Posts Tagged With: National Park Service

Come for the Popovers, Stay for the Bogwalk: Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

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A view across Jordan Pond from the southeast portion of the loop trail. In the center are the Bubbles; to the right, Pemetic; to the left, Penobscot.

Taking a bit of a break from the graduate thesis writing to bring you my second posting about Acadia National Park, from our trip earlier in the summer. Last time, I told you about the joys of biking up a really steep trail to Witch’s Hole. So this time, I’m taking you down to the southern end of Acadia, to Jordan Pond.

Jordan Pond is a glacial lake formed during the Ice Age, so say the geologists. It is framed in on three sides by mountains: the Bubbles to the north, Penobscot to the west and Pemetic to the east. And on the southern edge you’ll find the Jordan Pond House.

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Climb Ev’ry Mountain: Witch’s Hole, Acadia National Park

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Bikers ride over the Rockefeller-built bridge – part of the network of carriage trails in Acadia National Park – near Duck Brook Road.

Repeat after me, boys and girls: There is no shame in walking your bike up a steep trail.

Once more, with feeling: There is no shame in walking your bike up a steep trail.

I freely admit that as a biker, steep hills and I do not get along. I can set a pretty good pace on suburban roads and flatland woods trails, but I generally leave the serious mountain biking to the really serious extreme sports types. (Aside from the occasional round of ziplining – see also: Hunter Mountain – I generally prefer my sports to be non-extreme. But I digress.)

The family and I were on a week-long trip to Maine in mid-August. Lots of hiking, biking, kayaking. And I’m pleased to report that I got plenty of fodder for the blog, including two visits to Acadia National Park. One day involved a bike ride around the northern end of the park, which I am describing to you here, and a side visit to Sieur de Monts (that’s for another entry). The other was a visit down to Jordan Pond (also for another entry).

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Categories: Biking, Hiking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Happy birthday to the NPS!

IMG_5438Just a short – but very sweet – post tonight. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

I’ve been to parks with awesome sea views (Acadia National Park, and the Assateague and Cape Cod National Seashores), not to mention under-the-sea views (the underwater trail in Virgin Islands National Park). There’s the park not too far from me that makes learning about the Revolutionary War more fun (Morristown National Historic Park).

And then there’s the one with the giant hole in the ground – you might have heard of it? The Grand Canyon National Park?

As part of the centennial activities, the NPS have launched Find Your Park, a campaign to get people out to enjoy their local national parks. On the NPS website, there’s a function where you can punch in where you live, and the site bring up national parks in your area.

I’ve visited a fair number of parks on the list, but there’s a lot more that I want to visit – so I need to get trip planning. Shenandoah, perhaps, or Yosemite? Or Denali – for like many others, I am smitten by the adorable pups in the Canine Rangers.

Happy birthday, NPS, and here’s to another 100 years or more.

For further reading:

NPS Centennial: Find Your Park, centennial activities, and much more.

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The wrong kind of Painted Desert

Well, time to drag out the ol’ soapbox again.

I imagine that a lot of you have seen the stories that have been surfacing about the faces and other art painted on rocks and cliffs at several different national parks out in the western U.S.

One shows a blue-haired woman, almost Dali-esque, on the edge of a precipice overlooking a canyon, and another one shows a man with a snake protruding out of his mouth.

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Happy birthday, NPS!

Special day today. The National Park Service celebrated a birthday today (its 98th, to be precise). And as a present, it was offering free admission to any of the parks around the country.

Trust me, I’d love to have taken them up on that offer. Only problem was, I had to work today. (Need the paycheck so I can keep myself in hiking boots and trail mix.)

Check out the announcement here – and it includes listings of local events by state, some more info about how the NPS is gearing up for its centennial in 2016, and an online birthday card.

Categories: History, Other, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Patriots’ Path: Morristown National Historic Park, Morris County, NJ

Blazes for the Patriots' Path.

Blazes for the Patriots’ Path.

What was it, exactly, that enabled the Continental Army to win the Revolutionary War?

Depends on whom you ask, I think. The historians and the primary school history books will probably say it was bravery, honor, intelligence – the usual stuff.

Personally, I think that America’s birth as a nation depended a lot on a good set of calf muscles. And if you’ve ever hiked along some of the trails in the Morristown National Historic Park in central New Jersey – the Continental Army’s stomping grounds in the late 1770s – I think you’d agree.

Some of the hiking trails there are a nice easy amble. But others – they’re a bit of a push to get up. So imagine, if you will, a soldier in 18th century uniform marching uphill with musket and powder horn.

And this was a thought that was crossing my mind once or twice when I went for a hike on the Patriots’ Path on one of my days off this summer.

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge trails – Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, Va.

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Trail map for Wildlife Loop.

Most people come to Chincoteague Island, Va., and neighboring Assateague Island for two reasons: the beaches, and to try to get a glimpse of the ponies.

Even if you’ve never read Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” (confession time: I still haven’t), you’ve probably heard about the Chincoteague ponies at some point or other.

Granted, the beaches and the ponies are good reasons to come to the islands. But there’s more to the place than beaches and ponies.

The islands are home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge – which have several trails for walking and biking.

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Categories: Biking, Ecology, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A prescription for a long walk – continued

Just a short post for today. Robert Zarr, a D.C.-area doctor who has been working with the National Park Service on the Park Prescription (Park Rx) program, was featured on a segment on NPR this week. The segment also deals with the topic of how to encourage children to get more exercise – including walking to school or playing in the local park. Check it out here:

To Make Children Healther, a Doctor Prescribes a Trip to the Park: NPR, July 14, 2014

Categories: Health, Hiking, Walking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A prescription for a long walk?

There’s been a lot written about how hiking is good for you, both physically and mentally.

And now, it seems that doctors can actually write a prescription for a long walk or bike ride for their patients; check out this story that the National Park Service posted on its website earlier this week about the new DC-area Park Prescription (Park Rx) program:

Doctor Tells Patients to Take a Hike: July 8, 2014

The Park Rx program, part of the NPS’s Healthy Parks, Healthy People US initiative, works with local doctors and health care providers to recommend outdoor recreational activities for their patients. The program is currently in place in a number of NPS parks around the country.

Read more about the program here.

 

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