Tag Archives: explore

Happy Birthday, NPS!

By now, you are probably aware that the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday today, August 25th! And, it got us a present: free entry to all NPS parks and monuments today and for the whole weekend! Yessiree! The 124 parks that usually charge admission are completely free to enter, which takes a chunk of the cost out of more than 400 ways national park-goers have to explore something wild, imbued with history, AND awe-inspiring all at once.

[Image: www.nps.gov]

One hundred years of juuust enough development so you can explore, really branch out, and find genuine, quiet solitude (especially with a back country permit), but ideally not get completely lost. Cheers! [Image: www.nps.gov]

And not only is the NPS throwing its boom gates wide open, but there are state parks departments across the country also offering free admission today! New Hampshire State Parks are on board in the east, as Washington State Parks open their arms in the west.

Over the weekend, you can have a first-hand encounter with some of the wonder preserved at our national parks, monuments, battlefields and historic sites. Among the many splendors at our national parks, you can take in waterfalls or tour earthwork forts. You can hike up mountains, or maybe see (and stay a safe distance from) bison, bighorn sheep, or elk. Maybe you’ll catch sight of an elusive wolf pack or share the shade of a stately saguaro. Or you could possibly even find yourself exploring caves, swimming in an ocean, lake, or river, engaged in watching a reenactment, or simply taking a stroll somewhere beautiful. The National Parks are the gateway to our heartland!

[Image: www.whitehousehistory.org]

Then-President Teddy Roosevelt undoubtedly squinting against the sun (it was really bright, okay?) as he looks at the future–the preservation of natural wonders that could almost bring tears to a Rough Rider’s eyes. Almost. [Image: www.whitehousehistory.org]

However we take in the splendor of our natural resources, it is important to remember that while the NPS centennial is an achievement that we’ve all had a hand in simply by visiting or voicing our appreciation for the parks, there is still work to be done. These priceless park landscapes have largely been pristine for millions of years, but they increasingly face challenges posed by our ever-changing world. Celebrating the NPS Centennial equally honors our nation’s conservation efforts, and draws attention to the action required to preserve it for another hundred years, and another hundred after that, for ourselves and the generations yet to come. Whatever your views on this journey we’re all on, visiting a national park this weekend is a great way to learn about the resources around you, our effect on them, and how we can work together to make them even better.


[Image: www.whitehouse.gov]

President Barack Obama looks out at the Grand Canyon, and beyond taking in the awesome scenery, perhaps considers the next one hundred years of the National Park Service, to which he has added 27 new monuments during his presidency. [Image: www.whitehouse.gov]

If you aren’t able to celebrate in a park on the 25th or this weekend, National Park Service gates are open again for National Public Lands Day on September 24th, and on Veteran’s Day in November. For a full run-down on what all is going on at a national park near you, there’s a full events feed on the Pocket Ranger® National Parks Passport Guide mobile app!

A Look at Maps

Large map! Large legacy!

The Universalis Cosmographia, which turns 509 years old in April, helped foster European understanding that the “New World” is actually two separate continents. [Image: www.common-place-archives.org/]

Maps have been with us from the earliest constellations drawn on rock walls to the Waldseemüller map that gave our continent the name America and forward still to the modern ease of finding almost anything at all with a few taps of the fingertips. Maps have made it possible for humanity to grasp and decipher the sky, geography, topography, weather, and even the location of restaurants, tarot card readers, or delis open past midnight. We’ve used maps to understand and synthesize information about distant planets and galaxies, the bottoms of the oceans, climate change, political demographics, human organs, pirate treasure hoards, conflicts in fiction, and just about anything else that we’ve wanted to find, explore, or otherwise know more intimately, no matter how large or small the journey.

Yes, even in fewer than a hundred years we've come a long, long way.[Image: www.wikipedia.org]

Yes, even in fewer than a hundred years we’ve come a long, long way. [Image: www.wikipedia.org/]

Maps have kept pace with technology as it has blossomed into a nearly ever-present force in our lives and continue to be all around us: At the mall, on the train, and in our pockets. As enthusiasts of the great outdoors, this means that if we want to find the nearest trailhead, a secluded lake, or a campsite, we need only type as much into our search engine, and voilà!—we’re given some coordinates almost instantly, along with advice on how to get there by bike, car, mass transit, or on foot.

