September into the heart of November are my favorite months in the National Park System. The days aren’t quite as long as they are in July and August, but the bugs and crowds are on the wane, wildlife is on the move, and the crisp night air is perfect for sleeping under the stars, or in a cozy cabin.
Shenandoah National Park
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.
There are star shows, and there are star shows, and one of the summer's best is the annual Perseid meteor showers. Next Wednesday, you can enjoy the show from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Shenandoah National Park staff have confirmed additional infestations of emerald ash borers in the park. Adult EAB beetles were caught in surveillance traps near Mathews Arm Campground, Gravel Springs Hut, Pinnacles Picnic Area, Big Meadows Picnic Area, and South River Picnic Area.
It's been said that in many national parks, visitors don't trek far from the parking lots. Which is a shame, as there's so much to see and experience in the backcountry. How far do you typically roam into the backcountry during your national park vacation?
You’re wandering around on a spring day in Shenandoah National Park and you see a bird fluttering around at Big Meadows. You snap a photograph and the bird disappears. Your field guide isn’t helping much. There are just too many birds that look alike. Now, what do you do?
Last month, during the Memorial Day Weekend, traffic waiting to enter Arches National Park backed up so far onto U.S. 191 that the Utah Highway Patrol temporarily shut off access to the redrock wonder. That dilemma prompted a suggestion by the park superintendent that perhaps the time had come to issue reservations for people hoping to visit Arches.
When the National Park Service's leadership team sat down in August 2014 to draw up a road map for entrance fees across the system, they built upon a study conducted more than a decade earlier.
With National Trails Day coming up June 6, many parks are planning special events that day. At Shenandoah National Park, there will be plenty of hiking options for novices and experienced hikers.