and improve recreational access.

GAO Study Says More Interagency Coordination Needed To Address Illegal Border Crossings in Southwest

Six years after a Government Accountability Office review found poor coordination between federal land managers and Border Patrol officials tasked with combating illegal border crossings in the Southwest, a new analysis finds not much has changed.

House Republicans Continue To Blame Environmental Regulations for Border Security Woes

Despite two Government Accountability Office reports that say environmental regulations are not impeding the work of the Border Patrol, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are standing by that claim.

Traveler's Checklist: Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island NS - Dungeness Ruins
Is Cumberland Island National Seashore harboring a secret, or is it merely the victim of bad karma? Or is it just a coincidence that three powerful men connected with the island died in their prime? What about the three structures, each named Dungeness, that burned under mysterious circumstances?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Brings Blight to the Beach at Hawaii's Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Debris from an enormous trash-laden vortex in the North Pacific is delivered to Hawaiian Archipelago shorelines, making beach cleanups a never-ending task at Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Pruning the Parks: Holy Cross National Monument (1933-1950)

Colorado's Mount of the Holy Cross was once a national park.

American Indians in the Civil War? Petersburg National Battlefield is Part of the Story

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is nearly here and a recent event at Petersburg National Battlefield underscored a bit of history that often escapes much notice—the role of American Indians in the conflict.

Appalachian Mountain Club Pursues Sustainable Forestry In Northern Maine

Should controversy surround the decision by the Appalachian Mountain Club to pursue sustainable logging in northern Maine? A group pushing to see the area designated as a national park is furious over the club's move.

Traveler's Checklist: Bryce Canyon National Park, Winter Edition

Though summer draws the bulk of Bryce Canyon National Park's 1.2 million annual visitors, a strong argument can be made that winter is a more fascinating time to visit this red-rock icon. The sharp contrasts between fresh-fallen snow, cerulean skies, and the park's red-hued amphitheaters are spectacular. If you can manage a winter escape, here are some tips for touring Bryce Canyon.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Ready for Winter Season to Open

A snowy November has created a good base throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks for the upcoming winter season, which kicks off on Wednesday.

By the Numbers: Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site in southwest Georgia preserves the remains of the Civil War's deadliest prisoner of war camp.

Visiting Everglades National Park’s Royal Palm Area

We are on our way to Key West, where the weather is more accommodating to those of us past middle age. In truth, Key West is a fun place for people of any age. Warm weather, a fun atmosphere, strange people, wild chickens roaming the streets, and the ghost of Ernest Hemingway looking over your shoulder all make for an enjoyable vacation.

Is It Quixotic To Work Towards Restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park?

Many long have dreamed of the day that the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park would be drained of its reservoir and allowed to mirror the more-renowned Yosemite Valley. Those dreams are kept alive by the folks behind Restore Hetch Hetchy.

A Handy List of Holiday Events Across the National Park System

With the holiday season ramping up, more than a few special events are planned across the National Park System. Here's a glance at some of them.

Study Says Half Dome Permit System In Yosemite National Park Apparently Does Not Enhance Overall Hiker Safety

A permit system implemented for hikers heading to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park does not appear to be improving safety conditions, according to a report that analyzes this past summer's hiking numbers.
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YOSE-Half Dome Trail Use.pdf1.33 MB