News From Our Blog

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From the Department of Interior:

The mixture of blowing snow and clouds creates a wintery scene on the divide in Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado. Clouds form due to orographic lift, when air masses rise as they hit mountain ranges and condense into these low clouds that blanket the peaks. Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Image description:

From the Department of Interior:

The mixture of blowing snow and clouds creates a wintery scene on the divide in Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado. Clouds form due to orographic lift, when air masses rise as they hit mountain ranges and condense into these low clouds that blanket the peaks.

Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Sept. 28 is National Public Lands Day. Volunteer at a park near you. Visit your national parks for free. 

Learn About Lincoln’s Beginnings at Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace

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Summer is a great time to take advantage of our national parks and monuments. Many offer free or low-cost admissions and programs perfect for families. So this summer we will be featuring one of our country’s public lands every week and highlighting things you and your family can do there.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace

Image description: A newly restored cabin at Knob Creek. Photo from the National Park Service.

Hidden away in central Kentucky is the birthplace of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. While many people know who Lincoln is, many do not know about his humble beginnings as a boy growing up in the Kentucky wilderness. At Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace, you will find a window into the history of one of America’s most popular presidents.

 On February 12, 1809, Nancy Hanks Lincoln gave birth to Abraham in a small one room log cabin. In 1811, the family moved 10 miles away to Knob Creek and lived in a cabin at Knob Creek from the time Abraham was about two years old until he was eight. There are recorded instances of Lincoln talking about his years at Knob Creek, and how he and his sister Sarah, planted gardens, how he almost drowned but a childhood friend saved him, and where he first saw slaves being taken to be sold.

It is said that Lincoln’s humility and values he held throughout his life were instilled in him from his early days on the frontier in Kentucky. While living at Knob Creek, Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln, worked the land and kept his children outside appreciating the outdoors. When Lincoln attended school, he and his sister would walk two miles each way.

At Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace, you can also explore the nature that Lincoln himself enjoyed so much. Discover the beautiful waters of Sinking Spring and Knob Creek, and hike through the wildlife and forests of central Kentucky.

Visit the National Park Service’s Abraham Lincoln Birthplace website to learn more about the historical background and natural wildlife near Knob Creek, and get information on visiting hours and programs for kids, teachers and families.

Explore the Natural Beauty of Shenandoah National Park

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Summer is a great time to take advantage of our national parks and monuments. Many offer free or low-cost admissions and programs perfect for families. So this summer we will be featuring one of our country’s public lands every week and highlighting things you and your family can do there.

Shenandoah National Park

Old Rag Moutain in Shenandoah National Park. Photo by the National Park Service.

Just 75 miles outside of Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park offers an oasis of over 200,000 acres of nature trails, beautiful vistas, serene quiet and the stunning Skyline Drive. With 40 percent of the park designated as wilderness by Congress, you’ll find pieces of nature that you never expected. Because of the park’s unique location between the North and South, you may stumble upon a gray birch tree in the South, and a spotted skunk along the northern range.

  • Hike along some of the Shenandoah’s 500 miles of trails — 101 miles are also part of the Appalachian Trail. With such an abundance of hiking trails, there are options for those of all interests and abilities. Shenandoah also includes the rocky Old Rag Mountain climb, as well as an easier trail, the Limberlost Trail.

  • Bring your horse, or take a guided horse tour through the Shenandoah wilderness. Over 180 miles of trails are open to horse use, which offers a fun and new perspective of the land.

  • The park offers four campgrounds, and for the more adventurous, almost all of the Shenandoah National Park is open to “Backcountry Camping.” Once you obtain a free permit, you are allowed to camp almost anywhere in the park.

  • A special perk of Shenandoah National Park? Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive runs over 100 miles north and south through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Roll your windows down, enjoy the slow speeds, and watch nature pass you by in the most leisurely way to enjoy Shenandoah National Park.

Before you go, make sure to check out the operating hours and seasonal information.

Experience Life on the Range at Grant-Kohrs National Park

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Summer is a great time to take advantage of our national parks and monuments. Many offer free or low-cost admissions and programs perfect for families. So this summer we will be featuring one of our country’s public lands every week and highlighting things you and your family can do there.

Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site

Image description: View from the ranch. Photo from the National Park Service.

Once an open cattle range, Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site is a great place to learn how cowboys once lived.

During the summer this working ranch is bustling with activity. There are a couple of different ways to enjoy the park; you have your choice of self-guided tours or ranger-led tours. No matter which you choose, both types of tours give you incredible insight on how the iconic American cowboys tried to make a living on Montana’s open-range.

On self-guided tours, you can walk along the historic buildings such as the granary and the ice house and look through the thoroughbred barn where old wagons and buggies that ranchers once used are now stored.

Guided tours can be arranged through the visitor’s center. You can take a wagon tour where you’ll experience the feeling of traveling by horse-drawn wagon. A park ranger will explain the history of open-range cattle farming and its impact on U.S. history.

You can also try the Main Ranch House tour to see the beautifully decorated house that once served as a trading post in early American history. And stop to talk to to a cowboy and blacksmith that can explain what life was really like in Montana.

There are also a few easy walking trails that will take you to different parts of the ranch. Trails can lead you to a great grassland habitat, or you can decide to follow the old Milwaukee Railroad, which will lead you to a place great for spotting aquatic birds. You can also head out to the pasture to take a look at the vast cattle spread across Montana landscape

Kids have the great chance to experience life as a Montana cowboy. Children can try on cowboy clothes, try to rope Woody the wood steer,  as well as play games similar to the ones children played when they lived on the ranch.