Archive List

Damage from Tropical Storm Hanna Created Expensive Repair Problems at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

It’s unusual for a national park in the Mid-Atlantic region to suffer tropical storm damage, but that’s what happened last month to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park near Washington, DC. Flooding due to torrential rains from Tropical Storm Hanna breached the towpath wall, necessitating repairs that could well be in excess of $1 million.

Visit Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument and See Why Brick Masonry Forts Became Obsolete in April 1862

Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument celebrates its 84th birthday today, October 15. Brick masonry harbor forts like Fort Pulaski were thought to be impregnable until an astonishing thing happened on April 11, 1862. After that day it would never again make sense to build a harbor fort of brick masonry.

New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park.
If you want to enjoy some of those iconic views from places like Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, you might want to plan your trip sooner rather than later. While most Americans and their elected officials have been mesmerized by the economic crisis and the upcoming election, enormous changes in the management of public lands in Utah are afoot. The effects on a number of national parks could be substantial.

Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems

A survey stemming from the Bush administration's plan to allow concealed carry of guns in national parks and national wildlife refuges predicts the result will be more wildlife shootings and management problems.

National Park Quiz 24: Old, Older, Oldest

Are you chronologically challenged? Take this week’s quiz and find out. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write 100 times on the whiteboard: “Isotopic stratigraphy, a branch of chemostratigraphy, should not be confused with lithostratigraphy or cyclostratigraphy”.

Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite, its image is recognized worldwide. It's even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From mid-May to mid-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile hike.

Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks

Three years after the International Mountain Bicycling Association said it simply wanted mountain bike access to dirt roads in national parks, Interior Department officials are said to be working to make it easier for the bikers to gain access to backcountry trails.

The Lost Arrow Spire Highline in Yosemite National Park is a Slackliner’s Dream and an Acrophobe’s Nightmare

So, you think you’re ready for the Lost Arrow Spire Highline? Have a look at this videoclip and see if you still feel that way.

Park History: Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Believe it or not, Timpanogos Cave National Monument and Mammoth Cave National Park have something in common. Both owe their discovery, in part, to hunters. At least that's the local lore.

Pruning the Parks: Atlanta Campaign National Historic Site (1944-1950) was Developed as a Dixie Highway Tourist Attraction

Atlanta Campaign National Historic Site was established by order of the Secretary of the Interior on October 13, 1944. Less than six years later, Congress transferred the components, five pocket parks along the historic Dixie Highway, to the state of Georgia. Interestingly, one of the Atlanta Campaign markers commemorates a strategically significant non-event.

Shenandoah National Park To Celebrate Wilderness This Weekend

It was more than three decades ago that Congress designated nearly 80,000 acres of Shenandoah National Park as wilderness. This coming weekend the park is planning a variety of activities to celebrate that wilderness.

Trails I've Hiked: John Muir Trail, Lyell Fork drainage, Yosemite National Park

Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River, Kurt Repanshek photo
Woven tufts of gold knit the meadows together, thick pine forests give way to observation towers of granite and sky-scraping peaks, and a river runs through it. That's the setting the John Muir Trail wanders through in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park.

Boulder Dam National Recreation Area – Forgotten but Not Gone?

October 13, 1936, marked the creation of Boulder Dam National Recreation Area and a brand-new category of management units for the National Park Service. The recreation area no longer exists by its original name, but its legacy continues in one of the most heavily-visited parks in the country. During their first 30 years the park and the dam underwent more name changes than the rock entertainer formerly known as….

Park History: Obed Wild and Scenic River

Obed Wild and Scenic River, which preserves one of the best whitewater rivers in the eastern United States, is tucked away in the wilds of Morgan and Cumberland Counties in Tennessee. Having been established on October 12, 1976, the park celebrates its 32nd birthday today.

Body of Man Missing in Shenandoah National Park Found Outside Park

The body of a man who went missing during an outing in Shenandoah National Park has been found outside the park.

