Salute to U.S. National Parks
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
– Our National Parks by John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist and early advocate for preserving America’s wilderness.
Because of his love of the outdoors and his passion for protecting wild places such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and King’s Canyon national parks, John Muir has been called the “Father of the National Parks.” His writings and activism helped to inspire the formation of the U.S. National Park Service, which was created in 1916, two years after his death.
The national parks have been called the best idea America ever had. Today, more than 100 years later, these special places saved by and for the American people continue to inspire awe and to provide enjoyment and education to more than 318 million visitors each year. The national park system now includes 423 areas covering more than 85 million acres in every U.S. state and some U.S. territories.
This month, we share information to inspire you to plan national park visits and to help you make the most of those trips. We also provide tips for fall leaf peeping, which is at its peak in many parts of North America right now. Plus, this Mile Marker includes updates about FMCA benefits and other fun stuff. Read on and enjoy.
Happy fall, ya’ll!
The FMCA Team
Harvest Hosts is a membership club for RVers offering unique overnight stays at over 4,000 locations all over North America – including more than 3,200 farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, churches, museums, and other scenic small businesses. In addition, their sister club, Boondockers Welcome, offers 3,000+ host locations. The company's mission is to help millions of people live happier lives through road travel while supporting wonderful small businesses and communities along the way. To learn more, visit: www.fmca.com/harvesthosts.
To inspire you to take to the road at this colorful time of year, this Harvest Hosts blog describes The Perfect RV Camping Locations For Fall Fun. Enjoy the season!
Explore Our Wonderful National Parks
Some of the most splendid natural areas in the United States are administered by the National Park Service. In addition to the 63 sites that are officially designated national parks, 360 NPS facilities fall under other categories as well. These include national battlefields, military parks, historical parks and sites, memorials, monuments, parkways, natural recreation areas, scenic trails, seashores, lakeshores, and more.
Here are some answers to questions you might have about visiting National Park Service units. For more info, check out www.nps.gov.
Do the national parks charge entrance fees? Entrance fees are collected at the 108 National Park Service facilities listed here. Other NPS sites have free admission.
Are park passes available? Yes! These include an annual pass for frequent park visitors; annual or lifetime passes for seniors; passes for U.S. military members/veterans and their families; and the Access Pass for visitors with disabilities. Folks who have accumulated 250 service hours at federal agencies may be eligible for a free annual volunteer pass. And the 4th Grade Pass gains entry for fourth-graders and their families. In addition, the Interagency Pass Program provides pass holders entry to facilities operated by the NPS and five other federal agencies: the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Learn more about park passes here.
Where can I find a national park? Here’s a list of NPS facilities by category. In addition to those must-see parks on many RVers’ bucket lists, other facilities make great options, too — and are less crowded. The National Parks Conservation Association offers insight into some of these lesser-known NPS sites located near the “big boys.”
Where can I learn about individual parks? In addition to the wealth of info available on NPS.gov, park enthusiasts may want to check out the National Park Travelers Club — especially if you collect park cancellation stamps as part of the Passport To Your National Parks Program. Members of this group receive tips for visiting parks, news of park-related legislation, access to a message board, and more. Nonmembers can read archived issues of the group’s newsletter, “The Stamp Pad,” online.
What about Canada’s national parks? Parks Canada offers info about 229 national parks, historic sites, marine conservation areas, and more. Fees are charged at many sites. The annual Parks Canada Discovery Pass provides visitors access to 80-plus destinations. Single-location passes are available also.
With fall on our doorstep, Mother Nature never fails to provide a beautiful, picturesque landscape. As the leaves change colors and the weather cools to a more enjoyable temperature in many areas, she makes it very tempting to get out and take in the scenery. With these tools we found, you’re sure to be able to plan a nice leaf-peeping adventure.
The National Park Service can help you plan your fall road trip and locate parks for leaf peeping. Here you can find forests, woods, or shrublands for your autumn adventures. You can also learn about recreating responsibly to protect yourself, park employees, and “America’s treasures” — the national parks themselves.
