All throughout our National Park System there are waters perfect for paddling that range from placid ponds and lakes to tumultuous rivers filled with boulder-studded cataracts that require a careful eye and deft paddle. Here are some tips for staying safe on the water.
Voyageurs National Park
Thanks to what was described as a “drunken” meander of the jet stream last week, much of North America experienced some the coldest weather seen in many years. At Voyageurs National Park, the temperature dipped to -42°F the morning of January 3rd , followed by daily highs of -17°F and -19°F on the 5th and 6th. That’s deadly cold to an improperly prepared human. It’s not all that fun even for cold-adapted mammals like moose.
If there's a golden lining to that bitterly cold mass of Arctic air that invaded the Eastern half of the country earlier this week, it's the rock-hard ice to be found at Voyageurs National Park.
Winter in the National Park System often brings to mind frosty snowscapes, places where you can skim on skinny skis, or clomp along in snowshoes that, though a bit cumbersome, help you go places you might not venture without them.
A glance around the National Park System seems to show wine sales can benefit the parks, more and more user fees are being approved despite a five-year-old "moratorium" against them, and Point Reyes National Seashore has had a bumper crop of seals this year.
Unless things change, it will take centuries for many national parks to have truly clean air, according to the National Parks Conservation Association, which wants the Obama administration to close loopholes that stand in the way of improving air quality.
Whether you view it as fee creep, or accept it as the cost of doing business, Voyageurs National Park is going ahead with a campsite reservation system and related fees.
Ghosts will be the subject later this month at Voyageurs National Park when rangers will lead lantern-lit hikes in search of figures out of the past.
The moose population at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota appears to be stable in comparison with recent years, with an estimated 46 individuals.