Tag Archives: photography

Trevor Simington: Adventure Photographer

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.44.27 AM

Trevor Simington isn’t the type of photographer to get attached to a particular image, instead he focuses on the genuine experiences connected to the photos. He travels whenever there’s time to spare, documenting his adventures through Instagram—from giant national parks, such as Yellowstone, to the smaller, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. In case you missed it, this California native is our National Parks Photo Contest winner over on Instagram!

California may be his go-to-area for wild explorations, but he’s travelled to Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, among other states. When capturing landscape and wildlife, Simington seeks to convey the beauty he sees and feels in nature. He’s taken photos of tarantulas, owls, prairie dogs, lizards, as well as catching amazing landscapes, wildlife, and portraits, even dabbling with stars and lunar eclipses. “[It’s] rewarding after keeping a standard day job and finding the time to explore the beauty of our parks and everything in between,” he said on winning.

Take a look at some of his images, as he recounts his adventures and the lessons on nature and traveling.

PBN: According to Instagram, you’re a city slicker by day, and adventure photographer by night. What’s your occupation?

Trevor Simington: Haha well I suppose. I work the usual weekday 9 to 5 as a Data Processor in a startup company in Glendale, California. But I find myself routinely seeking opportunities to explore nature and my environment in the least amount of time I can find or make available.     

Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes National Seashore, California [Image: Trevor Simington]

Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes National Seashore, California [Image Credit: Trevor Simington]

PBN: How did you get started with photography? Is it something you always wanted to do?

TS: It’s kind of funny. An old friend coerced me into buying a Nikon SLR years ago. [Prior to that I] never had any interest in photography. I took a couple of pictures I liked, but had trouble figuring out how to use the thing, so I ended up selling [the camera].

Only as of 2012 I decided to take up hiking. I found myself in so many beautiful places, mostly in California—that I had no idea existed— only then did I buy another camera, and never left home without it.  When I began taking a ton of photos, I started to take it more seriously. I wanted a record of the epic beauty in these places I was experiencing.

PBN: There’s a colorful vividness to your photos. How would you describe your style?

TS: As I got the adventure bug, I tried to turn my photos into an art that communicated the feeling of visiting these locations. When I became more familiar with photography, I forced myself to only shoot in Manual and RAW to gain proficiency in the use of exposure, film speed and aperture in order to bring out the colors.

Prairie Dog ready to attack? Devils Tower National Monument [Image: Trevor Simington]

Prairie Dog ready to attack? Devils Tower National Monument [Image Credit: Trevor Simington]

PBN: Is there a preferred camera or lens to achieve that style?

TS: After having several quality point & shoots and DSLRs, I realized that these images needed to be recorded on a full format sensor with quality lenses, so I made the leap to purchase a Nikon D610 and the Nikon 24-70 2.8. Although I’m in need of more lenses and looking to broaden my equipment, I’m surprised by how many wonderful shots you can take with just one lens.

PBN: What’s your favorite image to date?

TS: Well it’s very hard to say as I’m usually attached to an image based off the experience, and the franticness of being at a certain spot at the right time! It seems, I can never arrive at a location I want to photograph with ample time to set up. Although these locations are shot by many, I still believe these are my favorite photographs; I shot it the best I could! (Some of his favorites are on this page.)

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park [Image: Trevor Simington]

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park [Image Credit: Trevor Simington]

PBN: We know you love visiting National Parks. What are some of your favorite parks and why? 

Yes, definitely! I don’t have a favorite National Park since there is always plenty to discover everywhere. It’s surprising how much variety one finds in just one National Park. I can never get enough of Yosemite of course, but equally Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Canyonlands, Arches, and Zion. I also had an incredible time in Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Sequoias and Lake Powell. But Yosemite is probably my “home” park.

PBN: What’s your next outdoor adventure?

TS: I’m excited to explore the canyons of Lake Powell with a paddle board this upcoming May.  It’s one of the most amazing recreational places to visit.

he night sky was at the Trona Pinnacles, California [Image: Trevor Simington]

The night sky at Trona Pinnacles, California [Image Credit: Trevor Simington]

PBN: What’s the strangest thing, person or place you’ve encountered while being in nature?