Part of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Lands on National Register of Historic Places

Great Lakes fishing history has led to a segment of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore being named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Yorktown Day – Our Country's "Other Birthday"

Our nation will celebrate its 227th birthday on October 19, 2008, in Yorktown, Virginia—and you're invited to the party! "Whoa, not so fast," some of you may be thinking; what happened to the Fourth of July?

Imagine the Impacts of Climate Change on the National Park System

Waterless Yosemite Fall, Kurt Repanshek photo
Imagine Yosemite National Park without Yosemite Fall. Or Glacier National Park without glaciers. Or Old Faithful becoming less faithful. Across the National Park System, the effects of climate change could be quite dramatic.
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First Ladies National Historic Site Struggles to Attract Visitors

First Ladies National Historic site, which was established on October 11, 2000, has a prime location. Nevertheless, the Canton, Ohio, park attracts scarcely more than 10,000 visitors a year. Why is that, and does it really matter?

Musings from Yosemite National Park

El Capitan, Kurt Repanshek photo
There arguably is no national park that better showcases geology than Yosemite National Park. Sure, Arches National Park offers more arches in one place than anywhere else on the planet, and Grand Canyon National Park has that incredible gouge. But stand before Half Dome or El Capitan and you can't help but marvel.

Now “Thirtysomething,” Big Thicket National Preserve Has Matured Nicely

On October 11, 1974, Congress grafted a new and controversial branch onto the National Park System family tree by creating the first two National Preserves – Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Big Thicket, like its Florida cousin, is now a nicely maturing “thirtysomething” park with a lot of visitor appeal.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and the Struggle to Save Sweet Auburn

The establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site on October 10, 1980, did more than just preserve the martyred civil rights leader’s birth home and church. It provided further impetus for the preservation of historic Sweet Auburn, one of the most important black neighborhoods in America.

Is Bush Administration Moving to Shuck Some Congressional Oversight on Public Lands Management?

In a move that could be interpreted as a thumb in the eye of congressional oversight, the Bush administration is moving to revoke Congress's authority to direct the Interior secretary to withdraw public lands from mining under certain situations, according to U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva.

Improving Paradise: Mount Rainier National Park Gets a Fine New Visitor Center

The new Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center opening October 10 at Mount Rainer National Park completes a 9-year project to improve visitor services in the park’s renowned Paradise area. The many green features of the new facility include a snowfield-chilled cooling system and a roof that holds heat and shucks snow.

Upon Further Review – A Rare Photo Op

National parks are great places to take photos, and there are some opportunities for unusual images at the Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas. But even after working there as a ranger for several years I was surprised one afternoon to witness the reported sighting of a large mammal not previously known to inhabit the area.

Stanley W. Abbott, Wizard of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Millions of motorists enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway every year, but most have never heard of Stanley W. Abbott. That’s a shame. Abbott was the young landscape architect who threaded the road through the mountains and made it a scenic-recreational masterpiece.

Clues Found in Search for Ginseng Hunter Who Went Missing in Shenandoah National Park

A pack of cigarettes, a hat, some keys, and a boot are among the few clues searchers have to go on in their hunt for a ginseng hunter missing in Shenandoah National Park for ten days.

George Washington Really Did Sleep at Longfellow National Historic Site

If you can prove that “George Washington Slept Here,” your house is Historic with a capital “H”. Washington really did sleep at the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, the focal attraction of Longfellow National Historic Site. The park celebrates anniversary number 36 on October 9.

Don't Forget Buffalo National River When You're Looking for Fall Foliage

One of the relatively undiscovered gems in our National Park System is the Buffalo National River, located in the Ozarks of north-central Arkansas. The park is perhaps best known for canoeing, but that activity is usually most enjoyable in the spring and early summer, unless you enjoy the possibility of carrying your canoe more than paddling it.

Rock Falls Close Curry Village Lodgings in Yosemite National Park

Two rock falls from the face of Glacier Point -- one described as perhaps the largest ever seen -- have closed the lodgings in Curry Village on the floor of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. While there were some injuries reported, fortunately no one was killed.