Many states have a foliage telephone hotline for updates on their leaf-peeping status. By calling, you can find the optimal time to explore fall colors in the state of your choosing. From coast to coast, you’ll be able to discover somewhere to get out and experience the beautiful changing leaves.
Or, maybe you’re ready to take off and plan your own leaf-peeping autumn adventure but need some suggestions on where to go. Check out a blog from RV Trader on FMCAdventure: Top 5 Destinations for Fall Foliage. It is sure to steer your leaf-peeping journeys in the correct direction. North of the border, even more viewing opportunities await in Canada from coast to coast.
But what if you can’t get out and enjoy the leaves in person? No worries! Follow the National Park Service on their social media channels. Here, you’re bound to see some of the most beautiful pictures of scenery and wildlife taken in U.S. national parks.
DriveQuest Vehicle Protection
Protect yourself and your RV with DriveQuest RV protection! DriveQuest offers FMCA members a range of coverage options in the event of a mechanical breakdown so that you can get back on the road. Click here to learn more about this new FMCA member benefit.
Thirteenth Time's The Charm
We are heading back to Perry, Georgia! Join us at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, March 15-18, 2023, for FMCA’s 106th International Convention & RV Expo. You don’t want to gamble on missing our “Lucky 13” Convention. Register online or by calling the FMCA Events Team at (800) 543-3622 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET.
Bundle Up With The FMCA Store
Share your FMCA member pride with items from the FMCA Store. We offer RV accessories you’ll need and comfy apparel to get you ready for fall camping. Stay warm with a microfleece jacket or FMCA beanie.
Zion River Resort RV Park & Campground, C8908
Located in Virgin, Utah, Zion River Resort is nestled beside Utah’s serene Virgin River and surrounded by picturesque mountains. It is located minutes from Zion National Park, where you can find your peace in the hush of the valley. This 5-star nature retreat offers an extraordinary camping experience. It’s an ideal location for day trips, not only to Zion National Park but also to Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon North Rim, and Cedar Breaks National Monument. RV sites offer electric, sewer, and water hookups.
FMCA members receive a discounted rate at Zion River Resort RV Park & Campground and many other FMCA commercial campgrounds. To find more locations along your route, check out our RV Marketplace!
National Parks Games
Play classic games but with a national parks twist! You can find national park editions of Yahtzee, Jenga, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit on Amazon — the perfect way to remain occupied between visits to your favorite parks.
Don't Pet The Fluffy Cows!
After safety concerns arose from visitors getting too close to bison at Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service released an official statement: “Don’t pet the fluffy cows!” While bison and other park wildlife seem cuddly and adorable, it’s best to give them space. Check out the National Park Service’s official Instagram post on how to stay safe around temptingly cute yet dangerous wildlife.
The National Parks Cookbook
This new cookbook from author Linda Ly features recipes inspired by the top U.S. national parks. Many parks have legendary restaurants or lodges that are known for their delicious dishes, such as Acadia National Park and the popovers served at its Jordan Pond House. Now you can cook the parks’ actual recipes at home, or dishes reminiscent of them, while also enjoying beautiful national park photography. Additional chapters feature regional favorites from the north, south, east, and west. The 208-page hardcover book costs $26 and is available from the publisher or online booksellers.
FMCA Area Rally Schedule
Rocky Mountain Area Rally — October 25-29 — Tucson, Arizona
Western Area Rally — January 11-15 — Indio, California
Northwest Area Rally — June 7-11 — Albany, Oregon
Midwest Area Rally — June 13-16 — Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Northeast Area Rally – August 3-5 – Herkimer, New York
South Central Area Rally — September 13-16 — Shawnee, Oklahoma
Eastern Area Rally — October 4-8 — Lewisburg, West Virginia
Did you know that you don't have to be an FMCA member to attend our area rallies? That's right; you can join us at any FMCA rally or International Convention & RV Expo. Click here to find our complete list of area rallies and conventions.
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