TS: Probably the time I was hiking the Devils Backbone Trail to Mt. Baldy in Los Angeles.  It wasn’t exactly strange, but I was definitely spooked. I was hiking solo late at night, with the eeriness of the forest trees under a half moon.  As I walked along, I paused when I noticed the silhouette of a dog and its eyes reflecting back at me from my headlamp.  As I looked around I counted eight pairs of eyes hidden in the bushes in all directions around me, then realized it was a pack of coyotes. I’ve never been afraid of coyotes, but no one wants to be ambushed by a pack of coyotes.

My first thought was to yell and turn up the music on my phone, and slowly proceed without showing fear. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t proceed without fear, but they also didn’t seem to care about my presence, so I carried on seeking a good place to campout for the night.

PBN: Lastly, what’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while traveling?

TS: There are probably better lessons to be learned, but I try not to over-plan. Instead I see where the adventure takes me. I think one should be willing to experience anything and appreciate nature as it is. Often people don’t appreciate nature in its entirety. And of course while some areas are considered more beautiful than others, I am easily pleased regardless if desert or pine forest.

[Image: Trevor Simington]

Northern prairies of the Black Hills, South Dakota [Image Credit: Trevor Simington]

See his photos and other submissions featured in the new Pocket Ranger® National Park Passport Guide!

 

Visit Acadia National Park This Year!

Rocky shoreline and girl walking in forest at Acadia National Park [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

Whether on the water or in the woods, there’s so much to see at Acadia National Park! [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

The state of Maine is affectionately known as “Vacationland.” Drive quite a-ways up I-95 North and you’ll reach the crown jewel of Vacationland: Acadia National Park. Acadia’s rugged beauty of craggy mountaintops, rocky beaches, and dense coniferous forest makes it an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Here are a few must-see destinations within the park and some tips that’ll make your next visit to Acadia perfectly align with Maine’s state slogan, “The Way Life Should Be.”

Acadia was the first eastern national park, making it the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River. With so many granite peaks tucked inside the park, hiking is an immensely popular activity. A favorite hike is the short, but thrilling ascent to the top of The Beehive, which overlooks Sand Beach. To summit The Beehive, hikers scale exposed cliffs using iron rungs drilled into the rockface. Once at the top (and after you’ve caught your breath), set your camera to the panoramic setting so you can capture the far-reaching landscape of forest, ocean and mountains in all its glory.

Girl boulders up to the summit of Beehive at Acadia [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

Scramble up The Beehive for a thrilling adventure. [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

The park is also home to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast and one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise each day. To catch the sunrise and beat the crowds, make sure to set your alarm so you get there early. If you’re looking for a longer day hike, we recommend taking on the Bubbles, which offer arguably the most famous views in Acadia. Rising 700-800 feet above sea level, North and South Bubble overlook the picturesque Jordan Pond. On South Bubble, make sure to check out the Bubble Rock, a spherical, glacial erratic perfectly balanced on the summit’s edge.

See Acadia National Park from a sea kayak! [Image Credit: Tiffany Feldman]

See Acadia National Park from a sea kayak! [Image Credit: Tiffany Feldman]

With a number of well-established bike paths, biking is another excellent option for taking in the sights at Acadia. There are many options for affordable bike rentals in nearby Bar Harbor. The bike loop around Eagle Lake is mostly through forest, offering respite on those hot, sunny days. That being said, mosquitos and black flies tend to congregate in the shade, so wear bug spray in the spring and summer months. There are a few pull-offs along the route, perfect for snapping photos of the lake. If you’d rather be on the water, bring along a sea kayak or go through one of Bar Harbor’s kayaking outfitters. Acadia is just as beautiful off-shore, and kayakers get a unique perspective of the landscape. Out on the water, kayakers may catch glimpses of marine animals, such as seals.

In the summertime, head to Sand Beach, one of Maine’s most scenic beaches. It may be only 300 yards in length, but Sand Beach delivers enormous, southern views of the ocean. Just make sure to pack a sweatshirt. In New England, the Atlantic Ocean is notoriously chilly all summer long, and after that initial plunge, you may be scrambling back to shore to get warm.

Sandy beach at Acadia Maine with mountain [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

Don’t forget your camera! Here’s a shot of Sand Beach taken with a Holga camera. [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

The park can also be seen from the comfort of your car or truck. Carriage Road loops around the entire park, giving visitors access to scenic pullovers. If you’re strapped for time, this is the best way to see Acadia. We recommend pulling over at the legendary natural wonder, Thunder Hole. Depending on the tide and weather, massive waves and thunderous sound erupt from this tiny inlet. Take the walkway to the edge of Thunder Hole to see and hear for yourself! This pullover also offers great views of Otter Cliff, Sand Beach and Great Head.

