Help Friends Groups Help the National Parks

Throughout the year my mailbox is filled with solicitations from various causes, among them national park-related events and projects. Here's a look at just some of the latest you might consider giving to.

Reader Participation Day: Which Is Your Favorite National Park Gateway Town?

If you had to pick a gateway town to live in -- not because of its associated national park, but because of its atmosphere -- which would you choose?

Trails I've Hiked: Acadia National Park's South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain

Any visit to Acadia National Park should involve a walk in the woods. Whether you're just looking for a short lake-side stroll or a more demanding trek up the Precipice Trail, there are options for most visitors. Perhaps my favorite hike in the park is the 7.4-mile-long roundtrip up the South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain.

The Way We Used To Describe And Enjoy National Parks

The written word is a marvelous thing, so much more so when it's used to describe a place. In the early part of the 21st century, those employed by the Government Printing Office had a stylish way to describe national parks. Perhaps not as eloquent as some of today's finer writers, but stylish just the same.

Updated: Effort In Maine To Restrict Guns From National Park Units Falls Short of Goal

A concerted effort in Maine to draw the line on national park visitors arming themselves has fallen short of the original goal. But the measure Gov. John Baldacci signed this week will at least outlaw open carry in Acadia National Park.

Nesting Time In Acadia National Park Means Some Trail Closures

With peregrine falcons once again staking out their nesting territories in Acadia National Park, it's time for park officials to enforce some temporary trail closures to give the raptors some peace.

Cost Savings Mean the National Park Service Can Fund More Projects In the Parks

Favorable contracts on some of the major construction projects the National Park Service has funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment dollars means the agency will be able to afford more projects this year.

Return of the Peregrine Prompts Viewing Opportunities and Seasonal Closures in Several Parks

Peregrine. NPS photo.
Peregrine falcons have long fascinated humans with their beauty, speed and dramatic dives, but the birds had all but disappeared from much of North America only a few years ago. They're making a dramatic comeback, and seasonal closures of key nesting areas in several parks are both helping in that recovery and offering opportunities to see the birds.

National Park Quiz 78: Harbors

Don’t harbor any illusions; this month’s quiz is no walk in the park. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "During the 1950s, some scientists suggested that 'instant harbors' could be created with well-placed atomic bombs."

Frogs Are A Sure Sign of Spring, But That Doesn't Mean You Won't Hear Them Now

If you want to know whether Spring is on the way, don’t look to groundhogs for the answer. Instead, listen for the frogs. Certain species of frogs, such as the wood frog, begin singing even when there is still snow on the ground.