Spring can be one of those iffy seasons in the National Park System. You might run into warm, sunny days with an easy breeze at your back. Or, you could find yourself being pelted by sleet, battered by a stiff wind, with grey clouds scooting by overhead.
Essential Park Guide
There are plenty of options, all across the National Park System during the winter months. You can cross-country ski through Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, experience the wintry wonders of the brand-new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, soak up the sunshine on a beach at Virgin Islands National Park in the Caribbean, or simply watch it snow while planning next summer’s vacation.
Rocky Mountain National Park elk are not shy about posing for you. Indeed, they are the ubiquitous ambassadors for the park, and appear seemingly everywhere, at any time.
Swaying to and fro in the afternoon breeze, the River of Grass appears more like a wind-tussled meadow than a river. But beneath the sawgrass the water gurgles and creeps. It flows slowly south from Florida’s great inland sea—Lake Okeechobee—and into Everglades National Park, headed towards its final destination in Florida Bay.
When you're done hiking in the park or touring Skyline Drive, these Blue Ridge small towns have much to offer visitors.
Despite a few lingering snow squalls, spring has settled over the National Park System, and summer isn't too far off. Road trips, hikes, and exploring the parks are on your to-do list. To help you out with that, turn to our Essential Park Guide Summer 2016.
With the countdown to the National Park Service’s centennial this August down to fewer than 180 days, anticipation is building, reservations are filling, and crowds are filing into the National Park System. Last year marked the second year in a row of record national park visitation, with more than 307 million visitors exploring the park system, this year almost certainly will stretch that run to three years.
I’ve never surfed a day in my life despite the many vacations on the Jersey shore. So, maybe you’ll understand why I’m at a loss for words about the first time I saw a Stand Up Paddleboard in action. What was that contraption? And, why paddle a SUP when you can run rivers and cross lakes with canoes, kayaks, and rafts?
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.