Most of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, but portions of the park are scattered across Isle au Haut and parts of Baker Island, making them accessible only by boat. Since Acadia is a popular destination for summer tourism, those looking for more secluded camping spots should arrive at the national park’s campgrounds early. For early birds, quieter tent sites near the water may be available.

From your picnic table, take in the view of Jordan pond [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

From your picnic table, take in the view of Jordan Pond. [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

For good eats, we heartily recommend heading to the Jordan Pond House for a lunch out on the lawn. Taking its name from the pond it overlooks, this magnificent estate has been a dining tradition since the late 1800s. Start off your lunch with tea & popovers, followed by a bowl of the seafood chowder and a lobster. And don’t forget dessert! Since you’re in Maine, we recommend the Maine Wild Blueberry Sorbet. After lunch, stroll down to the lake or through the handsome gardens kept on the property.

A large schooner sails out of the harbor at Acadia National Park [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

A large schooner sails out of the harbor at Acadia National Park. [Image Credit: Jess Feldman]

Acadia National Park is a favorite escape for many summer tourists. If you’re looking for more tranquility, consider visiting the park closer to the off-seasons, such as late spring. And don’t forget to pack a camera! Photo opportunities abound within the park. Share your pics of Acadia with us on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of our new, free Pocket Ranger® National Parks Passport app!

State Park Ruins

Ruins may have originally been regarded as obstacles to progress, but now they’re admired for their aesthetic and historical properties.

Kinzua Bridge State Park – Ruins of the Kinzua Bridge

State Park Ruins

Kinzua Bridge Ruins
[Image: www.upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Collapsed_Kinzua_Bridge.jpg]

Ruins are physical remains of deliberate destruction, lack of maintenance over many years, or in the case of the Kinzua Bridge, natural disaster. During restoration operations in 2003, the bridge was destroyed by a tornado, leaving some dramatic ruins.

History

Built from iron in 1882 (later rebuilt with steel), the Kinzua Bridge briefly enjoyed the status of world’s tallest railroad bridge (for two years). Now it is the keystone attraction of Kinzua Bridge State Park. This is the only park in Pennsylvania’s state park system that has a man-made structure as its centerpiece.

The tornado brought down 11 of the 20 bridge towers. Now, the park has the Kinzua Sky Walk, made up of an observation deck and a walkway on the still-standing section of the bridge. When getting ready to check out these cool ruins, be sure to download the free Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests Guide!

Sweetwater Creek State Park, New Manchester Manufacturing Company Mill Ruins

State Park Ruins

Textile Mill ruins at Sweetwater Creek State Park, by photographer William Haun
[Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/42432421460526093/]

History

These are the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. This building was a textile mill that was burned during the Civil War. During the Atlanta Campaign in the summer of 1864, General Joseph E. Johnson left the New Manchester Mill exposed when he moved with his confederate army away from the location. Union cavalry units commanded by Major Thompkins and Colonel Silas Adams approached the factory, shut it down, and arrested the employees. Several people have later said that Major Thompkins burned the mill. The ruins still standing today are the brick walls and millrace, a channel that carries water to the water wheel. 

State Park Ruins

Image: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NewManchesterManufacturingCompanyRuins.jpg

A lot of professional photographers like William Haun (above) take compelling pictures of ruins. Ruins can also make great visual metaphors, reminding us of decline in other ways. These classes below at Sweetwater give visitors a great opportunity to explore the ruins as a subject for visual art and creativity!

Upcoming Sweetwater Events

Art In the Park
Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Friday, Apr 18, 2014 1 PM to 3 PM
Bring your canvas and paint, clay, camera, or oil pastels for exclusive access to the interior of the five-story New Manchester Mill. Create your own artwork while you enjoy beautiful views of the Sweetwater Creek rapids alongside the dramatic mill ruins as we welcome spring. Reservations required.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Photography 101 (Class 1-Lighting)
Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek, as we learn about lighting. You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual.  $15 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Photography 101 (Class 2-Composition and Point of View)
Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM
Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek State Park, as we learn about Composition and Point of View. You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual.  $15 plus $5 parking.770-732-5871. Of course you’re going to want to have your free Pocket Ranger® Georgia State Parks app when you visit here!