An image depicting a satellite ground track as it records two rotations of the earth. It demonstrates essentially that someone and/or a machine has done a lot of math to make it easy to find the nearest Starbucks. [Image: www.wikibooks.org]

An image depicting a satellite ground track as it records two rotations of the Earth. It demonstrates essentially that someone and/or a machine has done a lot of math to make it easy to find the nearest Starbucks. [Image: www.wikibooks.org/]

Here at Pocket Ranger®, we provide our app users with some of the best mobile map technology around. Each of our free mobile apps come equipped with Map It technology, which is customizable map caching that makes your relevant, saved maps accessible even when you’re pitching a tent nowhere near cellular reception. While the maps don’t necessarily provide the step-by-step instructions that may have gotten you to the parking lot, they are indispensable when you’re in the midst of your adventure.

Already have your maps handy? Great! Still not sure how awesome our maps can be in your life? There’s an article for that. Plain and simple, Pocket Ranger® puts the app in mapping and offers fantastically interactive ways to immerse yourself in the many magnificent state and national parks that are just a few taps away.

Go Exploring with Adventure Archives

The Pocket Ranger® video channel is the place to visit before you head out on your next outdoor trip. The video channel is easy to access, updated weekly, and is a great companion whether you are at work or just hanging out. Watch thrilling adventures from contributors like Adventure Archives where you’ll get in-depth videos into some of the best wilderness sites in North America.

Adventure Archives Member on a Canoeing at Mammoth Cave

Andrew Lin, Bryan Lin, and Bobby Huang take you to the backcountry for fun and education. Here is a teaser below for what’s in store with them:

With Adventure Archives, you’ll learn not only where to go for amazing experiences, but also how to prepare for the unexpected. Learn the important difference between edibles versus poisonous flora while meandering into the deep woods with your hosts. The show takes viewers through all of nature’s elements, from a torrential rainstorm in Red River Gorge to winter camping in Monongahela National Forest—their videos are filled with never-ending surprises. While it might not always be cotton candy and ice cream on the trail, Adventure Archives’ documentary style and original music compilations bring beauty into any outdoor adventure.

To give you a bigger taste of what they’re all about, watch the team tackle Red River Gorge here:

Want to learn more? Adventure Archives is a contributor to the Pocket Ranger® video channel. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel and like them on Facebook. Enjoy listening to the tunes? Their Bandcamp showcases soundtracks from every one of their videos so you can continue to nod your head to their beats.

Before making plans for your next outdoor trip, be sure to download the Pocket Ranger® mobile apps for the latest information on weather, road conditions, and local activities in the area. Whether you are an avid adventurer or enjoy relaxing weekends in your backyard, the Pocket Ranger® video channel with Adventure Archives is essentials for fun, knowledge, and adventure.

Telegraph Hiking Club

Now is the time to stay even more connected to the outdoors with the new PocketRanger® video channel! Our contributor Telegraph Hiking Club couldn’t agree more. They’ve already posted how excited they are to share their adventures with you through the video channel on their Facebook page. The PocketRanger® video channel, which is accessible through all PocketRanger® Apps and online, showcases exciting adventures from contributors like Telegraph Hiking Club, whose stories are not to be missed.

Telegraph Hiking Club's logo

Image: http://www.telegraphhc.com/

Telegraph Hiking Club is a Sacramento-based company whose mission is to “explore the most beautiful urban and remote regions of California and the United States.” Over the years, Telegraph Hiking Club has gone on many adventures, allowing members to witness some of the most majestic views in the country, such as the ones seen below from their trip to Grinnell Glacier.

If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to go on a trek of your own, you’re not alone. In fact, so many non-members have expressed a desire to participate in some of the club’s adventures that it became necessary to create TelegraphHC. TelegraphHC is an extension of the original group that publishes trail uploads, videos, and blogs for all outdoor enthusiasts to use as inspiration for their next outdoor venture.

One of the club’s goals is to “share [their] adventures through photographs and video to inspire people to find their own new normal. [They] hope that by sharing [their] shenanigans—good, bad, and indifferent—Telegraph will inspire others to take their daily lives and problems a little less seriously, and spend a day or weekend to examine the beauty of our world from a new perspective.”

Check out the latest on their website, blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel where Telegraph takes you to the summit with great stories and helpful information on hiking opportunities. And don’t leave home without your very own Telegraph hoodie available only on their website.

Before you get out your hiking poles and lace up your boots, like Telegraph on Facebook, follow them on YouTube, and check out the new PocketRanger® video channel for inspiration on your next trek! And remember to download the PocketRanger® App for the latest in weather, trails, and events happening around your next travel destination!

