Featured Articles on National Parks Traveler

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.

A Note To Commenters

Folks, we cannot, and will not, allow copyrighted material to be posted in comments to articles. If you want to put a link in to a story in a specific newspaper or magazine, that's fine, but please do not post stories from other publications in their entirety.

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.

A National Park Superintendent And His Questionable Real Estate Deal

What should we make from the story that a National Park Service superintendent sold his house for more than three times its assessed value to a key concessionaire in his park and didn’t consider it a conflict of interest?

Adventure-Journal: Mr. Uberuaga Should Not Have Been Given Grand Canyon National Park Promotion

David Uberuaga should not be the superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park. He might be an awesome administrator, a conscientious steward of public lands, smart as the day is long, and a great guy, but his conduct in the matter of a highly questionable real estate deal while stationed at Mount Rainier National Park shows a lack of judgment that should preclude him from overseeing one of America’s premier treasures, as he is now.

Debate Over Oyster Farming At Point Reyes National Seashore Offers Differing Perspectives

Since 2005, Kenny Lunny has worked hard to clean up not only after his oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore, but also after his predecessor's operation. So when he received word from the California Coastal Commission that it was concerned about "marine debris" from his company, he was surprised.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, A River System At Risk, Part II

Earlier this year Ozark National Scenic National Riverways was named to American River's list of Most Endangered Rivers. In part two of her article Susan Flader, who long taught in the University of Missouri-Columbia History Department, looks at many of the problems the riverways faces.

Birding in the National Parks: Spotting Egrets, Herons, and More In Big Cypress National Preserve

Hopefully everyone’s planning a birding excursion to Alaska after reading Kurt’s review of his adventures in Glacier Bay National Park. In the meantime, a less frigid destination might be suitable for most travelers during the impending winter.

Remembering Roger Kennedy: The Accessible Wild In Science and Religion

The impact the late-National Park Service Director Roger Kennedy had on the National Park Service won't be lost and can't be overestimated. In his 2008 book, Wildfire and Americans; How to Save Lives, Property, and Your Tax Dollars, Mr. Kennedy measured the values of both science and faith in protecting wildness. He presented the following talk, portions of which came from that book, in 2006 during an appearance at the University of New England.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, A River System At Risk

Earlier this year Ozark National Scenic National Riverways was named to American River's list of Most Endangered Rivers. In the following two-part article Susan Flader, who long taught in the University of Missouri-Columbia History Department, traces the riverways' history while pointing to many of the problems it faces.

Family Nature Summits Heading To Rocky Mountain National Park Next Year

ROMO - 2004
Family Nature Summit is an outdoor-oriented family nature camp which attracts about 350 people each year. In 2012, it will be in Rocky Mountain National Park and should be a splendid week.

Walking the Cotswold Way in England on Private Land

OPen vista on the Cotswold Way
In the United States, we almost always hike on public land, land owned by a government entity. But in Great Britain, national trails and national parks are on private land. The Cotswold Way goes through fields and pastures, past ruins, and even through golf courses.

By The Numbers: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Johns Hopkins Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Though its name inspires thoughts of massive rivers of ice, Glacier Bay National Park is much, much more than glaciers. With its borders you'll find some of the country's tallest mountains, tangles of temperate rain forest that harbor brown and black bears, and rich waters that attract both birds and whales. Here's a glimpse of some of the park's significant numbers:

Update: As Historic Fort Monroe Moves Rapidly Toward National Park Status, Questions Cloud the Push for Preservation

If Virginia's historic Fort Monroe is preserved within the National Park System, as seems very likely, will the site be left exposed to the degrading effects of adjacent development?

National Park Road Trip 2011: Looking Back Over All The Miles...

How did you spend your summer? David and Kay Scott traveled nearly 11,000 miles, visited 29 units of the National Park System, and toured 62 lodges. Here's a recap of what they found.

Birding in the National Parks: Puffins, Murrelets And More In Glacier Bay National Park

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Glacier Bay National Park, outside of glaciers, of course, but it didn't take long for me to realize this Alaskan park is a birder's paradise. From the "poor man's puffin" to dwindling numbers of Kittlitz's murrelets, I was rewriting my birding success, and not in days, but in minutes.

National Park History: Yosemite's Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon (1871-1884)

Even before Yosemite became a national park, tourists who endured the wearying journey to Yosemite Valley and suffered the valley's many discomforts were refreshed by some very special amenities at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon.

Is The Time Right For A "Maine Woods National Park"?

Inspired in no small measure by others who gave so much to the National Park System, Roxanne Quimby is offering 70,000 acres for a national park embracing Maine's North Woods.

Musings from Glacier Bay National Park

It was a familiar sound, and yet unfamiliar. I was out of place: heading into the woods at Bartlett Cove along the coast of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, not the Rocky Mountains, and the whooshing sound startled me.

History To Be Made With Dismantling Of Dams Impacting Olympic National Park Watershed

Nearly a century after they rose up and blocked the Elwha River to generate power, two dams on the river with headwaters in Olympic National Park will begin to be removed this weekend in a historic event aimed at restoring the watershed.

Archaeologists Find Curious Prehistoric Artifacts At Noatak National Preserve

A curious set of prehistoric clay disks has been discovered in Noatak National Preserve in northwestern Alaska, leading archaeologists to believe they've encountered a new aspect of the region's past.

Birding in the National Parks: Fall Migration's On the Way

You might not like it, but fall is in the air. Sure, the temperatures might not feel like it, but the migratory birds know what time of year it is and soon will be taking flight. Around the National Park System there are more than a few parks where you can see this in action.