Posts Tagged ‘national parks’

Thompsons Water Seal Supports National Parks with Facebook Contest

July 30, 2011

A scene in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado. Thompson’s®Water Seal® is offering the chance to win one of five annual passes to more than 2,000 National Parks and federal recreational sites in the “Just Park It” summer contest © 2011 Karen Rubin/

No matter how delightful your deck, sometimes you need to vary your view. That’s why Thompson’s®Water Seal® is offering the chance to win one of five annual passes to more than 2,000 National Parks and federal recreational sites in the “Just Park It” summer contest.

Simply travel to the Thompson’s Water Seal Facebook page ( between now and August 15 and follow all of the instructions for completing the online form, including providing a short written entry about which National Park you would like to visit and why. Five winners will receive the America the Beautiful Pass, valued at $80, valid for 12 months. Each pass admits one car, with up to four adults, for limitless visits throughout the year. (There is no admission charge for children under 16.)

Stumped for a reason why you should enter? How about getting a chance to see:

  • The highest point in North America, Mt. McKinley at 20,320 feet (Denali National Park and Preserve)
  • The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Death Valley National Park, CA
  • The longest cave system in the world with more than 345 miles mapped (Mammoth Cave National Park, KY)
  • The nation’s deepest cave at 1,593 feet deep (Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM)
  • The deepest lake (1,932 feet) in the United States (Crater Lake National Park, OR)
  • The second and third largest natural bridges in the world (Natural Bridges National Monument, UT)

The Thompson’s Water Seal VIP Program (Very Important Places) supports the preservation of structures at some of America’s premier national parks, including Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Thompson’s®Water Seal®Deck & House Solid Latex Stain is also used to protect the Cave of the Winds decks at Niagara Falls State Park. Videos documenting the brand’s efforts in the parks can be seen on the Facebook page.

Spend a few minutes at Facebook, and you could spend an entire year exploring more than 84 million acres of national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails in every state (except Delaware). You’ll return to your own backyard with a whole new world view.

Families Unplug and Tune In to the Greater Outdoors at Aramark Parks and Destinations

July 12, 2011

Let your kids unplug and tune in to the wondrous outdoors at national parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Unplugging your kids on summer vacation doesn’t have to be a daunting task for parents. A great way to keep kids interested in what’s happening outside, instead of on their favorite TV show, is to take your family to an area rich with outdoor activities, and free from connectivity. ARAMARK Parks and Destinations can help families do just that through its lodges and activities in some of America’s most beautiful (and often times disconnected) places including: Mesa Verde, Olympic and Shenandoah National Parks, Lake Powell, Lake Tahoe and Northwestern Wyoming.

Many of these rustic locations are far from cell towers or internet connectivity, making them the perfect places for parents to help their kids withdrawal from electronics—cold turkey. But not to fret, a lack of technology does not mean a lack of fun. To help keep even the most tech-addicted child (or parent) entertained, these lodges feature a number of outdoor activities from guided hikes, kayaking, white water rafting and rock climbing, where kids will forget their digital devices as they drink in the fun of the great outdoors.

Just because these places aren’t connected, doesn’t mean they aren’t sophisticated. ARAMARK Parks and Destinations prides itself on its first-class cuisine, featuring local and sustainable ingredients prepared in unique and different ways. Such acclaimed recipes include Mesa Verde’s Metate Room’s Turkey Napoleon which is a tribute to the wild turkeys that still roam the Mesa, and were a staple of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived on the Mesa 1,300 years ago; and Shenandoah’s Pollock Dining Room’s Chicken Riesling with locally raised chicken braised in Virginia wine with seasonal, local fruit.

