You know you should be alert for grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies, and sharks in the surf are a concern, but have you ever worried about hogs while hiking in a national park?
Natchez Trace Parkway
Lush deep shade and a gently curving scenic road are two landscape features that make the Natchez Trace Parkway a pleasant recreational route for both motorists and bicyclists. Those features that make traveling the Parkway enjoyable can sometimes reduce visibility for both drivers and bicyclists. New signs, funded through the Natchez Trace Parkway Association Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund, will raise motorist awareness and remind drivers that bicycles, as well as other motor vehicles, use the Parkway.
Judging from last year’s head count in the National Park System—a record 307.2 million—you can pretty much be assured that many parks will be even more crowded this summer as the National Park Service Centennial is celebrated.
Having already announced earlier this year that the maintenance backlog across the National Park System is closing in on $12 billion, the National Park Service is now highlighting the structural problems with the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., in a bid to raise congressional awareness of the problems.
Beavers are part of the wild kingdom along the Natchez Trace Parkway, but the engineering rodents have been creating problems for surrounding landowners with their dam building. While National Park Service crews at times have to breach the dams, a team from NASA has been working with the agency to develop solutions for dealing with the beavers.
The Tombigbee Pioneer Group will demonstrate pioneer era crafts and skills at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.on Saturday. The presentations will show the challenges faced and creative solutions developed by those Americans who lived in the area from the 1700s to 1840.
Imagine: An open road, the top rolled back, the windows down, pastoral views drifting by, with your favorite tunes streaming from your stereo. Once the Greatest Generation refocused on home life after World War II, they were able to, “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” Highways and byways meant relaxation, recreation, all with a backdrop of roadside nostalgia.
Travel two centuries ago was a water world, where rivers were the highways for exploration and movement across new lands. Thick forests hampered overland travel, but the need for connections between river drainages was keen, and primitive overland trails were created. The Natchez Trace is one such trail, stretching 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee.
Imagine, for a moment, that you're in charge of setting fees for the National Park System. What would you charge for, and how much would you charge? Or would you charge anything at all?
A ranger who worked with Native American tribes with ties to the Natchez Trace to create interpretive programs has been honored by the National Park Service for interpretive excellence.