Archive List

Check Out These National Park Photographers

We've been fortunate to have been supplied with images of the national parks from some of the best park photographers in the country, and we'd like to take a minute to thank them once again for their help in illustrating stories on the Traveler.

It Takes A Group Effort To Keep You On Top Of the Latest In the National Park System

Though there are only a handful of names on the Traveler's masthead, giving you a year's worth of news, features, and commentary really takes a group effort. With that in mind, we'd like to extend a heart-felt thanks to those who have contributed to that effort with their prose and photos.

Gone and Mostly Forgotten: 26 Abolished National Parks

In 1895, Mackinac National Park became the first national park to be abolished. It would not be the last. More than two dozen other sites or areas with independent identities have been pruned from the National Park System.

National Parks By the Numbers: Recapping the Year's Statistical Recaps

Traveler's "By the Numbers" articles provide interesting (and often surprising) statistics for selected parks. We published 13 of them this year.

Thanks To All Our Readers

Year-end usually leads to reflection, and we'd be more than remiss if we didn't take a moment to thank all of you who read the Traveler.

Books We've Read This Year, And Actually Liked!

Despite the impending doom that pixels were expected to hand the printed word, we're happy to report that publishers are still turning out books, and more than a few that crossed our desks this year are worth your attention.

Interesting National Park Stories That Appealed to Us

Not all stories have to have a hard edge to them to be considered nicely done. What follows are some stories from, or revolving around, the National Park System that we liked for what they had to say, or how they had to say it, or what we learned from them. We hope you enjoyed them, too.

Trails I've Hiked: Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Road to Nowhere tunnel
Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great winter hike. It offers history, a visit to a cemetery and reminders that the area still makes news today.

2011 Traveler's Checklists

During the past year we published 11 checklists to help you plan your national park visits. Here's a rundown of them.

And the National Park Mystery Spot Champion for 2011 Is . . .

We published 13 national park mystery spot puzzles this year, and one of our readers managed to solve 8 of them. We are impressed.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

Public Meetings Scheduled To Discuss Transmission Line Corridor Proposed At Delaware Water Gap NRA

A series of public meetings has been scheduled to discuss a proposal to run a 500 kilovolt transmission line across the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recrational River, and through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Winter: A “Secret Season” in the South’s Loftiest National Parks

When the snow closure signs go up on portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains, cross country skiers and snowshoers are often seen striding and stomping into a winter wonderland.

National Park Service Reviewing West Virginia Site For Possible National Park and Preserve

Over the years there has been passing interest to a wild and scenic corner of West Virginia being added to the National Park System, and in the coming weeks the National Park Service will begin to take a look to see if the area in question is suitable for inclusion.

Count Birds At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore On December 28

They'll be counting birds at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on December 28 as part of Audubon's 112th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Birding in the National Parks

This past year we started a bimonthly column on birding in the national parks, which is a great way to enjoy the parks while learning more about the hundreds of species that flit about the National Park System. Here's a look back at those columns.

Olympic National Park To Revise Spruce Railroad Trail Expansion Project

Officials at Olympic National Park saty they will revise an environmental assessment prepared on a proposal to expand and improve the Spruce Railroad Trail along Lake Crescent and in the Sol Duc area.

Keep Friends Groups In Your National Park Thoughts

Don't overlook the good work of the various friends groups that strive to bring a little extra to the national parks scattered throughout the country.

Explore Wind Cave National Park With Your Kids This Winter

Winter is no reason to ignore the national parks, and at Wind Cave National Park this winter and into the spring months they're offering special programs to help you and your kids enjoy the backcountry.

A Look Back At Some Of The Year's Top Stories in the National Park System

Planning for the next century of the National Park Service, ecosystems at risk, and fatal grizzly bear maulings were some of the stories that surfaced across the National Park System in 2011. Here's a glance at some of the top stories that the Traveler followed.

Holiday Video Greetings from Your National Parks

The National Park Service is using modern technology to share holiday greetings from parks across the country. Short videos filmed in 15 parks are airing on the National Park Service's YouTube channel through the end of the month.

A Year In The Parks, From Cape Lookout National Seashore To Glacier Bay National Park

The past year took me across the National Park System, from Cape Lookout National Seashore on the North Carolina coast to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The stories that spooled out from these trips into the National Park System told of advocacy and nurturing, of history and recreation, and even of controversy. Here's a look back.

Wish Comes True at Aztec Ruins National Monument After Nearly Ninety Years

The answers to "What do you want for Christmas?" can include some pretty unusual items, but for the staff at Aztec Ruins National Monument their wish was pretty simple: they just wanted an official entrance sign. It's taken nearly 90 years, but their wish has finally come true, and the new sign is unique indeed.

Trunk Bay At Virgin Islands National Park Garners "Blue Flag" Award For Sustainability Practices

Trunk Bay at Virgin Islands National Park, renowned for its warm, sun-sparkling waters, sugar-sand beaches, and nodding palm trees, has gained another tribute: it's one of the world's best beaches when it comes to sustainable management.

Connecting Kids With Parks Takes Different Directions At Virgin Islands National Park, Tuzigoot National Monument

Electricity might not immediately come to mind in terms of connecting today's younger generations with the national parks, but that was the key in at least one instance involving a Massachusetts teen and Virgin Islands National Park.

By the Numbers: Stones River National Battlefield

Stones River National Battlefield commemorates an extraordinarily bloody battle fought at Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 31, 1862 and January 1, 1863. Here are some relevant statistics.

Congress Wants National Academy of Sciences To Review Oyster Farm Studies At Point Reyes National Seashore

Showing little faith in the National Park Service's ability to conduct sound science at Point Reyes National Seashore, Congress has inserted language into an appropriations bill that calls for the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the agency's science into the impacts of an oyster farm operating within the seashore.

Longest-Running Film in History Highlighted in New Park Exhibit

It's said to be the longest-running movie in history, and it played daily in a national park for sixty years. A new digital version of highlights from the film is part of a just-opened exhibit that includes other intriguing glimpses into the past. Do you know which park is home to this movie?

Congress Authorizes ... But Doesn't Fund ... 5.5 More Miles Of Bridge On Tamiami Trail Through Everglades

Congress has taken another step toward restoring the flow of water through the Everglades by authorizing construction of 5.5 more miles of bridge along the Tamiami Trail, but stopped short of providing the $330 million currently estimated to get the job done.

Pruning the Parks: White Plains National Battlefield Site (1933-1956) Was a Stillborn National Park

The National Park Service administered the White Plains National Battlefield Site for several decades, but no national park materialized there and the property was eventually delisted.