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.
What do you call a moose with no name?
It seems like this moose at Grand Teton National Park loves to laugh. Pic by C. Adams, National Park Service.
The rolling plains and scattered wetlands of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge in Montana were created by receding glaciers more than 12,000 years ago. Today, these lands and waters serve as habitat for a great variety of wildlife, especially migrating waterfowl. Depending on the season, the sky can hold a lone eagle, fill with waves of tundra swans or show dramatic sunset colors. Photo by Christal Steele (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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).
Buffalo National River in Arkansas flows pure and clear over a 132-mile meandering course through grassy meadows and by rocky bluffs. Its ancient current gives life to well over 300 species of fish, insects, freshwater mussels and aquatic plants. In addition to the thriving aquatic life, on land there are many more natural wonders to behold: caves with hidden formations, untrodden passageways, tall waterfalls and old pioneer farmsteads that provide food for elk, whitetail deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail and many other species of wildlife. Settle on a rock by the river and you’ll see for yourself. Photo by John Bingaman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
In a land of stark white sand, a little fall color really stands out. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico preserves part the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Gypsum sand is considered rare because gypsum is water soluble – it dissolves in water like sugar in iced tea. The 275-square miles of dunes are comprised of over 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand. It is one of the many things that make White Sands a unique and special place. Photo by Jim Langford (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A scenic drive along the Molalla River in Oregon offers easy river access and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, camping, whitewater boating and fishing. The river is one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River and cuts a picturesque gorge on its way to the valley floor. Molalla River Recreation Area offers an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Take your time on the trails to enjoy the changing colors. Photo by Greg Shine, Bureau of Land Management.