There’s no wonder why Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one our most popular national parks for hiking. The rolling mountains along the North Carolina – Tennessee border are gorgeous in all seasons, but the transition to bright fall colors is a sight to behold. In golden sunset light, the beauty of this place is overwhelming. Photo by Jerome Ginsberg (www.sharetheexperience.org).
With a heavy heart, we say farewell to our director of social media, Rebecca. For the past 4 years, she has helped shape Interior’s digital voice, built a passionate public lands online community and written a great deal of the inspiring content you’ve enjoyed here. We wish her success in all her future endeavors. Thank you. Photo of a momma bear at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska by Kevin Dietrich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
In 1792, America’s first planned industrial city was established around the Great Falls of the Passaic River. Harnessing the power of the falls, cotton and silk mills began to spring up along the river. It was here in Paterson, New Jersey, that the American Industrial Revolution was born, making our country an economic player on the world stage. Today, the history and the stunning falls are protected as Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Photo by volunteer Terry McKenna, National Park Service.
Here’s a majestic sunrise sight: An eagle takes off from its nest at Shiloh National Military Park. Established in 1894, Shiloh National Military Park encompasses nearly 4,200 acres of land in southwestern Tennessee and includes a location in northeast Mississippi. In addition to being home to diverse wildlife, Shiloh tells the story of the most epic struggle in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Nearly 110,000 American troops clashed in a bloody contest that resulted in 23,746 casualties – more casualties than in all of America’s previous wars combined. Photo by Don Holland (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy 40th birthday, Badlands National Park! This South Dakota park was established on this day in 1978, and it’s anything but bad. Long before it was a park, the Badlands’ rugged beauty has drawn visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Today, the park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets live. Photo by William Green (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Famous for mountaintop sunrises, Haleakala National Park in Hawaii offers thrilling adventures from summit to sea. Visitors to the Kīpahulu District on the northeast coast of of Maui are treated to views of waterfalls, sweeping ocean vistas and powerful Hawaiian cultural experiences. You might even see a double rainbow. Photo courtesy of Chris Archer.
Happy National Bison Day! Our national mammal is a shaggy symbol of strength and resilience. Public lands managed by Interior support 17 bison herds – or approximately 10,000 bison – in 12 states, including Alaska. Check out more interesting facts about bison: http://on.doi.gov/1Oc7VXg Photo of a bison at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Regal and majestic, Canada lynx have long tufts of black fur on the tips of their ears, a ruff of long hairs that frames the face, and a short, black-tipped tail (distinguishing it from its smaller relative, the bobcat). Their fur varies from yellowish to rusty to reddish-brown, muted with silver and tipped with white – an ideal coloring for an animal active in the shadow hours of dawn and dusk. These forest-dwelling cats live in northern latitudes with a range extends from Alaska throughout much of Canada and into the boreal forests in the northeastern U.S., the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. With large paws and long hind legs, lynx are highly adapted to hunting their primary prey (the snowshoe hare) in deep powdery snow. This one was spotted at Denali National Park in Alaska during the summer.
On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated. A universal symbol of freedom and democracy, the statue was designated as a national monument in 1924, and the National Park Service has been caring for the colossal statue since 1933. Photos by National Park Service.
It’s Bat Week – a time to celebrate the role of bats in nature and all these amazing creatures do for us. 🦇
From providing essential pest control to pollinating our plants, bats are the unsung heroes of the night. Pictured here is the small but mighty lesser long-nosed bat, which is key to maintaining fragile desert ecosystems by pollinating both the saguaro cactus and agave (which is used to make tequila). It’s also a conservation success story. In 1988, there were fewer than 1,000 of these nectar-feeding bats, but today, there are an estimated 200,000 bats at 75 roosts in the Southwest and Mexico. Learn more about some of the different bat species in the United States: https://on.doi.gov/2JfdGmS. Photo by National Park Service.