Here are some examples:

Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

The United State’s second largest man-made lake is a boating paradise. With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, sapphire blue water and red cliffs, it’s easy to escape the digital world at Lake Powell while on a houseboat. Many houseboats do come with a TV in case you need a little digital distraction. Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, 100 Lake Shore Drive, Page, AZ 86040, 888-896-3829.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

In the heart of the West’s “Grand Circle” of national parks, Mesa Verde is the only national park established to protect the work of man. Far View Lodge offers three tours within the park that will show your children how the Ancestral Puebloans, who lived at Mesa Verde from 550-1300 AD, lived before the invention of the wheel—let alone the internet. Rooms at Far View are free of televisions or phones, the lobby does have wifi. (Far View Lodge Mesa Verde, National Park P.O. Box 277, Mancos, CO 81328, 800-449-2288,  602-331-5210

Olympic National Park, Washington

On Washington’s Olympic peninsula, ARAMARK’s three lodges within the national park: Kalaloch Lodge, Lake Crescent Lodge and Sol Duc Lodge are each in a different eco system within this diverse park of rainforest, sub-alpine and coastal bluffs.

All three properties have spotty (at best) cell service and no available wifi. Rooms do not come with televisions or phones. The area is well known for hiking and fishing and also offers beach combing, kayaking/canoeing and hot springs for a relaxing dip.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park was established 75 years ago as a natural retreat for city dwellers, a task it still undertakes to this day. Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort are both historic properties, built in 1939 and 1878, respectively. They lack cell service and wifi, and many rooms do not have televisions or phones. Shenandoah is home to over 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The park also offers horseback riding, rock climbing and nearby cultural attractions. ARAMARK Shenandoah National Park Lodging
P.O. Box 727, Luray, VA 22835, 888-896-3833

Togwotee Mountain Lodge, Wyoming

Togwotee Mountain Lodge is the perfect jumping off place for a Wyoming vacation with its close proximity to Wyoming’s top three attractions: Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the town of Jackson. In addition, Togwotee is close to a lot of regional outdoor activities from river floats to rodeos, giving you plenty of opportunity to rip your child’s eyes away from the electronics. While Togwotee does boast wifi and TVs in its cabins, you’ll be so busy doing outdoor activities, you won’t have any time to check what’s happening on Facebook. Togwotee Mountain Lodge, PO Box 91 Moran (Jackson Hole), Wyoming 83013, 866-278-4245, Email Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Zephyr Cove Resort, Lake Tahoe California/Nevada

When Mark Twain first saw Lake Tahoe he declared that it was “the fairest picture the world affords.” The high alpine lake, deep in the Sierra Nevada still has this impact on people today. Zephyr Cove Resort features some of the only lake-front cabins on the lake. To entertain your tech withdrawing kids, there is a plethora of beach activities, water craft rentals, horseback riding and scenic cruises aboard the two paddlewheel boats. Some cruises feature entertainment from a Mark Twain impersonator or guitarist. While the cabins do feature televisions, wifi and some cell service, with such a beautiful lake right outside your door, even the most tech-addicted kid will have trouble staying indoors. Zephyr Cove Resort & Lake Tahoe Cruises, 760 U.S. Hwy 50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448, 775-589-4906.

See also:

Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park make adventure accessible, affordable and slideshow

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June Begins a Summer Full of Fun In the National Wildlife Refuge System

May 26, 2011

Roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, The National Wildlife Refuge system hosts wonderful events throughout the summer. © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Enjoy a summer of fun in the National Wildlife Refuge system.

National Fishing and Boating Week
What better time to teach a child to fish than on National Fishing and Boating Week, and what better place than a national wildlife refuge? Many refuges will host youth fishing derbies and other public events in June to mark this yearly celebration of fishing and boating, sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Refuge Events Calendar
Summer, glorious summer, ushers in a rush of family events on national wildlife refuges. Paddle trips, fishing rodeos, butterfly counts and scavenger hunts in the night sky are just some of the adventures planned. Come see why it’s always a good time to visit a national wildlife refuge.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit


From Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island to Manatee Park

Where to Be Wild in Palm Beach County and slideshow

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