Junior Ranger Day - and an Essay Contest with a Serious Prize

Kids with ranger at Mesa Verde NP.
A number of NPS areas are offering special activities for Junior Ranger Day on April 25, 2009, and a related Junior Ranger Essay Contest offers a serious prize: a $1,000 Visa gift card.

Injuries From Fall Prove Fatal to 73-Year-Old Hiker In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A 73-year-old Kentucky man has died from injuries suffered in a fall while hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Where To Look For Spring Wildflowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smoky Mountains are home to more than 1,600 species of flowering plants. During each month of the year, some forb, tree or vine is blooming in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During the spring, wildflowers explode during the brief window just prior to trees leafing out and shading the forest floor (from about mid-April through mid-May).

"A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"

Little brown bats with white-nose syndrome.
Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have closed all of the park's caves to public entry until further notice. The move is in response to growing concern about white-nose syndrome, a new malady that the Fish and Wildlife Service calls "a wildlife crisis of unprecedented proportions."

Tracing The Postage Stamp-Sized History of the National Park System

You could call it a postage stamp-sized history of the National Park System, but the history of park scenes on U.S. postage is really quite colorful and carries a few stories with it.

National Park Quiz 47: Spring

Spring arrived at 11:44 UT last Friday, March 20, so let’s make spring the key word for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 101 times: “The celestial coordinate system that employs the vernal equinox as the origin of the ecliptic longitude is known as the ecliptic coordinate system.”

Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunflowers, violets, trillium and other wildflowers are just around the proverbial corner in the Appalachian Mountains. You can spot these and dozens of others in Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, as well as along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Campgrounds Opening This Weekend In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spring must be here. Or nearby. First the bears are coming out of hibernation in Yellowstone, and now Great Smoky Mountains National Park is opening many of its campgrounds.

This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn

Trail through forest
Rhododendron and Mountain laurel provide beautiful blooms in the late spring and early summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Those thickets can also have a dark side, as two hikers recently learned the hard way.

Send Your Kid To Work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park This Summer

Great setting, inspirational leadership, insights into a possible career, and $10.31 an hour. What more could a teenager want from a summer job? All they have to do is live in North Carolina and want to spend a chunk of the summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.