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Exploring Trails, Rivers, And History In The Parks


Adventures, cultural profiles, and rich American history are all part of the National Park System, backed by spectacular scenery.

But where should you visit, what should you do, and what can you look forward to learning about on your national park vacation?

Within this Essential Park Guide for spring 2018 we have some suggestions for you.

Looking to work up a sweat in the park system? You’ll find a story about the National Trails System starting on page 14, and another on Wild and Scenic Rivers on page 17. Combined, the two provide background on how the acts behind these systems came about 50 years ago, and touch on some destinations you might consider.

Prefer to learn more about this country’s history? Beginning on page 5, Kim O’Connell takes a look at the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was launched 85 years ago. Some of the projects the young men tackled in the then-young National Park System can still be found today, others are just memories.

Rita Beamish traveled abroad to sample Portugal’s only national park, Peneda-Gerês National Park, and returned with stories of an ancient landscape that harbors much of that country’s traditional bucolic lifestyle. Her story opens on page 28.

For a somewhat unusual approach to exploring a park, Jane Schneider sampled the meals, and libations, that you can find in the towns that straddle the Natchez Trace Parkway. Turn to page 26 to see what she found.

Spring is a time of renewal across the National Park System, a time to shuck off cabin fever and head to the parks. Just remember to tread carefully, as some landscapes might still be soggy from winter’s snows or spring rains, and wildflower sprouts might just be breaking through the duff.

Traveler footnote:  You can download a digital copy of the guide for $1.99 from this page, or order a print version for $11.50 from Magcloud. We'll also be rolling out each story individually in the weeks to come. 

Essential Park Guide Spring 2018

By Kurt Repanshek in National Parks Traveler

46 pages, published 3/1/2018

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide for Spring 2018 holds park history, insights into trails and waterways, and a little taste of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide