Tough Times or Wanton Poaching Along the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The sour economy has created tough times across the country. Whether that was behind an apparent poaching incident along the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to say.

National Park Lodging Rates, On Average, Stay Ahead of Inflation

Regular guests of national park lodges have undoubtedly noticed persistent increases in room rates. Although we no longer have the receipt, it seems that we paid $225 per night during our 1996 stay in Yosemite National Park’s Ahwahnee for a room that now goes for approximately $500 per night. It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that during the past decade lodging rates in national parks have risen faster than the Consumer Price Index.

Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change

A small turtle from the eastern U.S. A species of trout native to Glacier and North Cascades national parks. Grizzly bears. A prairie orchard. A coral. These are among the ten plant, fish, animal, and bird species listed in a new report as being the "hottest" species imperiled by climate change.
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Blue Ridge Parkway Bear Poachers Get Prison Time

As a recent court case illustrates, people convicted of poaching animals in national parks face stiff penalties. Two North Carolina men who pleaded guilty to killing a bear on the Blue Ridge Parkway were given prison time to reflect on the error of their ways.

BRP75 Opening Weekend in Asheville Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration

Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary is next year, but the celebration is already getting under way. Two BRP75 Opening Weekend events are taking place today in Asheville, North Carolina, a city that learned on a happy day in November 1934 that it would become a parkway community after all.

Conservation Easement Protects Nearly 1,500 Wooded Acres Rimming the Blue Ridge Parkway

A nearly $4 million deal with one of the country's largest railroads has placed almost 1,500 wooded acres, including some that are highly visible from Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks, into a conservation easement that will protect them from ever being logged or developed.

Bad Timing: Road Closures Along the Blue Ridge Parkway During Leaf-Peeping Season

If you're planning to head on down the Blue Ridge Parkway from end-to-end this leaf season, you better read the following regarding road closures and detours.

Potential Slide Forces Closure of Short Section of Blue Ridge Parkway near Ashville, NC

Blue Ridge Parkway in fall
Fall color season is a busy time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but busy or not, officials at the Blue Ridge Parkway aren't taking any chances with the risk of a potential landslide on the scenic roadway. An emergency closure of a short section of the parkway near Ashville is in effect.

Bridge Repairs on Blue Ridge Parkway Completed Just in Time for Fall Color Drives

Fall scene on Blue Ridge Parkway.
Fall is a wonderful season to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the park has good news for travelers on the North Carolina portion of the scenic drive. Work on the Goshen Creek Bridge has been completed and the section of the Parkway between mileposts 285 and 288 has reopened to traffic

Picnic Area on Blue Ridge Parkway Closed Temporarily Due to Bear Activity

Black bear.
When we think about problems with bears in national parks, areas such as Yellowstone and Yosemite often come to mind, but bruins can be an issue "back East" as well. A picnic area along the Blue Ridge Parkway has been closed temporary to help resolve a bear-people food issue.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals

The climate is not static. Ice ages come and go, pushing rivers of ice south and then pulling them back north across continents as temperatures and snowfalls rise and fall. Animal and plant species either stay ahead of these icy incursions and adapt, or perish.

Just Down the Hallway: Saving Money at a National Park Lodge by Choosing a Room without a Private Bathroom

Even experienced travelers often are surprised to learn that some national park lodges still offer rooms without a private bathroom. In fact, in making a reservation at one of the lodges you might discover there is no choice other than a room that requires use of a community bathroom. While European visitors are not surprised and might even expect rooms without a private bathroom, many U.S. travelers don’t look kindly on the need to use a bathroom that is just down the hallway.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's Plans For 75th Anniversary License Plate Collapse, But There Are Limited Edition Posters

If you live in North Carolina and were hoping to attach a Blue Ridge Parkway commemorative 75th anniversary license plate onto your rig, you can forget about it. The foundation has decided too many obstacles stand in the way of producing the special plates.

New Electronic Applications Aim to Enhance Your National Park Visit

Where once we had guidebooks, topographic maps, and campfire talks to help us appreciate and understand the national parks, there's now a growing number of electronic applications for your iPhones, iPod Touches, and other cellphones and media devices to overwhelm the senses.

Planning For Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th Anniversary Moving Along

Plans for celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 are moving along well. There's a rich mix of activities and events being planned, including community programs as well as professional seminars.

National Park Quiz 58: Tunnels

Tunnel vision is one thing, but tunnel knowledge is quite another matter. See if you can sort things out in this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you hold the steel for a cross-eyed sledge wielder.

Looking For Lodging: the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway attracts more visitors than any other unit of the National Park System. Which makes this guide to lodging along the parkway so valuable.

Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunflowers, violets, trillium and other wildflowers are just around the proverbial corner in the Appalachian Mountains. You can spot these and dozens of others in Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, as well as along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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.

2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat

Visitation to the National Park System in 2008 was, essentially, flat from the year before. There were spikes in some areas, and deep drops in others, but overall the 275 million visitors who were counted represented just 800,000 fewer than in 2007, according to preliminary data from the National Park Service.
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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.

Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Begins

As the country careened toward what is beginning to look like a second Great Depression, citizens in North Carolina and Virginia paused on October 9 and 10 to consider the history of one of the great public accomplishments of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal 75 years ago: the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

Stanley W. Abbott, Wizard of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Millions of motorists enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway every year, but most have never heard of Stanley W. Abbott. That’s a shame. Abbott was the young landscape architect who threaded the road through the mountains and made it a scenic-recreational masterpiece.

Greening the National Parks: Environmental Achievement Awards Highlight Sustainable Design, Energy-Efficiency, and Recycling

To encourage eco-friendly operations, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards each year to parks and concession companies that have excelled in incorporating high environmental standards into their operations. The 2007 awards were presented to Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite National Park, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

Visitation Decline at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Has Area Businesses, Residents, and Governments Worried

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the busiest of the flagship National Parks, reports 5% lower visitation at its main entrances and anticipates 250,000 fewer visitors this year. The related decline in visitor-based income and tax revenues has area businesses, employees, and governments fretting.

Sky-High Ginseng Prices Boost Illegal Harvest in Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With ginseng fetching record high prices, illegal harvesting has increased in Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a serious federal crime. Convicted ginseng poachers get hefty fines and jail time.

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.

National Park Quiz 16: Waterfalls

A waterfall is defined as a steep descent of water from a height. Whatever you call these falling waters, they delight the senses. This week’s quiz will see how much you know about waterfalls in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, you’ll be assigned plunge pool cleaning duties.

“10 Best National Parks”? National Geographic, You Have Got to be Kidding!

National Geographic might be considered a gold standard authority on national parks. Why, then, is a hilariously flawed “10 Best National Parks” list included in a recently published National Geographic book? Is NG testing us to see if we’re paying attention?

National Park Quiz 3: Bridges

Bridges are among the most favored of all human structures. They serve us well, make a bold visual statement, and open the door to a storehouse of memories. Who doesn’t admire the elegant lines of a suspension bridge? Who can look at a covered bridge without thinking of a time when life was simpler and slower and friendlier? This week's quiz will find out how much you know about the bridges and bridge-related things in our national parks. Answers are at the end. No peeking.