With such beautiful weather around the country, summer is the perfect time to go on a national park adventure. From sandy shores, and majestic views, to hands-on learning and voluntourism fun, America’s national parks have everything you could ask for in a vacation! National parks across the country are hosting a variety of special summer events and activities and here are some of our favorites:

CALIFORNIA – San Francisco Maritime National Historic ParkGo back in time and hop aboard the historic 19th century ship, Balclutha, and learn how the sailors survived the treacherous Cape Horn passage!

MISSOURI – Jefferson National Expansion MemorialCome and practice yoga under the 630 foot Gateway Arch that watches over the St. Louis City.

NEW JERSEY – Gateway National Recreation AreaGrab a lifejacket and your swimsuit, and join in on the kayaking fun at Great Kills Park!

SOUTH CAROLINA – Ninety Six Historic SiteWalk the actual grounds where two Revolutionary War battles were fought in the tall woods of South Carolina! Go on a one-mile guided hike and learn all about the Cherokee Indians and the Continental Army Major General Nathanael Greene’s Patriots.

TEXAS – Padre Island National SeashoreTake the whole family to Malaquite Beach and learn how to build a magnificent sand castle from a professional sand sculptor.

WASHINGTON – Mount Rainier National ParkLend a helping hand and have fun at the same time! Last season, the Comet Falls Trail became so washed-out that the park was forced to close the trail for the majority of the summer. Come out and help restore and improve the Comet Falls Trail! Free camping is available for weekend volunteers.

For more travel inspiration download a free copy of National Park Foundation’s Owner’s Guide, and to find an event near you visit the National Park Service website.

Summer Scrapbook Preserving America's Special Places Cheers to Our Parks

Summer Scrapbook
Turn Your National Park Photos into a National Park Vacation!

Summer is well under way and NPF's Summer Scrapbook is heating up! Hundreds of park fans have already submitted their photos, videos, and travel tips. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a dream national park adventure!

All participants who submit to the Summer Scrapbook (or vote) have a chance to win national park adventures to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon! But that’s not all – winners in each category will receive awesome national park prize packs filled with hiking and camping equipment, NPF gear, a national parks pass and so much more! 

Join the fun and help us showcase the best of our national parks today at nationalparks.org/summer!

Preserving America's Special Places

NPF grants not only engage youth in fun programs in amazing places, but also protect those special places for generations to come. Though Mammoth Cave National Park is best known for the more than 400 miles of caves underground, two Impact Grants allowed the park to restore two plant species above ground—Large Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchids and rare Kentucky Coffeetrees. Once abundant, Lady's Slipper Orchids are now rare, threatened, or endangered throughout much of their range due to loss of habitat and illegal collection from the wild. Similarly, Kentucky Coffeetrees suffered declining numbers from loss of habitat and continued harvest for commercial purposes, but have played an important ethnobotanical and cultural role in the life of Native Americans and early pioneers to the Kentucky region.

At Antietam National Battlefield, the park is preserving the site of one the most horrific battles in American history while inspiring visitors to explore new uses for these Civil War trails. Thanks to a National Park Foundation Active Trails grant, the park recently created new trails while improving and rehabilitating existing trails. Visitors can now hike the historic Piper Lane, which was a heavily travelled road during the Battle of Antietam, and also learn about the importance of resource conservation and the Chesapeake Bay watershed while hiking along the Antietam Creek.  The reinforcement and rehabilitation of this trail will allow for multi-use recreational activities such as horseback riding, hiking, jogging and cross-country skiing!

As part of the America’s Best Idea grant program, a group of Navajo youth and adult volunteers will continue their work restoring the area along the San Juan River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The volunteers will removed invasive, non-native plants along the banks of the river and participate in other activities to gain a better understanding of the park’s natural and cultural resources. Our grants and programs preserve the diverse ecosystems and historic places that make America unique in a way that makes these national treasures relevant to families and young people who will become the future protectors of our national parks.

To find out how you can support programs that help protect our country’s special places, click here

Cheers to Our National Parks!

