Stand in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you can't help but be enthralled by the lush forests and rolling mountains that surround you. Though a somewhat old landscape to modern civilization, the park continues to toss surprises in terms of the species that inhabit it.
Part of the fun of the National Park System is exploring the various units to see what they have to offer. Here's a look at parks the Traveler "explored" in 2012.
How do you collect your national park memories?
Earlier this year National Parks Traveler broke ground with Essential Friends, an initiative created to celebrate the great work of national park friends groups. While the publication has been available in PDF format, we now offer it to you as a flip book. Enjoy!
Nearly 70 National Park System units along the Eastern Seaboard were either fully or partially closed due to impacts from "superstorm Sandy," and it could be days before some reopen.
Come month's end they'll be moving to winter hours at Acadia National Park, where the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and Sand Beach Entrance Station will both close on Halloween.
Unless Congress averts a staggering budget "sequestration" early next year the National Park System will be devastated by underfunding that could force the Park Service to shutter more than 100 parks, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.
Throughout the summer we've been celebrating the work of national park friends groups. While the summer is coming to an end, their good work continues throughout the year. And with that in mind, they could use your support to fund that work. Here's a look back at some of the park system's "essential friends" and how you can support them.
Does your congressperson understand where you stand when it comes to America's national parks? Perhaps more to the point, do they care where you stand?