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.
NPT Reviews of Books and other Material
A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape
I remember clearly hurrying to the Yellowstone River after finishing a shift as a seasonal ranger with fly rod in hand. I would rent a rowboat from the Fishing Bridge boat dock and row downstream a bit to clear the lines of the people fishing from the bridge. And then I would begin to cast — not too skillfully I might add — and catch a cutthroat on every second or third cast. It was absolutely the best fishing in the world.
U.S. 89 is a relatively narrow thread of pavement that wends its way 1,600 miles from Glacier National Park in northern Montana to Tumacacori National Historical Park in southern Arizona. Along the way, it passes through five states, past seven units of the National Park System, and through thousands of years of human experience. Ann Torrence captures this sliver of history in words and photographs in a story that is decided off the racetrack known as the interstate highway system.
A solitary journey into the vast Gates of the Arctic wilderness provided just the right surroundings for Bill Sherwonit to reflect on his life journey and his particular way of thinking about wilderness, wildness, and himself.
With all the electronic gadgetry that exists -- cell phones, GPS units, personal locator beacons -- why bother learning how to navigate like pathfinders of the last century, with map and compass? Well, for starters you won't worry about your batteries failing you.
"Repairing Paradise." That's a somewhat inauspicious title for a book that examines how to restore natural settings in the national parks. But in light of many scenarios that are playing out across the National Park System -- from parks being overrun by elk, deer, and even people to ecosystem subterfuge -- repairs are exactly what need to be made.
When Stephen Mather and Horace Albright went about piecing together the initial elements of the National Park System, there was no understanding of officially designated wilderness. But Albright, primarily, had an intention for wilderness in the parks just the same.
Is it possible to have too many large-format coffee table books on national parks? I don't think so. In The National Parks, Our American Landscape, photographer Ian Shive approaches the parks brimming with wonder, and comes away with rare moments in time from the parks.
A decade after it first appeared on bookshelves, Preserving Nature in the National Parks: A History is reappearing in an updated version, one that follows the course of the national parks and the National Park Service up through the Bush administration and into the early days of the Obama administration.
To those who love mushrooms, what could be finer than sauteing up a mess of freshly collected 'shrooms to go along with your freeze-dried dinner or the trout you hooked in the backcountry of a national park? A teaspoon of garlic, a dash of salt, and a couple cranks of the pepper mill and you'll have a wonderful complement to your meal. Unless, of course, you picked the wrong mushroom, in which case this could be your last meal.
David and Kay Scott are still traveling the country to stay in as many lodges in the National Park System as possible. The latest edition of their book -- number six if you're counting -- is ready to take its place in your home library.
Mission 66, the program that rehabilitated and restored national parks in time for the National Park Service's 50th Anniversary back in 1966, often is cited today as an inspiration for the Centennial Challenge, but it is a program that sometimes is shrouded in mystery.
Thank goodness there still are independents taking pen to paper to produce guides to national parks. Forget the cookie-cutter approach, toss aside worries about over-emphasizing one area, never mind about catering to one demographic. Janet Chapple's Yellowstone Treasures is a must for Yellowstone National Park visitors.
After deciding to write a memorable book about Wind Cave National Park, Peggy Sanders selected old photos with great care and then added skillfully crafted captions and explanations. The result is a photo-dense book that’s fun to read and hard to put down. Thank you, Peggy.