A golden sunrise warms the frosty morning at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. With over 40 percent of the park covered by lakes, rivers and streams, Voyageurs is a maze of interconnected waterways. These waters were the transportation corridors for the park’s namesake, the voyageurs, and are the basis for recreation in the park today. Winter visitors can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding and driving on ice roads. Photo by National Park Service.
First light streaks across the sky, chasing away the stars over Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The orange dawn quickly reveals the mountains, forests, rivers and lakes scattered across this epic landscape. With beauty like this, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Photo by Kim Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The strange rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park in California are the results of magma flows and millions of years of erosion. Many of the unique boulders in the park haven earned names. The large stone pictured here is Heartbreak Rock. Can you guess why? Sunset photo by Hannah Schwalbe, National Park Service.
Whether it’s the tall seastacks that dot the coast, crystal waters of Lake Ozette or grandeur of the old growth forests, Olympic National Park’s coastal areas are full of opportunities to explore diverse landscapes. Don’t forget, all public lands are waiving their entrance fees this weekend in honor of Veterans Day! Photo of Point of the Arches at sunset by Andy Porter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Scotts Bluff in Nebraska has served as a famous landmark for peoples – from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails to modern travelers. Scotts Bluff National Monument gives park goers a chance to see a short section of deep and eroded trail ruts from covered wagons in Mitchell Pass, plus a magnificent panoramic view. Photo by Brian Poffenberger, National Park Service.
After significant damage caused by Hurricane Irma, staff and volunteers have been hard at work on clean-up and repairs at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida to get the preserve ready for the busy winter season. Facilities are beginning to reopen and soon visitors can enjoy paddling, hiking, hunting, fishing, biking and birdwatching in this amazing wetland. Photo by National Park Service.
Surrounded by farmland and development, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana is critical habitat for the diverse wildlife that call the area home. The grasslands, forests and wetlands of the refuge support animals from otters and deer to a wide variety of birds. Fall is a great time to see waterfowl or catch a sunrise over one of the refuge’s lakes. Photo by D. Stanley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota is celebrated both for its wildlife and the extraordinary visitor experiences. The refuge’s diverse habitats are dynamic, ranging from grasslands and forests to a variety of wetlands and watersheds. The refuge is also important to migratory birds. By the middle of October, Sherburne hosts thousands of sandhill cranes as they roost at night in refuge wetlands during fall migration. Dawn is the best time to see them. Sunrise photo by Pamela Robideau (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The beauty of autumn attracts large numbers of sightseers to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia. People often ask when “peak” season will occur. In a park that is nearly 470 miles long and varies over 5,000 feet in elevation, there is no simple way to predict fall color. The intensity and timing of changes are determined by complex environmental factors and the genetic makeup of the plants themselves. For those with lucky timing, the view is incredible. Photo by Philip Varney (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On this day in 1781, British forces under General Charles Lord Cornwallis marched across the Yorktown Battlefield in Virginia to surrender to General George Washington, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. More than five years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, Washington’s army finally achieved the decisive victory that would guarantee our nation’s future. Visit the now peaceful battlefield to learn more about this dramatic moment in our history. Photo at Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield by James Gramm (www.sharetheexperience.org).