Cape Hatteras National Seashore Offering Programs On Shipwrecks And "Cownose Rays"

Winter might not be the best time to enter the Atlantic at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but it's a grea time to learn more about shipwrecks off the barrier island and a unique species of ray that swims its waters.

Trails We Hiked in 2012 That We Think You'll Like

Few national park visits are complete without a hike of some distance and duration. We made the following hikes in the parks the past year, and think you'll find them interesting possibilities for 2013.

National Park Service Urged To Follow The "Precautionary Principle" In Overseeing Cultural, Ecological Systems In The Parks

Can the National Park Service more fully embrace the "precautionary principle," the concept that it err on the side of "science-informed prudence and restraint," as suggested by Revisiting Leopold: Resource Stewardship in the National Parks?

2013 Off-Road Vehicle Permits For Cape Hatteras National Seashore Go On Sale December 1

Cape Hatteras National Seashore off-road vehicle permit offices will begin issuing the 2013 annual ORV permit on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

Hurricane Sandy Floods Parts Of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Parts of Cape Hatteras National Seashore were left flooded and without power Sunday by Hurricane Sandy, which was prompting mandatory evacuations of other National Park System units further up the Atlantic Coast.

More National Park Units Getting Ready To Withstand Hurricane Sandy

National parks along the Eastern Seaboard from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to coastal Maine were preparing Saturday to withstand the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, a slowly evolving storm that meteorologists were predicting would be historic for its devastating impact.

National Parks Battening Down In Advance Of Hurricane Sandy

With Hurricane Sandy en route to the Eastern Seaboard, units of the National Park System in her path are preparing for her arrival next week.

Creature Feature: Piping Plovers Face Challenges But Keep On Piping

The piping plover, Charadrius melodus, sparks recreation area closures in many parts of the national park system drawing critics and champions all across the country and causing a much larger stir than its tiny size suggests.

Groups Intend To Sue Over Lack Of Critical Habitat For Loggerhead Turtles Along Atlantic Coast

Though thousands of loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, nest along the Atlantic Coast each year, the National Marine Fisheries Service has not yet designated habitat critical to the species' survival, according to conservation groups planning to sue over that lack of designation.

Full "Harvest Moon" Tours Of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse This Saturday

If thunderstorms in the forecast vanish, a climb up the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this Saturday night could be spectacular thanks to the rise of a full harvest moon over Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Report Warns Of Climate Change Impacts To National Seashores Along Eastern Seaboard

Seven national seashores dotting the Eastern Seaboard stand to suffer significant storm damage, loss of acreage to sea level rise, and hotter summer temperatures if climate change isn't blunted, according to the latest in a series of reports describing how the National Park System stands to be impacted by the phenomenon.

U.S. House To Consider Legislation Opponents Believe Would Degrade Public Lands, National Parks

A package of legislation that sponsors call the Conservation and Economic Growth Act and which critics maintain would severely cripple the nation's environmental laws and pose a threat to the National Park System is expected to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives this week.

Trails I've Hiked: Hammock Hills Nature Trail, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Pamlico Sound from Hammock Hills Nature Trail Ocracoke Island
The Hammock Hills Nature Trail is an 0.8-mile meander through a young maritime forest with great views of Pamlico Sound.

Salvo Day Use Area At Cape Hatteras National Seashore Reopens Tuesday

The Salvo Day Use Area at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which has been closed since Hurricane Irene swept across it last September, will reopen Tuesday.

Congressman Making Run To Jettison Off-Road Vehicle Rules At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

It may be “back to the drawing board” for off-road vehicle rules at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. On February 28, 2012 North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr. introduced a bill to void the latest “final rules” regarding pedestrian and ORV use on the seashore.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Implements ORV Rules, Fees, Fines

A hotly debated off-road-vehicle management plan has been put in place at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where you need to obtain a permit to drive on the beaches as park managers strive to protect threatened and endangered species.

Counting Birds and Turtles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

CAHA - closed sign
The 2011 Monitoring Reports at Cape Hatteras National Seashore reveals that piping plovers, sea turtles and even the American Oystercatcher really need protection.

ORV Group Files Lawsuit Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Management Plan

In a move not totally unexpected, the National Park Service has been sued over its plan for managing off-road vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Issues Final Rule Guiding Off-Road Vehicle Management

Years of acrimony over how to regulate off-road vehicle use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore are, barring another lawsuit, nearing an end, as final rules governing ORVs on the seashore are set to take effect next week.

Money Found To Finish Restoration of Bodie Island Light at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Not quite a year after restoration of the Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was halted due to unforeseen problems, nearly $2 million has been obtained to finish the project.

Being On The Coast, Shipwrecks Should Come As No Surprise To Acadia National Park Visitors

Acadia National Park is surrounded by water and much of its history and resources relate to its maritime location. It should be no surprise, then, that there are many shipwrecks in the waters around the park.

House GOP Expected To Resume Push To Exempt Border Patrol From Environmental Laws Across National Parks

When Congress returns to Washington later this month, watch for Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee to resume a push to exempt the Border Patrol from a wide variety of environmental and National Park Service regulations.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

A Look Back At Some Of The Year's Top Stories in the National Park System

Planning for the next century of the National Park Service, ecosystems at risk, and fatal grizzly bear maulings were some of the stories that surfaced across the National Park System in 2011. Here's a glance at some of the top stories that the Traveler followed.

A Year In The Parks, From Cape Lookout National Seashore To Glacier Bay National Park

The past year took me across the National Park System, from Cape Lookout National Seashore on the North Carolina coast to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The stories that spooled out from these trips into the National Park System told of advocacy and nurturing, of history and recreation, and even of controversy. Here's a look back.

Reader Participation Day: Why Are National Parks So Controversial?

Why are national parks so dang controversial?

Grant Will Rehabilitate Boone Fork Trail Portion of Mountains-to-Sea Trail on Blue Ridge Parkway

A $75,000 grant from the North Carolina Recreation Trails Program will fund rehabilitation and improvement of one the most popular trails in Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

High Water Table, Wetlands Causing Flooding At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Wet weather this fall has created a problem of standing water at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where officials say a high water table is responsible. Quick solutions, though, are not readily available, though, as North Carolina laws prevent the park from simply draining the water away.

Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival Sweeping Across Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout National Seashores

Birds, paddling, and photography -- with some history and nature tossed in -- are all part of the 15th Annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival that's running for the rest of the week along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, including Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout national seashores.