If You Enjoy Watching Birds of Prey, Don't Miss Acadia National Park's HawkWatch

Visitors at the HawkWatch program.
Whether you're a serious birder or just have a casual interest in watching birds of prey, the annual HawkWatch at Acadia National Park offers a prime opportunity. The event begins on August 19 and runs through mid-October.

Peregrine Falcons Successfully Raise Six Chicks at Acadia National Park

Falcon chicks.
Peregrine falcons at Acadia National Park have successfully raised six fledglings this spring, and now that the young birds have begun flying from the nest, a park trail that was closed to protect the nest and chicks has reopened.

American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks

True, when you consider that the maintenance backlog across the National Park System is some $8 billion or so, the $750 million-$920 million being spent in the parks courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn't that significant. Still, some good work is being done with the money.

Night Sky Viewing Programs at Acadia National Park

stars
In honor of the International Year of Astronomy, Acadia National Park will host two special series of night sky programs during the remainder of the summer. They're part of an impressive lineup of interpretive activities at Acadia this year.

Park Shuttle Bus Systems are Growing in Popularity Around the Country.

Shuttle bus systems are growing in popularity as one way to reduce the impacts of private vehicles on parks—and on the experience of visitors. Here's a look at some of those systems at NPS sites around the country.

Accessible National Parks, Airline Division

Units of the National Park System are really closer than you think. Some are quite literally in your backyard. Today we're pointing out those that are within an hour's drive of an airport with commercial service.

National Parks: Valuable Assets In Efforts To Conserve Birdlife

Xantus's Murrelet, copyright Glen Tepke.
Peregrine Falcons, once teetering on extinction, are regulars at Acadia National Park. Bald Eagles, also once feared to be ready to blink out, have rebounded incredibly and are highly visible in many national parks. During a week-long canoe trip in Yellowstone National Park last fall I was blown away by the birdlife. But how is the overall "state of birds" in America these days? Unfortunately, things aren't entirely as they appear.
It's not often you can watch a seastar, aka starfish, move. Most of the times I've spied them they've been stuck in place. But this short video shows one on the move at Acadia National Park.

Tracing The Postage Stamp-Sized History of the National Park System

You could call it a postage stamp-sized history of the National Park System, but the history of park scenes on U.S. postage is really quite colorful and carries a few stories with it.

It's That Time of Year: Peregrine Falcons Are Nesting At Acadia National Park

It's that time of year again -- the peregrine falcons are the Precipice Cliff in Acadia National Park. And while that means you can't head up the Precipice Trail, you can get a good look at these raptors that once were thought on the way to extinction.

National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers

This week’s quiz is all about glaciers and glaciation in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Eskers, depositional landforms composed of stratified gravel and sand, characteristically exist as long, narrow, sinuous ridges with steep sides.”

National Park Quiz 45: Green

St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away, so this week’s quiz will see if you’re ready to start thinking green. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The shamrock of Irish legend is a three-leaf clover symbolizing the Holy Trinity.”

Five Units of National Park System to Benefit From Trails Dollars

A coming infusion of $330,000 will help five units of the National Park System improve their trail networks.

National Park Quiz 43: Names

Take this week’s quiz and find out if you’re up to snuff on national park names. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you say Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau over and over until you can pronounce it correctly.

Maine-based Groups Join Fight to Overturn Gun Rule for National Parks

Two groups in Maine have joined the legal bid to overturn the Bush administration's decision to allow national park visitors to arm themselves.

National Park Quiz 39: Winter

This week’s quiz will find out if you are a winterwise park visitor. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you explain why the Bergeron-Findeisen process grows snowflakes only because the equilibrium vapor pressure of water vapor with respect to ice is less than that with respect to liquid water at the same subfreezing temperature.

It's Not Too Early To Start Planning This Summer's National Park Vacation

Sure, the calendar says January, there's a lot of snow out there across the country, and you haven't even thought about filing your income taxes. But it's still not too early to begin planning your national park vacation for this summer.

This Park Can Lay Claim to "Tallest" and "First" – and It Was a Real Bargain to Boot

Eagle Lake, Acadia N.P.
Home to the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast, the first national park east of the Mississippi River celebrates an anniversary today. It's had three different names during its 93-year history—and the taxpayers got a real bargain when this area was added to the National Park System.

Rules! Rules! Rules!

Yes, yes, I know that you always consult the Superintendent’s Compendium of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions as required under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulation § 1.7(b) before visiting a national park. But do you really know all you need to know to be a responsible park visitor?

With Winter Hitting Much of the Country Hard, There Are Many Ski Opportunities in the National Parks

Winter, it seems, is everywhere these days. Even poor Las Vegas has been hammered (relatively speaking, of course) by a snowstorm. And Death Valley National Park has seen snowflakes this winter. So shouldn't you be planning a national park ski trip?

Don't Overlook Park Advocates and Friends Groups When You Make Your Charitable Donations

Programs to lure youngsters into the parks. "Healthy Kids/Healthy Parks." Research to gauge the impact of visitation on park natural resources. Restoration work. These are just some of the projects that your taxable donations allowed to occur across the National Park System in 2008.
Acadia National Park Pocket Guide (Falcon Pocket Guides Series) Little bigger than a 3-by-5 index card and less than 100 pages, this handy book slides smoothly and comfortably into your pocket or day pack and offers the first- and even second-timer some handy guidance to navigating Acadia National Park.

Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park Closed for the Winter

Well, they've closed the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park for the winter. That's both the bad news and the good news for winter visitors to the Jewel of the Atlantic.

Acadia National Park Institutes Road Closures to Thwart Poachers

Acadia National Park officials have instituted their annual nighttime closures of sections of roads in the park to thwart poachers who might find the park's deer too tempting.

National Park Quiz 24: Old, Older, Oldest

Are you chronologically challenged? Take this week’s quiz and find out. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write 100 times on the whiteboard: “Isotopic stratigraphy, a branch of chemostratigraphy, should not be confused with lithostratigraphy or cyclostratigraphy”.

National Park Quiz 21: Railroads

You don’t need to be a railfan to do well on this week’s railroad-focused quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you polish the brass in Traveler’s private rail car.

Fall Colors: What Can We Expect Across the National Park System?

A Labor Day weekend cold front dropped snow levels in some parts of the Rockies to below 10,000, which is a pretty good indicator that fall is not far off. And so, with that warning, it's only natural to wonder how the fall color displays will be in the national parks.

National Park Quiz 18: A Potpourri of National Park Trivia

While past quizzes have focused on specific genre involving the National Park System, this week's quiz is a more wide-open, undefined quiz of national park trivia. Answers are at the end.

Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?

Where do you find the best view of sunrise in the National Park System? Would it be on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, or, perhaps more logically, at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park?

National Park Boundaries: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Where do you draw the line on national park boundaries? They long have been political creatures, with no regard to traditional wildlife corridors, viewsheds or, in some cases, common sense.