Ha Ha Tonka State Park Ruins

State Park Ruins

The ruins of Robert Snyder’s mansion
[Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/216735800790097777/]

History

The stone ruins are what is left of the mansion of the wealthy business man who originally developed the area. Modeled after castles of Europe from the 1500s, the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1942. Originally bought by Robert McLure Snyder in 1904, he was quoted as saying this about the area: “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from the worries of business and the excitement of city life. I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion.”

State Park Ruins

Image: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ha-Ha-Tonka.jpg

Now you can check out the area and the caves yourself! See what might have attracted this successful business man here in the first place. For the best way to explore, head over to the Pocket Ranger® Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites app page for the free download. Anybody have any suggestions of other cool state park ruins to visit and photograph?

14 Amazing Nature Photos to Get You Wild for Winter

Ready or not, winter officially arrives this Saturday. Whether you will be welcoming the season with open arms or need a bit of a boost to get into the winter spirit, these amazing nature photos will have you wild about winter in no time.

snowflakes close up

Image: www.weheartit.com/Zyjyfugqhi

Paper snowflakes are no match for the real thing! Catch a snowflake and examine its beautiful intricacies before it melts away.

winter surfing

Image: www.chrisburkard.tumblr.com

Have you packed your surfboard away for the season, or are you more like this brave (crazy?) soul who took to the waves in wintertime? If you’re considering a surf session this season, say a prayer to the wetsuit gods and let this photo be your inspiration!

winter sunset

Image: www.flickr.com/photos/nightgallery

Sunset watching isn’t just for summer! In fact, winter (and autumn) sunsets are more vivid than those at any other time of year. The dry, clear Canadian air that sweeps the country at those times allows more colors of the spectrum to pass through clearly, resulting in dazzling pink, orange and red sunsets.

dog sledding

Image: www.theguardian.com

Look at those slopes! Imagine the possibilities! Skiing, snowboarding, heck, we even see some dog sledding happening! This ski-lift’s-eye view of the mountain is tugging on our snow-loving heartstrings.

bird on glove

Image: www.weheartit.com/LeeSoMang93

Not every bird flies south for the winter, and we bet those who stick around get pretty bored without their bird friends. Maybe that’s why this friendly guy was so quick to land on this gloved hand. Or maybe it was the food! Check out the parks that offer bird watching in your Pocket Ranger® app‘s By Activity section (within the Explore feature) to locate prime birding destinations.

snow

Image: www.day-dreamer-for-now.tumblr.com

Who says winter is always dreary? We love the way the low winter sun causes the snow to sparkle. Take advantage of a beautiful, sunny winter day by heading to the parks with your friends for some fun in the snow. Snowball fight, anyone?

deer in winter

Image: www.weheartit.com/mariamaria11

This deer clearly doesn’t mind getting snowed on, so why should we? Not all animals go into hibernation come wintertime, and winter is an especially gorgeous time for viewing wildlife. If you’re an avid wildlife watcher, you’re in luck, as our family of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife apps is growing fast. Check out our apps page to see if there’s an app for your state.

snowshoeing

Image: www.500px.com/saic749

Strap on those snowshoes; it’s high season for snowy hikes! Crunch and slosh your way through the blankets of snowfall as you take advantage of this magical season for exploring. Snow-covered trees provide a scenic backdrop that even the prettiest of leaves can’t match.

winter camping

Image: www.500px.com/matif

You don’t have to let winter get between you and a night under the stars. Plenty of state parks offer winter camping. Search your Pocket Ranger® app By Activity under the Explore feature, brush up on these winter camping tips, and you’ll be camping like a pro this season.

snowy cabin

Image: www.500px.com/photo/19677389

Turn your snowy excursion into an extended wintertime retreat when you pass a night or two in a cozy, snow-covered cabin. With much of the animal kingdom hibernating the season away, winter is an exceptionally quiet and peaceful time for a nature getaway. Best of all, you can secure reservations at state park cabins through your Pocket Ranger® app, so planning your escape has never been easier.

frozen waterfall

Image: www.makingorangethings.tumblr.com

Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls… unless they’re frozen, in which case, get out there and start exploring! While roaring waterfalls are undoubtedly glorious, we think there’s something even more magnificent about them once winter’s temperatures turns them into ice.

deep snow

Image: www.yourdutyasahuman.tumblr.com

If you’re a winter adventurer, this photo probably leaves you itching to hit the slopes (it sure does us). Do you have a favorite winter activity, or is this the year you plan to try a new winter sport?

winter sky

Image: www.trichardsen.deviantart.com/art/Nightsong-367618459

Long winter nights mean more stargazing opportunities! Winter makes for excellent sky-watching, as the season’s cold, dry air is free of the humidity and haze that can cloud summer skies. The Geminid meteor shower dazzles in mid-December, while the short but sweet Quadrantid shower rains down just after the new year. Many state parks host star gazing events, so check your Pocket Ranger® app‘s Calendar of Events before you head out. 

dog in snow

Image: www.flickr.com/photos/hirttosolmu

Don’t forget that our four-legged friends love to play in the snow just as much as we do! Luckily, with their luscious fur coats, our beloved canine friends are much lower maintenance snow-goers than we humans are. No fussy cold weather preparations necessary!

