NPS 100

From Shenandoah National Park:

HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE! On this day 100 years ago, Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service. Today is a day for celebration of not only our Parks, but also the Rangers whom you have entrusted with preserving these great places….Here’s to celebrating our last 100 years and looking forward to the next 100 and beyond!

Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Shenandoah and all the rest large and small… National Parks are one of America’s crown jewels. If you have not been out hiking, camping or just roaming around a park near you, you are missing out.

snp little stoney man cliffs

So far this year, to quench a growing thirst for wanderlust and to stay in shape for the 2016 hunting season, I have hiked more than 200 tough miles in Shenandoah and Great Smokey Mountains parks. I have sweated, shivered, lugged up and down mountains and negotiated hairy rock scrambles; I have seen a lot of fantastic scenery, and encountered a lot of animals, including 22 black bears. I have loved every invigorating minute of it.

If you’ve got a national park within driving distance of you, I urge you to get out there, pick a trail or campground, and go this weekend. Admission to all of our national parks is free through August 28. Maybe I’ll see you on the trail. To celebrate our parks’ centennial, I’m gonna walk a grueling 14-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail here in Virginia. Gotta stay hunt ready.