A Step Back In Time: Charit Creek Lodge Offers Glimpse Into Tennessee's Pioneer Past

I recently received an invitation to sleep in a log cabin. Not something new and swanky, mind you. Instead, my imagination was sparked because this cabin was built in 1817, around the time Davy Crockett was earning his reputation as a frontiersman, storyteller, and politician.

Essential Fall Guide '14: Fall Is Not The Season To Stay Inside

For many, fall conjures images of blizzards of golden leaves, the eerie bugles of bull elk, and the first crisp, possibly snow-dusted, days of year’s end. For the northern half of the country these are the realities of the National Park System. There are the breathtaking days of hiking, watching wildlife on the move, and even tasting the season in the bounties of wild berries and other fruits.

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, South

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters.

Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area Seeking Trail Maintainers

Lovers of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee can give back while enjoying the park by volunteering to help maintain a favorite trail there.

They Hunt Hogs At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area And Obed Wild And Scenic River

Not too many units of the National Park System allow hunting within their borders, but Big South Fork National River and Recreation along the Tennessee-Kentucky line is one that does. And come Saturday a hog hunting season, which runs through February, will kick off in the park.

Mountain Bike Trail Added At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area

Dedication of a new mountain biking trail at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky is planned for September 28, National Public Lands Day.

Trails At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area To Close For A Week

Work to improve the safety of visitors traveling the Yellow Cliff Horse Trail and Salt Pine Trail in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee will require that the trails be closed to the public next week.

Concession Opportunity at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

If you’ve always dreamed of boarding llamas and donkeys, and doing it with National Park Service approval, your ship has come in.

Mountain Bikers Get More Riding Time At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area

Mountain bikers are getting more trail time at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Curatorial Facility Proposed for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Four Other Park Service Units

One facility, nearly 1 million artifacts and records, five units of the National Park System. That's a short overview of a proposed curatorial facility that would be located in Townsend, Tennessee, not far from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Fall Spectacular: Great Autumn Hikes in the National Parks

It's hard to beat autumn for prime hiking in parks from coast to coast. This season brings fine weather to most of the country and in many locations fall foliage is an added bonus. There are more hikes in national parks that we can take in a lifetime, so here are a few suggestions for some great ones all across the nation—including some alternatives to the most heavily-visited sites.

Lost in the Boonies? What's Your Most Important Task?

Search dog and handler.
People who find themselves lost in the boonies, whether it's forest, field, desert or other terrain, frequently make the same mistake. If you find yourself unsure which route leads back to civilization, a recent incident at the Buffalo National River offers a clue about your most important task.

Lost Hikers in Big South Fork Ignored Searcher Instructions, Hampered Search Efforts

What part of “stay put” is so hard to understand?

Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks

A spate of fatalities in the national parks this spring sends a sobering message: parks can be dangerous places. But they don't have to be if you remember some simple rules when visiting the parks.

Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area

A missed portage around Angel Falls Rapid in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has led to the death of a 61-year-old paddler.

Ignorance and Complacency—Common Denominators in Many Park Accidents

River at flood stage
Spring can be prime season in some parks for canoeing, kayaking and other types of boating. Water levels are often higher in rivers from either spring rains and/or snow melt, but when combined with ignorance or complacency, too much water can present a serious problem. Two visitors at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area recently learned that lesson the hard way.

National Park Quiz 28: Rivers

This week’s quiz deals with rivers flowing within or through the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “Tributaries joining main streams at right angles is a signature feature of trellis drainage” 100 times on the whiteboard.

National Park Quiz 26: Frightful Places and Scary Stuff

Halloween is the day after tomorrow, so let’s turn to the scarier side of national park visitation for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end, but please don’t peek. Cheaters never prosper – unless, of course, they work on Wall Street.

Archaeological Survey At Big South Fork River National River and Recreation Area

The National Park Service is seeking to inventory and preserve archaeological sites across the National Park System until funding permits their excavation. With the largest number of archaeological sites in the Southeast, the spotlight is turned on the relatively humble Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Park History: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

The scenic, recreational Big South Fork River in eastern Tennessee/Kentucky might well have been dammed and flooded. But a national park was created instead, and now Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers high quality recreation opportunities of many types.

Getting American Youth More Involved in the National Parks is a Difficult Challenge and a Golden Opportunity

Nurturing broadly-based advocacy for the national parks has never been more critical, and promoting greater youth interest and visitation is a key consideration. Some progress is being made, but much more can be done.
Running rivers ain't always pretty, as this short video from Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area clearly shows.
Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America After Mr. Blevins passed away, park staff began to notice unusual things at the Blevins Farmstead. More than one ranger reported getting the "willies" while at Oscar’s farm. One hot summer evening, a ranger was unsaddling a horse inside the corral behind the barn when his hair stood up on end. Someone was watching him.

Going Above and Beyond; Stewardship in the National Parks

Yosemite National Park, El Capitan with Clouds; Jim Brekke Photo
Parks are famous as travel destinations, but for many of us, they represent more than just a road-trip. This fall, rock-climbers in Yosemite, backcountry hikers in Olympic, and students in Kentucky and Tennessee are gathering together in their favorite parks to give back to the places which have provided so much for them. You are welcome to join in.