We hope our amazing nature photos have helped get you in the mood for winter. Whether you’re looking forward to the season or not, we want to hear all about your thoughts on winter in the comments!

Taking A Stunning Trophy Photo

Contributed by Bill Howard, of Bill Howard’s Outdoors

The saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Many of us have learned to take a camera whenever we are out on our hunting and fishing trips, so as to not miss that golden photo that will memorialize a great adventure. Especially with not only the advent of cameras embedded in our cell phones, but cameras and software on our cell phones that can exceed even professional equipment from just a few years back, we all have the opportunity to enhance the memories of our excursions.

ParksByNature released the Trophy Case app for Android-based phones in September, so I figured this would be an ideal time to discuss how to take photos that make a statement.

Last year I came across a photo of Emily Anderson of Colorado after a successful out-of-state deer hunt. The image consisted of the deer in sharp focus in the foreground with Emily slightly blurred and standing several yards away with her hands and bow outstretched above her head. That image said everything. It had the deer stand out as the main subject. It also captured Emily’s exhilaration yet showed she was not the main focus of the photo.

Bill Kohls, of Bill Kohls Media in Winston-Salem, NC, has a penchant for catching some of these types of moments. I spoke with Bill about some tips he could share so we could put together a shot of a lifetime. Here are a few he pointed out:

Unique point of view:

The number one mistake I see new photographers make is that they always take their shots from a standing, straight-on position. This is boring and brings nothing new to the eye of the viewer. I am always moving around in the boat or yak to get a cool angle that you don’t normally see.

Angles:

This can be a huge friend to me in the field. By trying a few different angles you may be able to show the off the size of the trophy. Another tip for angles is always having something in your photos to show the size of the subject relative to something smaller. This will exaggerate the size of the trophy. For example, if I have an angler with a large fish I try to focus on the fish’s larger features like its poked out eyes, wide mouth or gut. For a large animal I would aim at its rack, shoulders or tail—something that would set the animal apart from the average ones. Also, put something else in the photo like the lure or the gun to show the size of the animal.

Trophy Case Photo

Time of Day:

If you can help it, shoot your photos during lower light times of the day. Sunrise-11:00 am/3:00 pm-Sunset. This is the best light for natural light photography. Shooting during lunch time can be hard due to the intense light rays.

Poses:

Everyone knows the “hold the fish out as far as you can trick”. Instead of having the same pose as everyone out there, hold the fish differently. Use two hands and hold the fish with its mouth open at the camera, or have the angler be down on one knee—anything to set the photo apart.

Sun:

Use the sun to light your subject. Always have your back to the sun when photographing a trophy to catch all the detail.

Trophy Case Photo

By following these tips you can take a photo from a “that’s a nice fish” comment to a “Wow!” reaction. After all, once the season begins and you bring down that trophy of a lifetime, your epic photo will look great along with the story I submit to the editor. You can reach Bill at bill@billkohlsmedia.com or on Facebook by searching Bill Kohls Media.

11 Amazing Photos to Get You Psyched for Summer

Summer is finally here! If warm weather and GeoChallenges aren’t enough inspiration to get you pumped for summertime in the parks (although we’re doubtful that could possibly be the case), here are eleven stunning photos that are sure to do the trick!

Image: www.haleymclain.tumblr.com

Image: www.haleymclain.tumblr.com

If the smell of burning leaves is the scent of autumn, and pine is the scent of winter, then meat on the grill is surely the official Eau de Summer. One whiff of a burning grill is enough to make us wish the season could last forever. Too bad this photo isn’t scratch and sniff!

tumblr_mkwp25jZqg1ro2ulro1_500

Image: www.menino-levado.tumblr.com

When Nat King Cole sang about those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” he could easily have been envisioning something like this.