Lace Up a Pair of Hi-Tec Boots and Get Ready to Explore

Hikers, campers, backpackers, and outdoors enthusiasts rejoice—we just partnered up with Hi-Tec Sports and are excited to share the news! Whether you’re looking to get down and dirty on some muddy paths or are investigating the amenities of your local state park, Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite is what your feet have been waiting for.

V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite [Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite [Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

Hi-Tec uses the revolutionary Vibram® outsoles in its boots to continue the high standard they’ve set. The soles are put through intense testing in the lab and field by diligent Vibram® Tester Team members. This leads to a reliable shoe that’s sure to last from top to bottom through any sort of outdoor activity.

An extreme resistance to water also compliments their sleek design. Water slides right off the shoes, making them the perfect companion for a rainy backpacking trip or an exploration through a damp area. These shoes are waterproofed to the point that Hi-Tec’s creators claim that the shoes simply dislike water. In fact, you might even be tempted to walk with them on water and try the fictional sport of “Liquid Mountaineering.”

Whether you prefer wet or dry terrain, you still need a pair of hiking boots with a proper fit. Hi-Tec boots are just the thing! Fortunately, Hi-Tec’s waterproof boots and comfort-inspired design drastically reduces your chances of pain or injury to your feet—like those pesky blisters that can ruin the fun of any outing. To ensure an even better hiking experience, don’t forget to lace up. The laces lock to provide a snug fit that is durable and nonrestrictive. More information about the benefits of hiking, blister avoidance, and properly fitting your boots can be found under our Hiking section when you Search by Activity in the Washington app!

A girl hiking.

[Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

As the summer heat fades away, we’re prepping ourselves for some serious fall and winter hiking ventures. Check out our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to see what state parks near you will be accessible for year round exploring.

National Get Outdoors Day

Grab your favorite running shoes, stock up on sunscreen, and make sure you bring enough bug spray because Saturday, June 13th is National Get Outdoors Day. On this day every year, adventure seekers around the country are urged to get outside to explore and keep active. If you’re in need of a bit of inspiration of where to go and what to do, then you’re in luck because we came up with a list of just five of the many exciting events being held on Saturday.

Meet Me at the Confluence
South Beloit, Illinois

A group of people with lifejackets and holding paddles surrounded by kayaks.

Kayakers all geared up and ready to paddle up the Rock River. [Image: http://natureattheconfluence.com]

Meet Me at the Confluence is a great way for outdoor enthusiasts of any age to get acquainted with this public area and to most importantly to get outside! There are three events in the area, all centered around fun and exciting outdoor exploration. The “Fur Traders River Run” Community Paddle Trip is a six-mile trip that brings kayakers along the Rock River, which was used by early fur traders to move their materials. Nature at the Confluence Open House is also available for guests to see the soon-to-be Nature Center as well as the Prairie Restoration Community Project, which tours the land along Turtle Creek and invites visitors to join in the restoration process.

More info: info@natureattheconfluence.com

Hike and Paddle
Easton, Pennsylvania

Two girls kayaking.

Enjoy a paddle after a relaxing hike through Easton, Pennsylvania. [Image: http://www.allsedona.com/]

Join an urban hike beginning in Hugh Moore Park’s National Canal Museum parking lot. The Hike and Paddle follows the local trails of Easton, Pennsylvania. It heads out onto the Karl Stirner Arts Trail to the Delaware Canal Towpath Trail and ends along the Lehigh Canal Trail that wraps back in Hugh Moore Park. Once the hike is complete, the group will also be taking a quick paddle along the Lehigh Canal. It’s the perfect balance of fun and adventure!

More info: ikindle@pa.gov or 610-982-0166

The Ride for Hope
Tallahassee, Florida

A group of cyclists.

Cyclist enjoying the Ride for Hope. [Image: http://therideforhope.com/]

If you’re looking to get outdoors on two wheels, then look no further than Tallahassee’s annual Ride for Hope. This thrilling ride raises money for the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center and has varying levels of difficulty, depending on what sort of challenge you’re looking for. The ride has a family fun ride or walk, 11-mile, 29-mile, 40-mile, a metric century (approximately 62-mile), and a full century (100-mile) options. Choose the distance you’d like to break a sweat over and bike for a fantastic cause!

More info: info@TheRideForHope.com or 850-431-5389

Greenway Walk and Historic Tour
Stoneham, Massachusetts

A group of people cleaning up trash in the woods.

