Exploring The Parks: Tracing LBJ's Footsteps

A visit to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park allows a person to understand why our 36th U.S. president chose to return and spend the remainder of his life in the Hill Country of Texas following his five-year term in the White House.

Exploring The Parks: George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

On a warm, early fall day with brilliant sunshine and the Wabash River glistening as it flowed past the large limestone and granite building that locals affectionately call “The Memorial,” I stopped to visit George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.

Exploring The Parks: Seeing Zion National Park From A Different Perspective

Nearly 3 million visitors explored Zion National Park last year...but they saw only a fraction of it.

Musings From Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

I’m sitting on the shore of Lake Superior just looking across the water from the mainland of northern Wisconsin toward Madeline Island, one of 22 islands that comprise the Apostle Islands. A parade of sailboats works upwind across the water and I’m breathing air so fresh it still has labels attached. I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. With regrets.

The Underground Railroad In Eastern North Carolina

Dismal Swamp canal
Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sites appear in most unlikely places. Here are four in eastern North Carolina.

Exploring The Parks: Yellowstone National Park By Canoe

Ahab had his white whale, Moby-Dick, which drove him to his death. I had the Common Loon, a fish-loving, deep-diving waterfowl that mocked me with its tremolo call as I stood on the shore of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

Musings From AirVenture National Park

Haven't heard of AirVenture National Park? Well sit back and let Lee Dalton tell you all about it.

Estes Park, A Great Base Camp For A Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation

Your ascent to Estes Park, the front door to Rocky Mountain National Park, is anything but smooth. Climbing up through Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland, Colorado, you twist and turn and rise and fall with the road as it crawls through the canyon...and marvel at the cyclists pedaling those beastly 34 miles.

Climbing The Bodie Lighthouse At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Bodie Lighthouse at CAHA
Visitors can now climb the Bodie Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Though shorter than its more famous cousin, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Bodie Light offers guided tours with a ranger.

Exploring The Parks: Brooks Lodge And The Bears Of Katmai National Park

Last month I joined up with Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris for a tour to photograph the coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos) of Katmai National Park, Alaska. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and one I so enjoyed that I am hoping to return in 2014.

Musings From Pipestone National Monument

They may be separated by a few hundred miles of prairie, but Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming share parts of a common story. Both hold sacredness for the Indians who once lived and roamed freely across these wide and beautiful lands.

Musings From Badlands National Park

Wind never seems to stop blowing at Badlands. But in summer, that’s a good thing because it provides a little relief from the heat.

Exploring The Parks: Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

One of our newest, and perhaps one of our most unusual, national historic sites is located alongside Interstate 90 in South Dakota just outside the northeast entrance of Badlands National Park.

Driving the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park

Sieur de Monts Spring
Driving the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park is a classic introduction to the park. You can navigate it in a few hours, or take the entire day.

Musings From Devils Tower National Monument

One of the first thoughts I had upon rolling through the gate at Devils Tower was that Teddy certainly got it right when he used the Antiquities Act to designate this tall stump of rock as America’s first national monument.

Exploring The Parks: Jimmy Carter National Historic Site

Plains HS principal office
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site tells the story of President Carter's humble rural beginnings and his life after his presidency. Plains, Georgia is also a fun place to visit.

Exploring The Parks: Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Dr. and Mrs.King's tomb
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site takes up several city blocks in downtown Atlanta. Several buildings, gardens, statues, walkways tell the story of the Civil Rights icon.

Exploring John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Hidden within the sagebrush covered hills and badlands of eastern Oregon is evidence of past worlds covered by ancient forests and inhabited by strange looking beasts.

Exploring The Parks: City Of Rocks National Reserve

There are hybrid cars, hybrid corn, hybrid cattle, so why not a hybrid park? City of Rocks in south central Idaho is one. City of Rocks National Reserve is part of the national park system, but there are no NPS personnel there.

Exploring The Parks: Cape Lookout National Seashore's Historic District

Original life saving station
Summer is a perfect time to explore Cape Lookout National Seashore. A visit to the Cape Lookout Village Historic District rewards you with fascinating structures from a bygone era. Located only two miles from the cape's lighthouse, village visitors are almost guaranteed solitude.

Exploring The Parks: Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

Eliza Johnson's bedroom
President Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached. But there's much more to our 17th president. His story is told well at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, Tennessee. By the time you finish your visit, you might like the man.

Exploring the Parks: Antietam National Battlefield

Maryland monument at Antietam
Antietam battle was the single bloodiest battle in the Civil War. The landscape, which is the most important artifact, is being protected almost like it was in the 1860s.

Exploring And Camping On Ocracoke Island At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Ocracoke in Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a jewel on an island with many attractions. If you want to camp on the beach, you should make reservations now.

Exploring The Parks: Charles Pinckey National Historic Site

Charles Pinckney House
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, located in a suburb of Charleston, South Carolina, offers a look at lowcountry life in our country's early history. Though modest in size, the site is a treasure-trove of archeological artifacts.

Himalayan Shangri-La: The Annapurna Circuit, Experience An Ancient Culture On This Classic Nepal Trek

The old school bus rumbles to life with a painful metallic grinding and we roll forward, our chariot rocking side to side down a rutted, muddy street of a small crossroads town called Dumre in central Nepal. Angling down a hillside, the bus lists heavily to starboard and moves too slowly to escape its own cloud of choking exhaust, which drifts in through the open windows.

Exploring The Parks: Canaveral National Seashore

Eldora State House
Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge show off the best of Florida wetland habitat. Canaveral also may hold the key to the Timucuan Indian culture.

Exploring The Engine House At Golden Spike National Historic Site

Venture into the engine house at Golden Spike National Historic Site and you'll walk into the past, surrounded by steam engines and the men that keep them running.

Exploring The National Park System's Underbelly

While white-nose syndrome continues to plague bats in the country's cave systems, there nevertheless are quite a few underground tours you can take in the National Park System, tours that not only will show off these unique resources but also provide education on the disease.
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Exploring Glacier National Park's Jagged Peaks, Mountain Lakes, And Wild Goats Via The Gunsight Pass Trail

We’re just seconds beyond the sign at the start of the Gunsight Pass Trail that reads “Entering Grizzly Country” when Nate, who’s a month shy of his tenth birthday, begins aggressively making the case for why he should be armed.

Exploring The Parks: Camping In Dry Tortugas National Park

View from the fort
Dry Tortugas may be the most remote national park in the east. Once you get there, there's so much to do that you may want to stay overnight.