National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways

Traveler's 2nd Annual Essential Friends + Gateways publication, a collaboration between the Traveler and a core group of national park foundations, cooperating associations, trusts, friends groups, and gateway communities, is aimed at enhancing and furthering the now nationally significant role of these organizations and entities in the preservation and enjoyment of our parks.

Blue Ridge Parkway Awards Concessions Contract For Peaks Of Otter Lodge

Delaware North Parks & Resorts, which last year landed the contract to run concessions at Shenandoah National Park, has added the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its operations.

Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways Initiative Celebrates National Parks

Just in time for National Park Week -- Traveler's 2013 magazine Essential Friends + Gateways! Flip through 50+ pages of full-color features celebrating national parks, their increasingly indispensable friends' groups—along with great park gateways and the local insight and travel tips you need to savor summer in the country's top national parks.

Can You Name The Most-Visited Units Of The National Park System From 2012?

Acadia, Yellowstone, and Yosemite are some of the most adored units of the National Park System, but they don't show up in the top 10 list of most-visited parks during 2012. They're quite a ways from the top 10, actually.

Parkway Superintendent Phil Francis Retires After A Career of Parkway Firsts

Phil Francis, the National Park Service’s superintendent for the Blue Ridge Parkway since 2005, is retiring on April 1st.

Concession Opportunity On The Blue Ridge Parkway

The National Park Service recently released a prospectus soliciting proposals for the operation of Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob Cabins; two concessions on the southern Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sequestration Cuts To Reduce Staff, Facilities On The Blue Ridge Parkway

The approximately 15 million visitors expected this year on the Blue Ridge Parkway—the most visited unit of the national park system—will find fewer ranger-led walks and talks, reduced facilities at campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers, and perhaps a shorter full-service season. Superintendent Phil Francis says the goal is limiting the impact on visitors.

First-Ever Prescribed Burn To Be Conducted On The Blue Ridge Parkway

In a reversal of seventy years of “vigorously suppressed” fires on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Superintendent Phil Francis has announced that 150 acres will be burned near Doughton Park “to return the site to a more natural vegetation type” and “increase the quality of wildlife habitat.”

Interior Secretary, National Park Service Director Lament Looming Budget Cuts

Fewer rangers for search-and-rescue missions, closed campgrounds, and possibly more devastating forest fires are facing the National Park Service as a result of the looming budget fiasco, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said Monday.

NPS Cultural Landscapes Explained And Featured On This Website

History buffs and students working on a class report are among potential users of a website that features cultural landscapes in the National Park System. Not with familiar the term "cultural landscapes"? This site can help fill in the gaps.

Blue Ridge Parkway’s First—and Final—General Management Plan/EIS Is Now Available

After more than 75 years—many of them passed as the most visited unit of the National Park System—the Blue Ridge Parkway has announced the release of its very first Final General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

Welcome Changes Mark Renewal Of Folk Art Center Lease On Blue Ridge Parkway

The Southern Appalachian Handicraft Guild has run the Parkway’s Folk Art Center in Asheville since 1979 and that record continues with the organization gaining another 10-year lease on the property.

NPS Extends and Revises Concession Prospectus for Blue Ridge Parkway Lodgings

Following an unsuccessful attempt to drum up interest in several commercial properties on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the National Park Service has extended the submission date and issued a revised and scaled-down prospectus.

Help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation: Drive a Donation to the 469 Challenge

End the year with one last philanthropic gesture and become one of 469 donors needed to “match the mileposts” on the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

The Kids Are Alright: Discovering National Parks Through Service

America’s kids are suffering from “nature deficit disorder” and that includes national parks. As the National Park Service closes its first century, park proponents across the country are trying to get young people engaged in parks and their preservation. It’s a big challenge, but not all of the news is bad. One university town in North Carolina is showing how proximity to national parks invites newbies into involvement.

Exploring Crabtree Falls In The Blue Ridge Parkway

What are you looking for on your Blue Ridge Parkway visit—camping, a picnic area, a gift shop, a restaurant, waterfalls, great hiking, or ranger programs? Crabtree Falls has it all!

Creature Feature: Some Squirrels Really Can Fly

Humans weren't the only ones stocking up for a feast this month. Flying squirrels, which call a number of national parks home, have been busy with their own meals with winter coming.

Parkway Slope Repair Shuts Down the High Road Between Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell State Park

Sunday drivers take note—your opportunity to soar the entire piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Boone—across the massive Craggy Mountains past Mount Mitchell—has gone the way of autumn leaves. Road stabilization efforts have closed the high road between Milepost 355.3 and Milepost 359.8.

Updated: "Superstorm Sandy" Brings Heavy Snows, Flooding, And Towering Waves To National Park System

Sunrise today showed deep, heavy snow in national parks in the Appalachians, flooding along coastal and barrier island parks, and waves towering more than two stories along some lakeshores farther inland.

Lodging In Limbo On The Blue Ridge Parkway

There is a real possibility three of the four lodging facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway will close or remain closed following the 2012 season.

Predictions Of Good Fall Color Proving True On Blue Ridge Parkway

Predictions on how colorful the fall foliage will be for any given year is always a bit of a dice roll, but the forecasts for the current season in eastern national parks were generally promising. So...how accurate were those educated guesses? I took a drive on a short section of the Blue Ridge Parkway this week to find ou

Blue Ridge Parkway Association Releases App To Help You Enjoy The Parkway This Fall

These days the "got milk" expression has been far surpassed by, "is there an app for that?" And in the case of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the answer is "yes!"

Blue Ridge Parkway Closure Points To Source Of Past Failures

Another Blue Ridge Parkway road closure this fall and winter points to the aging infrastructure that undermines this scenic road, the most visited unit of the National Park Service.

Fall Color Forecast: High Expectations For Bright Foliage In Eastern National Parks

With autumn in the offing, the question for leaf lookers heading to Eastern national parks is—what’s the foliage forecast for fall 2012? Howard S. Neufeld has some good news for you—but the reasons why aren’t simple.

Two Celebrated North Carolina High Country Landmarks Commemorate Anniversaries

Two landmark bridges in the North Carolina High Country near Boone celebrate anniversaries this month with major events and activities planned for Tuesday September 11, 2012.

Dine and Donate: First Ever "Plates for the Parkway" Program Offers Fuel For You And The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Raise a toast to the Blue Ridge Parkway—and do it while enjoying a great meal at one of dozens of restaurants sponsoring “Plates for the Parkway” on September 18th, 2012. The first annual event will include restaurants that agree to donate a minimum of 10% of a meal or the day’s sales to benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s efforts to protect the Parkway.

Star Gaze Southern Appalachian National Parks In September

You’ll get startlingly close to galaxies, nebulae, planets and more at three great September star-gazing events at the loftiest viewing locations in Eastern America, thanks to Southern Appalachian National Parks.