Earlier this year, NPF and Adler Fels Winery released the first ever National Parks Wine Collection. The collection, featuring iconic national park images by acclaimed photographer Mark Burns, debuted with the Yosemite Artisan Red and Yosemite Artisan White blend. This summer, NPF and Adler Fels unveiled the next wines in the collection highlighting two iconic Colorado parks. The Mesa Verde Chardonnay features Burns’ image of the Cliff Palace and the Rocky Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is illustrated by a Burns’ shot of the moon over Longs Peak. $2.00 from every bottle will support programming and projects in featured parks, as well as support the overall mission of the Foundation to preserve and enrich all of America’s 401 national parks.

A premier California vineyard, Adler Fels Winery is located on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking picturesque Sonoma Valley. Today, the winery has grown to become one of the country’s largest producers of proprietary and private label wines, Adler Fels philosophy is to produce balanced, elegant wines that deliver great value. Their National Parks Collection wines are designed to appeal to a broad range of wine consumers as they celebrate the beauty of America’s national parks.

“We are honored to work with the National Park Foundation to produce this iconic wine collection," said Adler Fels General Manager Dan O’Leary.  “As artisan winemakers, land stewardship is at the heart of what we do. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the protection and preservation of our national parks with the launch of the National Parks Wine Collection.”

To learn more about this exciting partnership, the wine collection and purchase information, click here.


Show The Parks Some Summer Love!

Throughout July, the National Park Foundation's Board of Directors is providing a $50,000 matching gift to multiply your impact for the parks you love. Give today and your gift will go even farther to help us revitalize trails, provide more kids access to the parks and help support vital conservation and preservation programs in these treasured places.

Help us continue the legacy of preserving and improving all of the more than 400 national parks — today, and for generations to come.

Follow the @American_LatinoExpedition

The American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation has partnered with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and REI to launch the @American_Latino Expedition, a summertime adventure to engage diverse audiences to visit, explore and enjoy America’s national parks. While America’s more than 400 national parks welcome millions of visitors annually, multicultural communities and those who live in urban centers are vastly underrepresented.

Together, ALHF, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and REI issued a national call for bloggers to apply for the opportunity to participate in this national park adventure. Each Expedition focuses on education, park stewardship and outdoor recreation and exploration, all the while highlighting historic American Latino contributions at each park site.

Come along and join in on the fun! Follow the @American_Latino Expedition on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ALEx13 and be sure the ALHF website for blog updates from the road!

Travel Idea: Go Ride A Kite

Kiteboarding is like water-skiing minus the boat. Feet strapped to a board, you crouch in the water, then hold on tight as the wind fills a bed-size kite. If all goes well—and you don’t tumble into the drink—you’re tugged upright and sped off at speeds of as much as 25 miles per hour. Though the sport attracts its share of thrill seekers, the recent advent of easier to-control kites has made kiteboarding novice-friendly. So dive in and try riding the waves at one of our kite-friendly national parks this summer, click here to learn more.

Mount Rushmore Society

Started in 1930, Mount Rushmore Society is one of the oldest and most successful Friends Groups supporting a national park. Key to securing funding for the completion of the monument, the Society was also responsible for raising $25 million dollars towards preservation in the 1980’s and significant facility improvements in the 1990’s. Today the Society supports a wide range of activities that enhance the visitor experience, including the Evening Lighting Ceremony (a must see!), naturalization ceremonies (in June 158 new citizens were welcomed!) and opening next year, a youth exploration area that will help younger visitors learn about the flora, fauna, geology and history of South Dakota. 

Join Society members for the annual Gutzon Borglum Day picnic on August 25th when all of South Dakota honors the visionary sculptor of Mount Rushmore.  Can’t make it this summer? Follow the Society on Facebook until you can!

The Places Nobody Knows

For every Yosemite, there's a lesser-known park where the scenery shines and surprises. Download your FREE copy of NPF's just released The Places Nobody Knows for descriptions and tips on discovering some of the many hidden gems within the national park system. This new guide is a must-have for planning your next national park adventure! So sign up and download your free copy today!

Make your next national park adventure better than ever! Download our new guide, The Places Nobody Knows, today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial

Outdoor scenes of the television series M*A*S*H were filmed in what is now one of our 401 national park units. Name the park.

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Courtney Clayton, who knew that The Battle of Gettysburg, commemorated at a national military park, took place on July 1, 2 and 3, 1863.

Way to go Courtney!

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