Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

National Park Service Falls in "Best Places To Work" Rankings

As an agency, the National Park Service is moving in the wrong direction in the annual "Best Places To Work" directory of federal agencies.

Birding in the National Parks: Searching For the Colima Warbler In Big Bend National Park

If you plan to notch your "Big Year," you need to head down to Big Bend National Park to catch a glimpse of the Colima Warbler.

Group Pushing Proposal To "Complete" North Cascades National Park

Though it was designated in 1968, North Cascades National Park embraces an incomplete landscape, one that could be made more robust and attractive to visitors with the addition of nearly 238,000 surrounding acres, according to a group pushing for park expansion.

Why The Delay In Designating Official Wilderness In National Parks?

There is a false sense of security in the National Park System surrounding officially designated wilderness. And political actions, or, rather, inaction, demonstrates why there should be concern for the long-term fate of lands with wilderness qualities.

By the Numbers: Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the world's largest urban-oriented parks, generates some impressive statistics. Take a look at these numbers.

A Potpourri of Suggestions For Visiting The National Park System This Winter

Just because winter is on its way and the weather is turning gray and colder, that doesn't mean there aren't great places to enjoy in the National Park System. Here are some random suggestions.

Fears Rise That Congress Could Open More Units Of National Park System to Hunting

Few units of the National Park System are open to hunting, but there are fears that legislation now working its way through Congress could clear the way for hunting across dozens of parks in the system.

By the Numbers: Homestead National Monument of America

Nebraska's Homestead National Monument of America is a very special place that contains, among other things, America's oldest homestead and second-oldest restored tallgrass prairie.

License Tag Law Threatens Support for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

License tag money has helped support national parks in North Carolina for over a decade. But a new law enacted by the Republican legislature will decrease the amount of money that will go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Blue Ridge Parkway Management Alternatives Draw More Than A Little Debate

The first-ever management plan for the Blue Ridge Parkway treads a fine line between two forces park managers have juggled for the 76-year history of the high road—the economic development aspirations of adjacent communities and the need to ensure the integrity of a “national park” that’s 469-miles long and a half-mile wide.

NPCA Report Paints Somber Portrait Of An Underfunded National Park Service

America is abundantly rich in the "natural assets" found within the National Park System, but inadequate funding by Congress is threatening the core health of that system, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

Updated: Report Details How Corporate Pressure Seemingly Derailed Plans For a Plastic Bottle Ban at Grand Canyon National Park

A plan that would, in part, showcase the National Park Service's commitment to reduce plastic bottle litter was partially derailed when Coca Cola raised its concerns over the plan with Park Service Chief Jon Jarvis, who blocked a ban on disposable water bottles at Grand Canyon National Park.

As A Federal Agent, Carter Niemeyer Killed Wolves For A Living

Mary Roberson's painting Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Omega
Carter Niemeyer has had a hand in killing more American wolves in the Lower 48 states than any wildlife manager in modern history. In the following interview, he discusses his book, "Wolfer," and offers his thoughts on the current state of wolves and wolf management in the Rocky Mountains.

Hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail: It Takes More Heart than Heel

APPA - A lake in Maine
Do you have the right stuff to hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail next year? It's not about the right gear but as Grandma Gatewood said, "it takes more heart than heel."

A Winter Visit To Virgin Islands National Park: The Logistics

While winter is the slow season for many national parks, it is the very best season to visit Virgin Islands National Park.

Birding In The National Parks: Where Are All The Kittlitz's Murrelets Going?

Data being gathered to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decide whether the Kittlitz's murrelet should have Endangered Species Act protection shows an alarming direction in the species' population trend.
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National Park Service Honors Top Ranger, Volunteers

A ranger from Grand Canyon National Park and a wounded Iraq war veteran who found healing at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been honored by the National Park Service for their commitment to the parks.

Trails I've Hiked: Bechler River Trail In Yellowstone National Park

Thigh-deep in the strong, bracing currents of the Bechler River was not exactly what I expected when I set out to explore Yellowstone National Park's "Cascade Corner." But at least it was mid-September, and not mid-July, when the torrent surely would have been colder, deeper, and stronger.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Underrated and Understated

With 160 miles of scenic trails, a rich and well-preserved plethora of historic locales, and a graceful (but grumpy) population of lanky blue herons, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a beautiful swath of lush Ohio land worth exploring.

Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart

Camping and Woodcraft bookcover
Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart has been republished by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. With new photographs and completely remastered, this is the book to read for useful information and for just plain good reading.

Lost - and Eventually Found - in the Big Thicket National Preserve

The names of most areas in the National Park System are usually pretty descriptive of the main features of the site, and that's the case for the Big Thicket National Preserve. The woods and swamps are "big" and in places the vegetation is thick indeed. As more than one hunter has discovered, it's also an easy place to get lost.

Call To Action: Updating The Leopold Report For National Parks in the 21st Century

Nearly 50 years after it was completed, the Leopold Report on wildlife management in the national parks is perhaps overdue for revisions to take into account the realities of climate change, sprawl, and greater visitation to the parks.

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Birding in the National Parks: Track Your Birds On The Web With eBird

eBird is a helpful took courtesy of the folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society that makes it easier for you to keep track of your birding life-list. Let's take a closer look at how it functions.

Call To Action: Building A $1 Billion Endowment For The National Parks

An initiative to build a $1 billion endowment for national parks in these distressed economic times is bold and ambitious, one that could do much good for a National Park System that Congress has been unable, or unwilling, to fully fund. But it won't happen overnight, and it will take continued support from administrations yet to be elected.

Backroads and Byways – Balsam Mountain Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you're looking for an alternative to the more heavily-traveled roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here's a great option for the fall color season, or for a late spring or summer drive next year: the Balsam Mountain Road.

The Major Road Project That Restored a Park

A proposal for a major highway construction project through the heart of a national park isn't usually cause for rejoicing by park supporters, but that was the case nearly 40 years ago at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. An upcoming event at the park will celebrate the Cumberland Gap Highway Tunnel, which was finally completed in 1996 to restore the historic Cumberland Gap.

National Park History: The Grand Register of Yo-Semite Valley

Now a prized possession of the Yosemite Museum, the guest register of the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon is a treasure trove of information about early Yosemite tourism.

Taking the Long Way Home, Through Yellowstone National Park

Being able to drive through Yellowstone National Park on your way home isn't something many of us are fortunate enough to be able to do. But Contributing Writer Todd Wilkinson is one who is, and what he saw on his ride home the other day is something to evoke some jealousy.

Colors Peaking In The National Parks Across The Country

With mid-October practically here, the fall colors are really starting to put on their best in many national parks, places like Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, and Acadia.