America's Great Outdoors
No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past like Crater Lake National Park.Photo: National Park Service

No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past like Crater Lake National Park.

Photo: National Park Service

Sunrise over Shenandoah National Park in Virginia last weekend.Photo: National Park Service

Sunrise over Shenandoah National Park in Virginia last weekend.

Photo: National Park Service

Wild ice views of Telaquana Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve from an overflight this past Monday. Photo: National Park Service

Wild ice views of Telaquana Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve from an overflight this past Monday. 

Photo: National Park Service

A geomagnetic storm earlier this week caused an explosion of color as the northern lights danced across the starry sky over Denali National Park. Photo by Daniel A. Leifheit

A geomagnetic storm earlier this week caused an explosion of color as the northern lights danced across the starry sky over Denali National Park.

Photo by Daniel A. Leifheit

Up for a trip to northern Maine? If so, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot for winter sports. This time of year, the refuge in Limestone, offers seven groomed miles of trails perfect for snowshoeing and skiing. If you’re not the cold weather type, and of the angling persuasion, wait until late spring and summer when the refuge hosts an annual fishing derby. Originally part of the Loring Air Force Base, the refuge was founded in 1998 with a primary focus of forest and grassland management.Besides removing the Cold War-era military buildings and demolishing fences and railways, the refuge manages around 400 acres of grasslands. Biologists have even investigated using some of the abandoned military bunkers for artificial bat hibernacula! (Really, it’s true; click here) Located in a part of Maine dominated by potato and broccoli farming, the refuge is key in preserving the northern Maine forests and its wildlife, including upland sandpipers and neotropical migratory birds. If that’s not enough to get you up there, this photo should do the trick.Photo: Sharon Wallace/USFWS

Up for a trip to northern Maine? If so, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot for winter sports. This time of year, the refuge in Limestone, offers seven groomed miles of trails perfect for snowshoeing and skiing. If you’re not the cold weather type, and of the angling persuasion, wait until late spring and summer when the refuge hosts an annual fishing derby. Originally part of the Loring Air Force Base, the refuge was founded in 1998 with a primary focus of forest and grassland management.

Besides removing the Cold War-era military buildings and demolishing fences and railways, the refuge manages around 400 acres of grasslands. Biologists have even investigated using some of the abandoned military bunkers for artificial bat hibernacula! (Really, it’s true; click here) Located in a part of Maine dominated by potato and broccoli farming, the refuge is key in preserving the northern Maine forests and its wildlife, including upland sandpipers and neotropical migratory birds. If that’s not enough to get you up there, this photo should do the trick.

Photo: Sharon Wallace/USFWS

Winter sunset over Arches National Park - Utah.Photo: Jacob W. Frank

Winter sunset over Arches National Park - Utah.

Photo: Jacob W. Frank

Snow is a great insulator. So is fur— something this red fox certainly must appreciate! This fox was photographed on the The Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges, which were established to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity, including brown bears, the Alaska Peninsula caribou herds, moose, sea otters and other marine mammals, salmon, shore birds and other migratory birds, and raptors, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons.Photo credit: Photo: Bob Dreeszen - USFWS 

Snow is a great insulator. So is fur— something this red fox certainly must appreciate! This fox was photographed on the The Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges, which were established to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity, including brown bears, the Alaska Peninsula caribou herds, moose, sea otters and other marine mammals, salmon, shore birds and other migratory birds, and raptors, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons.Photo credit:

Photo: Bob Dreeszen - USFWS 

Trees blanketed in white, deep powder snow at your feet and sunshine welcoming a blue sky day in Rocky Mountain National Park.Photo by C. Brindle 2/2/14

Trees blanketed in white, deep powder snow at your feet and sunshine welcoming a blue sky day in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Photo by C. Brindle 2/2/14

The sequoias look pretty nice this time of year.Photo from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park provided by the National Park Service.

The sequoias look pretty nice this time of year.

Photo from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park provided by the National Park Service.

A beautiful sunrise over Lake Clark National Park and Preserve yesterday morning.Photo: National Park Service

A beautiful sunrise over Lake Clark National Park and Preserve yesterday morning.

Photo: National Park Service