Here's your quick cheat sheet to five of the best units in the National Park System for finding wildlife this fall.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Graffiti in national parks is not necessarily a recent problem, and while it did receive national attention a year ago with the "art" left on park landscapes by a woman known as "creepytings," it continues to be a problem. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, graffiti most recently has marred the Lakeview Drive tunnel.
National parks actually glow in autumn. From the fluttering gold of aspens and larch in the parks along the spine of the Rocky Mountains to the oranges, yellows and reds of the hardwood forests that cover Eastern parks and even on the Southwest’s sandstone, fall is the season of incandescence in the park system. Where do you find these rainbows? Here’s your guide to the "best bets" for fall color in the National Park System.
Think you have the grit to produce grist? Then consider helping out Great Smoky Mountain National Park by volunteering to help provide visitors with historic information at Mingus Mill.
Autumn travel may be all about the colors. Leaf-watchers head to Acadia, Shenandoah, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks in droves. Traffic jams aside, that’s a fine way to spend September and October. But before the leaves change, the birdwatchers are out looking for a lot of brown. The first weekend of September, after all, is World Shorebirds Day.
Speaking Of Bears, The Bear Crisis And A Tale Of Rewilding From Yosemite, Sequoia And Other National Parks
Even before the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916, wildlife issues involving predators swirled about the national parks. Grizzly bears and wolves were apex predators that preyed on deer, elk, moose, and bison. As such, they were viewed as evil, rapacious carnivores that should be exterminated.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has granted a 10-year contract to National and State Park Concessions Riding Stables, Inc. to operate the horse riding stables in Cades Cove. The current contract for these services is already held by NSPC, but is set to expire at year's end.
Will the National Park Service soon be pushing for more wilderness designations? That's difficult to say, in large part because only Congress can designate wilderness. Still, there's an effort under way by the Park Servie to take a look at wilderness possibilities across the park system.
Across the National Park System there are many, many places to call home for a night or a week. But which ones are the best?
While recent rains have been filling rivers in many parts of the East, playing in those streams is becoming more dangerous, as evidenced by a kayaker who drowned in the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.