Cleaning up the Stoneham trails. [Image: http://www.tricommunitygreenway.org/news]

Stoneham’s Tri-Community Greenway Walk and Historic Tour is a relaxing and informative event that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The walk begins on Gould Street and winds over to the Woburn Tunnel where visitors can continue walking over to Montvale Avenue or head back to Gould Street. There are parts of the trail that aren’t paved, however, it’s a laidback trek overall.

More info: tricommunitygreenway@gmail.com

Salt River Tubing
Mesa, Arizona

Group of people on tubes floating down a river.

Kick back and float along the gorgeous Salt River. [Image: http://www.saltrivertubing.com/]

Float down the Salt River with the Salt River Pirates for an experience of a lifetime. It’s a relaxing yet invigorating tube float along the scenic river. For National Get Outdoors Day, the pirates have live entertainment and are giving away pirate bandanas to the first 1,000 guests. Come dressed in your eye patches and pirate hats for a chance to win free tube rental passes, too!

More info: 480-984-3305

This is just a taste of all the many events happening nationwide for National Outdoors Day. Make sure you strap on your boots and head outside, and don’t forget to download our Pocket Ranger® Mobile Apps for more information about the comings and goings of state parks near you!

Hop in a Chevy Colorado for Your Next Adventure!

Listen up adventure seekers—we have some thrilling news that we couldn’t be happier to share! ParksByNature Network recently partnered up with Chevy Colorado, and we can hardly contain our excitement over this new sponsorship. Not only is this amazing news for us, but it’s even better for you. With its roomy interior and ability to excel in all types of terrain, the Chevy Colorado ensures you’ll have a fantastic outdoor experience and makes driving to your favorite state parks and wildlife areas a lot more enjoyable. From the time you situate yourself in the comfy seats to when you get to your destination and use it’s convenient 4G LTE high-speed Wi-Fi (especially helpful for using your Pocket Ranger® apps!), there’s no doubt that the Chevy Colorado is an outstanding choice for all adventurers.

Chevy Colorado vehicle in the mountains near a tent

Get to your destination and use it’s convenient 4G LTE high-speed Wi-Fi.

Picture this: It’s a gorgeous weekend. Maybe you’re heading into the breathtaking mountains of Western New York, exploring one of Ohio’s picturesque state parks, or hitting the surf in Virginia Beach. Whatever your passion, it’s time to get out and head for the hills. Of course you’ll want to bring your favorite fishing rod, lucky running shoes, beloved bicycle helmet, or treasured tent in tow. With the Chevy Colorado, fitting your gear is easy, so you can spend more time exploring the outdoors and less time packing your truck.

When you’re all set, weave through the city and then seamlessly head off into the mountains. Its four-wheel disc brakes and Duralife™ brake rotors reduce the wheel shutter while assuring overall durability. The electric power steering makes driving along a slick or icy street virtually the same experience as riding on a bone-dry road. It’s built to withstand all the elements, whether you’re feeling adventurous on a rainy day, looking to explore a snowy peak, planning to head off the beaten path, or just want to have the perfect picnic.

After you decide on your adventure, you’ll be elated by how spacious and accommodating the Chevy Colorado is. The two-tier loading and bed divider makes packing up your gear an easy task; you’ll find yourself trying to fill all the extra space rather than looking for room to squeeze in one last thing. A multitude of accessories are available to accommodate any type of adventurer as well, such as bike racks, ski racks, hitches for trailers, GearOn™ bed dividers, and much more.

Man hitches bicycle to his Chevy Colorado

The Chevy Colorado makes adventuring easy with room for all your gear.

Not only is the Chevy Colorado roomy, but it provides a cozy, intuitive drive as well. The truck is immensely sturdy, so cruise along in luxury and security as your favorite jams stream out of the impeccable Bose speakers. Meanwhile the thick windows and triple-sealed doors reduce the whistling wind and outside road noises—you might have a bit of trouble convincing yourself to get out of the car once you finally reach your destination!

The Chevy Colorado doesn’t stop there with its impressive features. Charge up those electronic devices along the way in any of the four USB ports because you’ll be using them once you park. The truck can be turned into a hot spot with 4G LTE high-speed Wi-Fi, courtesy of OnStar. The signal is even stronger than what your devices regularly receive. The best part of this feature is that you’ll be able to use your Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to enhance your explorations!

With all the mind-blowing benefits, investing in a Chevy Colorado is a must for any outdoor enthusiast. Bring all of your favorite gear, stay connected to other explorers near you, and stay up-to-date about any information at nearby parks. It doesn’t really get much better than that! 

Head over to our Gear Store to add to your collection, then download our mobile apps to find a park near you!