National Park Travel
If you're planning a trip to a national park, you're not alone. Millions visit America's protected parklands every year, and the Web has responded. Enthusiasts can brush up on historical background of parks, or check out sites with practical advice about how to get there and where to stay. Park sports and activities are also detailed on the Web, along with gear suggestions. Below, we've collected sites to get you out into the great outdoors.
Start with sites that provide an overview of national parks. They often serve as gateways to sites ... read more »
America's first national park was established in the early 19th century. Ever since, parks have ... read more »
Camping ranks high on any list of popular park activities, as do hiking, boating, biking, climbing, and sightseeing. With such a range of activities, there's an abundance of information available on the Internet, whether you're looking for adventure or just want to sit by the campfire whittling sticks.
- The National Park Service site provides an excellent "Things To Do" section for each park. You'll be guided through the activities offered.
- A lot of the best sites devoted to particular sports, such as rock climbing or kayaking, are run by enthusiasts. For that reason, it's a good idea not to limit your investigations to the official and commercial sites.
- The piloting of motorized boats is strictly regulated in order to protect wildlife and because of a lack of water. However, several western parks have recreation areas nearby with lakes that are open to boating. In the National Park Service guides, look for a link called "Nearby Attractions." Any local recreation area will be listed there.
For the best camping and hiking sites ...
Love the Outdoors
enthuses about camping on this unpretentious, no-frills site. Consult articles as well as guides to parks and campsites, which cover camping for the novice, cooking outdoors, living on the road, and related topics. Campgrounds are organized by type: national park, state park, or private campground.
's found its niche with RV users. The e-mail newsletter and RV forum might not suit your needs, but you can search for campgrounds by name, location, or according to your particular interests, such as fishing or Internet access.
offers hiking and trail suggestions arranged according to state on this attractive, readily navigable site. Focusing on camping and hiking, TheBackbacker.com gives advice for beginners, and reviews clothing and equipment. Links to other outward-bound sites and a message board are available.
is the committed backpacker's Bible. The Web site outlet for this print publication provides numerous trail recommendations, articles, stories, and a good introduction to backpacking for beginners. It also maintains an e-mail newsletter and forums divided by topic. Be advised: the content is mostly aimed at experienced hikers preferring three-day endurance tests, not walks in the park.
For other activities ...
American Park Network
presents a handy page with links to all the national parks that permit fishing. Rules, regulations, and license requirements vary from park to park.
provides information on this increasingly popular pursuit. Be introduced to the sport via podcast (scroll down to the "Pod Climber Podcast" icon in the left-hand sidebar) or use the matching service to find a climbing partner. You'll find lots of advice on where to climb, as well as a search engine arranged according to state. Be sure to check the official Web site for the park you plan to climb in, because the rules as to when and where you can climb change between locations.
focuses on outdoor pursuits: biking, hiking, climbing, paddling, skiing, and so on. It offers national park information, hiking guides, and excellent maps for mountain bikers. Cyclists of the outward-bound variety will find all the information necessary to get their bikes to the trail. You can register for a free 14-day trial offer, after which you'll need to subscribe to the site for $49.95 per year.
Canoe & Kayak magazine
's Web site has a beginner's guide to water sports, a free newsletter, equipment reviews, and a collection of articles. The "Destinations
" link takes you to a list of U.S. and Canadian regions that you can browse for paddling suggestions and guides.
Not only can you compare campsites and different lodgings with ease using the sites collected here, ... read more »
Parkland across the globe is as varied as the world's nations, embracing both the English landscape ... read more »
National park supporters organize on both national and local levels. Your particular interests and ... read more »
One constant has always characterized the national parks: a lack of both money and manpower. ... read more »
Having a job in a national park could mean working for a nonprofit organization such as the ... read more »
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