News From Our Blog

Discover Sandstone Wonders in Canyonlands 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.

Canyonlands National Park

Imagine tall spires of sandstone rising like trees high above your head, flat cliffs that lay 1,000 feet above their surroundings, and some of the best lifesize rock carvings in North America all in one place. That place exists - in Cayonlands National Park.

The park, a wide expanse filled with countless canyons and fantastic rock formations, is separated into three land districts by the Green and Colorado Rivers, that are also responsible for having eroded the rock, creating the natural wonders. The districts, in addition to the adjacent Horseshoe Canyon, each offer something unique and beautiful.

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Image description: Sandstone cliffs at Canyonlands National Park.

Travel to Island in the Sky, sandstone cliffs that give breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and offer numerous day-hikes for fun exploration.

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Image description: The Needles.

Visit the Needles, found in the southeast corner of the park, named for the Cedar Mesa sandstone that rises like needles into the sky, creating impressive towers of solid rock.

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Image description: Horseshoe Canyon.

Check out the ancient rock carvings found in Horseshoe Canyon, which illustrate thousands of years of human history. Artifacts from as early as 9000-7000 BC, possible left from the Paleoindians, have been uncovered in the area!

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Image description: White Rim Road.

Or - just take a drive down White Rim Road, a 100-mile stretch that navigates through the countryside, also doable in a three- to four-day mountain bike ride.

Check out the NPS’ guide of things to know before traveling to the Canyonlands to be prepared, and also be sure to secure permits if your plans require them.

All photos from the National Park Service.

Explore the Sights and Scenery of Acadia 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.

Acadia National Park

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Image description: Sunrise in Acadia National Park. Photo from the National Park Service

Maine’s Acadia National Park has it all: mountains, carriage roads, islands, woods, ocean, lighthouses and boats. With all of its sights and scenery, what are you waiting for?

The park offers 120 miles of historic hiking trails, most of which date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. You’ll find historic features, including stonework and carriage roads, that date back to the early days of America’s founding.

The main attractions at the park don’t focus on its expansive history, though, instead they focus on the beautiful Maine scenery. When you visit, don’t miss these sights:

  • Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain in the park - and along the east coast of the United States. Standing at 1,350 feet, this peak offers breathtaking views of the neighboring region, and is accessible via a winding, narrow 3.5 mile road. During certain times of the year, it is the first place in the United States where you can see the sunrise.

  • The Wild Gardens of Acadia, which feature a “microcosm of Mount Desert Island’s natural habitat.” A must-see for nature lovers and people interested in experiencing the native environment of the area. Note: No pets are allowed in the gardens.

  • Bass Head Harbor Lighthouse, the only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island, which has access trails on either side of the behemoth lighthouse, offering beautiful views of the Maine coast. Note: Visitors are not allowed inside the lighthouse itself.

  • Park Loop Road (PDF), which offers outstanding views of the shoreline, coastal forests, and granite peaks for 27 miles. Still not sold? Consider hiking along the road, rather than driving for some scenic exercise!

  • Isle au Haut, “High Island,”(PDF) named by French navigator Samuel Champlain in 1604. Ride a ferry to the island and explore its 18 miles of trails, starting from Duck Harbor and featuring rocky coasts, woods, marshes, bogs, and a beautiful freshwater lake.

No lodging is available inside the park except for camping, but the local chambers of commerce offer plenty of hotels and other lodgings in the nearby area for people to stay. Before visiting, check out the park’s suggestions for outdoor activities and the NPS’ weather information about the park, including a current forecast.

Go to Where it all Began at Minute Man Historical 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.

Minute Man National Historical Park

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Image description: Militia march at Minute Man National Hisorical Park

Minute Man Historical Park is where the Revolutionary War all began. Located 22 miles outside of Boston, the park lets you visit the iconic towns of Lexington and Concord. Start your trip at the Visitor’s center and watch the film “Road to the Revolution” where you’ll learn about Paul Revere’s legendary ride as well as the famous battles at Lexington and North Bridge.

Then walk along the five-mile Battle Road Trail. This trail connects Concord and Lexington and is the same path where many minutemen walked during the start of the Revolution.

You could also take a guided tour to help you learn about the colonial men and women who played an important role in our nation’s history.  One tour is “Who Were the Minutemen?” where you join a ranger costumed as a minuteman as he explains what the militia did and also includes a demonstration firing of a 18th century musket.

Another tour is the “Some Were for Making a Stand” tour. A ranger joins you at North Bridge and explains the April 19th, 1775 opening battle of the Revolution. There are many other scheduled tours available throughout the summer. Find more information.

Kids can also enjoy learning about the U.S. Revolution at Minute Man Historical Park. The Whitmore house lets children try on traditional colonial clothing, organize the day and help prepare a meal. Everyone has the chance to participate in the Hats Off! Homespun Tribute play where you and your family can learn why spinning thread, shopping and cooking were important to the revolution.

Minute Man Historical Park is also full of historical reenactments and events that are not only interesting but also educational; to learn more about the park activities and to plan your visit take a look at the schedule of events.

Hike, Camp and More in Yosemite 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.

Yosemite National Park

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Image description: People have been camping in Yosemite National Park since the 1800s. Photo from the National Park Service.

World-renowned photographer Ansel Adams captured some of the nation’s best sights and scenery in his lifetime of work as a nature photographer. In the words of President Jimmy Carter, Adams was “drawn to the beauty of nature’s monuments” - and he found no greater inspiration than Yosemite National Park.

Adams, though perhaps one of the most well-known and artistic, is far from the only person to find success and happiness within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park. Thousands of visitors have visited the 1,200 square miles of national park since its protection in 1864, hiking miles of trail, capturing one of its many scenic cliff faces on film, laying down in a meadow, or camping in the middle of the valley.

Although the park may be most known for its picturesque waterfalls, there are a plethora of activities available for visitors to explore and experience:

Before traveling, check the current conditions in the park and read up on its illustrious history.

Enjoy Alaska in the Summer

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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.

Denali National Park

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Image description: Mt. McKinley dwarfs the surrounding scenery in Denali National Park. Photo from the National Park Service

Denali National Park and Preserve is an incredible place to fully appreciate the Alaskan wilderness.  With more than 6 million acres, Denali has breathtaking views of the Alaskan terrain, stunning wildlife and of the largest mountain in North America, Mt McKinley.

Be witness to the beautiful Alaskan scenery during the summer months. At Denali National Park  there is a great chance to see a number of wild animals such as the grizzly bear, caribou and moose. You may also be able to catch a glimpse of the golden eagle or the rare bald eagle flying above the vast Alaskan sky.

Denali is great for those who are explorers at heart! There are a number of different ways to travel through the national park:

  • Tour bus: narrated by a trained naturalist, tour buses may be the best chance to see the large array of wildlife living within Denali.

  • Shuttle bus: Gives you the freedom to hop on and off the bus to explore different trails and sections of the park.

  • Bicycling: There are designated bike trails available during the summer and cyclists are welcome to bike through the entire 92 miles of  park road.

  • Hiking: There are a number of different trails located around the park that range from easy to difficult. For those who like a challenge, Denali offers you the special opportunity to hike off-trail!

Find more ways to explore the park.

Kids also have an incredible chance to learn and explore the park’s history. They can borrow a Denali discovery pack, which is filled with activities and lessons about the park and wildlife. The top ten family activities will give you a number of fun things of what to do while at Denali.

Because this park is in rugged terrain, it’s important to read up on things to know before you visit so that you can safely navigate the great Alaskan frontier.