Image: www.captainkimo.com

Image: www.captainkimo.com

What other time of year can you head to the beach to watch the sunrise without freezing your keister off?

Image: www.captainkimo.com

Image: www.swingsweetnightengale90.tumblr.com

We always want s’more s’mores, those delectable summertime treats. We think that waiting all year for summer to roll around and bring s’more season is well worth it!

Image: www.indianapublicmedia.org

Image: www.indianapublicmedia.org

Not everyone loves thunder and lightning, but if you do, you’re surely looking forward to sizzling summer days and late afternoon thunderstorms. We suspect the booming thunder is Mother Nature’s way of clapping her hands in celebration of summer’s arrival. The lightning? Celebratory fireworks!

Image: www.photography.nationalgeographic.com

Image: www.photography.nationalgeographic.com

Everyone should agree that the post-storm rainbow is a sight we all enjoy. April showers bring May flowers, and summer storms bring RAINBOWS!

Image: www.weheartit.com/entry/64006244/via/annaloveannabelle

Image: www.weheartit.com/entry/64006244/via/annaloveannabelle

Splish, splash, you don’t have to be taking a bath to while away the summer hours in the water. Head to the beautiful state park beaches for a relaxing dip or an invigorating swim.

Image: www.jefflevingston.tumblr.com

Image: www.jefflevingston.tumblr.com

Family fishing trips are better than ever when enjoyed during a pleasant summer afternoon. Bonus points if you cook your catch on the grill!

Image: www.ohpioneer.com

Image: www.ohpioneer.com

Surf’s up at many of the state park beaches! Grab your board and head to the shore to spend a day riding waves – no wet suit necessary!

Image: www.onceaglimpse.tumblr.com

Image: www.onceaglimpse.tumblr.com

Finally, it’s warm enough to try out a teepee (or any of these other cool alternatives to a traditional campsite that you’ve been dreaming about). Of course, old school camping is always fun too, and luckily the summer temperatures welcome any kind of snoozing in the great outdoors.

Image: jefflevingston.tumblr.com

Image: www.jefflevingston.tumblr.com

As desktop wallpapers in office computers nationwide can attest, people spend a good chunk of their time gazing at, dreaming about, and wanting to visit the beach. Now that it’s summer, we finally can! The beaches at plenty of America’s state parks offer stellar sands, welcoming waters and endless recreational opportunities.

To plan a trip to the beach, family camping excursion, fishing adventure, or any other summer activity of your choice, simply search your Pocket Ranger® app to find the perfect state park destination, and get ready for a day of fun in the sun!

Nature Spotting: Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Nebraska

Set your sights on Pocket Ranger®’s outdoor photo of the week, and let your senses guide you towards adventure.

Image: www.globalhonk.com

Our research typically takes us to the farthest corners of the US. We’ve trekked portions of the Appalachian Trail while getting to know Virginia and North Carolina state parks, golfed in Kentucky, fished from the streams in Georgia and done our fair share of exploring the New York’s backcountry (and we don’t mean a back alley in New York City). By far, the best part of putting the Pocket Ranger®apps together is adventuring through the state parks while we gather material.

It was quite a busy spring and summer season for us, working feverishly to bring you the new Nebraska State Park Pocket Ranger® app. Though it’s been several months since we visited Nebraska, fall brings us back to one of our first visits to the state and the beautiful Mahoney State Park. Naturally, the state’s most visited state park (More than one million annual visits just last year!) had plenty of activities and amenities for us to enjoy. Afterall, it’s known as the park for all seasons because of its wide range of activities available year round. They include horseback trail rides, fishing, boating, golfing, softball and volleyball. Its numerous campsites, fishing areas and trails make it appealing for the rugged outdoorsmen while its modern amenities, such as water slides and cabins, help draw visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort or convenience. We were blown away by the vast terrain and its proximity to other great attractions Nebraska has to offer, including Strategic Air and Space Museum and Nebraska Wildlife Safari. We’ll be looking forward to cross-country skiing and ice fishing during our next visit later this year.

This fall, Pocket Ranger® will introduce the Nebraska Fish & Wildlife app, the ultimate hunting and fishing guide for Nebraska’s outdoorsmen and women. The app will feature information on the various hunting seasons, bag limits, rules and regulations, and where to sign up for a hunting permit. Anglers will also benefit from this information. Getting ready to enjoy the winter hunting season in Nebraska? Be sure to sign up for the Pocket Ranger® newsletter and be the first download the new, FREE app!