On The Road Through The National Park System

We are beginning the ultimate 2010 road trip: North along the 469-mile length of the Blue Ridge Parkway followed by 105-mile-long Skyline Drive that winds through Shenandoah National Park. Then west to St. Joseph, Missouri, to follow the Oregon Trail to Oregon City, Oregon, before returning via the route followed by Lewis & Clark along the Columbia and Missouri rivers.

Ask A Ranger. Violence Is Nothing New To The Blue Ridge Parkway.

Wayward bears addicted to Kentucky Fried Chicken are the least of a park ranger’s worries. Just ask Bruce Bytnar, who worked at the Blue Ridge Parkway for 27 years before he retired in 2008. In his book, A Park Ranger’s Life: Thirty-Two Years of Protecting Our National Parks, Bytnar tells the real story behind what it is like to patrol a 469-mile long park through some of the best scenery the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina have to offer.

The Numbers Behind National Park Visitation

What's in a number? When it reflects visitation to national parks, it's not always as obvious as it might seem.
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Symposium Marking Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th Anniversary Coming Up

Seventy-five years is a pretty good show of longevity, and shouldn't be treated lightly. It certainly isn't being overlooked at the Blue Ridge Parkway, where two symposiums are scheduled to celebrate the beautiful ribbon of highway that runs through the Appalachian Mountains.

Free Entrance to All NPS Sites during National Park Week, April 17-25

NPS entrance station.
If you're planning a spring trip to a National Park Service site, you may be able to save a little money if you schedule your visit between April 17 and 25, 2010. Free admission to all 392 NPS sites is being offered during National Park Week

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park: A Jewel Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

Much of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina currently is closed due to ice, snow, and at least one rock slide. But visitors can still access some parks along the Parkway.

Blind Hiker Plans to Hike The Entire Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Hundreds of hikers set out along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia, come springtime with sights set on reaching Mount Kathadin in Maine before summer expires. But how many are blind?
When the Parkway Came Part of FDR's "New Deal," the Blue Ridge Parkway was envisioned as an economic development tool that would pump both life and dollars into the Appalachian Mountain Range between Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. But the long and winding road with the fantastic vistas also took a good deal of life out of the landscape as farms that stood in the path were razed and the families moved off.

Kentucky's Sen. Bunning Singlehandedly Idles Road Construction Projects Nationally, Including Many in National Parks

Jim Bunning, Kentucky's contrary U.S. senator, singlehandedly has shut down road construction projects across the nation, including many in national parks, because he doesn't want to help middle-class families weather the economic storm, U.S. Department of Transportation officials said Monday.

When Is Conservation of Park Lands Prudent, and When is the Spending Wasteful?

While some House Republicans are denigrating a proposal to spend $50 million to create a national historic site in the Virgin Islands, one that would preserve a centuries-old plantation and critical natural resources, a GOP senator is asking for $75 million to be spent on land acquisition for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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