National parks, along with being beautiful places to explore, are wonderful classrooms. Students from Western Kentucky University have been learning that at Mammoth Cave National Park, where underground studies are aimed at making them better above-ground teachers.
Some stories, whether focused on travel or a specific issue, deserve a longer treatment.
Wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park takes on a bit of a voyeuristic flavor in the fall, as the park’s famed mega-fauna embark in the pursuit of romance during their annual ruts in an often public spectacle that rivals any of the drama on The Bachelor. Visitors can hear the loud thunderclap of bighorn sheep clashing, the raucous bugling of bull elk, or the deep grunting and bellowing of bison—all performed in pursuit of a mate or mates.
No one really needs an excuse to visit a national park in the Fall, one of the most glorious seasons across the National Park System. Still, the Traveler offers up the following if you feel you need one!
Fall Spectacular: What's That Sound? Where To Listen To -- And Look For -- Wildlife in the National Parks
In the fall, animals and birds prepare for winter. Bears eat constantly to fatten up before they slow down. Many birds are already on their migration path. Elk and other ungulates are preparing for the mating ritual, the rut. Take a look -- or stop and listen -- in many national parks this Fall and you'll catch a glimpse of this autumnal spectacular.
A male elk ambles through the field checking his harem. He sidles up to each cow and sniffs her rump. Raising his massive rack of antlers, he sees two young bucks, chases them out of the field, and resumes his inspection. He lifts his face to the sky and bugles – a loud, mournful sound that resounds throughout the area. Bugling tells females he’s here and warns other males to stay away.
Visit a national park in the Fall and you'll likely be enveloped by the brilliant colors of the season, crisp temperatures perfect for hikes, and wildlife on the move. In a week-long series we'll point to the best the park system can offer during this season.
Though Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are renowned for their hiking opportunities, they also offer expanses of water perfect for wetting a paddle, whether in a canoe or sea kayak. And fall can be a perfect time for paddling, as the temperatures are moderate, bugs are gone, and wildlife are highly visible.
Paddling along a sandy shore, watching ripples of sand and light beneath the kayak, I could imagine for a moment I was in the tropics, not here in northern Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior. As we glided along, channels between islands opened and closed; new islands appeared.
Are Wolves Effective In Keeping Elk From Overbrowsing Aspen in Yellowstone National Park? Apparently Not
When wolf packs were successfully returned to Yellowstone National Park back in the mid-1990s, they were followed by droves of scientists and researchers keen on learning how the predators might impact the rest of the park's wild kingdom.
Imagine Shenandoah National Park without its autumnal showcase of colors, or a sign along the Virginia coastline noting that the site of the Jamestown colony is offshore and under water. Both scenarios could be realized in less than a century if human-influenced climate change isn't slowed, according to a report.
Poll Shows Maine Residents Support Creation of National Park, Sustainable Logging From the North Woods
Polling conducted for the National Parks Conservation Association shows Maine residents overwhelmingly would prefer to see their state's "North Woods" preserved as "parkland" and sustainable timbering rather than dotted with vacation homes.
The U.S. already has a cross-border park arrangement with Canada (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) and proposals for some type of agreement with Mexico across from Big Bend National Park have been floating around for decades. Now there's news of renewed interest in expanded cooperation with another country, but it doesn't involve either Canada or Mexico. Can you locate "Beringia" on a map?
Sometimes, it helps to read the fine print. And then Google it. When the New York Times ran an op-ed piece the other day on the dangers of an unsigned wilderness area, it simply identified the author as an attorney. It turns out he's also an avid mountain biker, which helps explain his motivation in assailing The Wilderness Act.Stroll-Wilderness.pdf
Donate To a Good Cause And You Could Wind Up with a Log Cabin Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park
For a $100 donation you could help a good cause and possibly find yourself with the keys to a log cabin near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Need to Cull Elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park Points To Larger Problem Across National Park System
After much debate, discussion, and consideration, elk culling operations are scheduled to get under way in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in November, when the first of 240 volunteers will be guided into the park's South Unit with instructions to kill as many cow elk as they can.
The New York Times got a lot of mileage with its story this week about technology leading visitors into harm's way in national parks, but that's really not the case, is it? Wouldn't it be more correct to say people lead themselves into harm's way more often than not?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska—the largest area in the National Park System—is primarily a park for a superlative backcountry experience, but if your only chance to sample this amazing area is a stop at the park's excellent visitor center, you should also allow time for an easy hike on the Boreal Forest Trail.
One of the great aspects about being a youngster in the national parks is becoming a Junior Ranger. Watching my granddaughter, Hannah, become a Junior Ranger in GreatSmoky Mountains National Park was as much a treat for me as it was for her!
Does the Obama administration have the political fortitude, let alone the political capital, to protect Grand Canyon National Park from the myriad threats facing it? That's a good question in light of a report that highlights those threats and, in the process, exposes the shortcomings of the administration.
Facing too little habitat and too few predators, elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park this fall will be targeted by a three-month-long culling operation that could bring 240 volunteers into the park's South Unit to shoot elk located by radio collar.