Autumn is in full swing and we have some recommendations for you to enjoy this season in the national parks.

An image from Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the view of an open, yellow field is framed with tree branches hanging above, and in the distance autumn turned trees line the field and cover the rolling mountains in the background

Autumn in the Parks

A large cluster of trees with leaves that have turned yellow, orange, and red for fall in Grand Teton National Park

Celebrate the change in seasons by taking in the colorful foliage at national parks! Whether you’re hitting the road for a scenic drive, lacing up your boots for a hike, or riding through the leaves on horseback, national parks coast to coast offer unique ways to leaf peep this fall.

Parks Make Classroom Lessons Come Alive

Two children look at a skull fossil replica while on a hike

Fall has arrived and students are back in school. The National Park Foundation is proud to provide field trip grants to illuminate the real-world applications of what they learn in the classroom. What better place to see, touch, and explore concepts than in our nation’s public lands? Get a glimpse of the types of field trip adventures that NPF’s Open OutDoors for Kids program makes possible in America’s spectacular outdoor classrooms – our national parks!

Washington Monument Reopens

A sunset view of the Washington Monument with the reflecting pool mirroring the monument in the foreground and lights from monuments dotting the National Mall grounds

Supporting national parks has always been a team sport and the Washington Monument is no exception. Thanks to the collective efforts of the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, and businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein, we can all once again step inside this iconic monument and experience its history and stunning views. And when you visit, we recommend sticking around until sunset. Thanks to a partnership with Musco Lighting, the Washington Monument now shines like never before!

National Christmas Tree Lighting

The National Christmas Tree glowing bright during the 2018 lighting ceremony, with the White House gleaming in the background

Already thinking about the holidays? The 97th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place Thursday, December 5 on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House). Together with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation is pleased to co-host this time-honored holiday tradition. The ticket lottery opens at 10a.m. EDT on October 15 and will remain open until 10a.m. EDT on October 21. For more updates and details, please visit

Get Your Free National Park Owner's Guides

National Park Foundation Owners Guides

Make your national park experience better than ever. These FREE downloadable national park Owner's Guides are filled with travel tips and information on must-see spots. It's your one-stop resource to discover all your national parks! Download today.

Support Your Parks

A collage of National Park Foundation merchandise

Show off your love for America’s
national parks with NPF gear!

Three people bike along a path in Acadia National Park, fall trees line the trail and a small rock bridge crosses the path in the distance

Make a difference for America's treasured places – today and for years to come.

A Win-Win for People and Parks

A view of the back of a young adult holding a shovel horizontally, across their shoulders while wearing a hard hat, work gloves, and a Tshirt that says 'Southeast Conservation Corps' while standing in a forested area

Service corps support diverse leaders and national parks at the same time. Helping national parks with projects ranging from invasive species removal, to historical preservation, to trail restoration, to community engagement, service corps also provide on-the-job training for its members, developing leadership skills, teamwork, and raising awareness about the myriad of public lands career paths. Now that’s what we call a win-win for people and parks! Find out how the National Park Foundation and partners are expanding service corps impact across the country.

How Kansas Became a Place of Hope

Two old, weather worn buildings on the horizon, sit in a golden wheat field

A testament to the brave men and women who settled difficult Kansas terrain in the hope of building a town where they could live free from oppression, Nicodemus National Historic Site honors the “Exodusters” who moved west during the Reconstruction period. Through the National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, children are learning about this important story and town while standing in the Nicodemus Town Hall itself.

Finding Frederick Douglass in the Parks

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is a white, two story home, with black shutters, a red roof, and a wide open front porch. It's sitting on a little hill with trees around the lush lawn and a flag pole near the porch.

One of the most widely recognized icons of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass escaped slavery in Baltimore to become one of the most inspiring orators and writers of his time. Follow along his incredible journey through multiple locations in the National Park System that honor his work and legacy, from the Boston hall where he gave rousing speeches to his Washington, D.C. home.

Don't be Trashy

A view into the woods of Yosemite National Park where the trees are dense, the underbrush is lush and green, while the tree leaves are changing from green to bright yellow and red

Over 300 million people visit the national parks each year, bringing in and generating millions of tons of trash. From plastic to food waste to discarded clothing, the waste brought into national parks can pollute our country's most pristine wilderness and wildlife. Check out our helpful tips for reducing your waste impact while enjoying everyone’s favorite park pastimes.

Tales of Legend and Lore

Collage of merchandise from the Find Your Park store, including a ceramic camping mug, a sweatshirt, a water bottle, a beanie hat, and a book of campfire stories

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls, oh my! Check out our Campfire Stories, a collection of terrifying tales that are sure to add a bit of fright to your fall campfire. So bundle up, grab a thermos of hot apple cider, and gather ‘round for these spooky stories. But don’t blame us if you end up sleeping with the lights on. Not feeling so daring? The Official Find Your Park Store carries lots of other fun activities and gear for when you #FindYourPark this fall. The best part? One hundred percent of the proceeds from your purchase go to the National Park Foundation to help preserve and protect America’s greatest treasures.

This Month's Quiz

An aerial image of autumn turned trees on tall, lakeside cliffs in Voyageurs National Park

Which national park unit honors the founder of the American Red Cross?

And congratulations to last month's winner, Regina Pirruccello, from Portland, Oregon, who knew that you see and touch rocks that are half the age of the Earth at Voyageurs National Park. The oldest rock in the park is 2.8 billion years old, which is among the oldest rocks on the North American continent.

Way to go, Regina!

National Park Foundation, GoParks newsletter graphic cover image of Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the view of an open, yellow field is framed with tree branches hanging above, and in the distance autumn turned trees line the field and cover the rolling mountains in the background

Wow! Where Is That?

Curious which park is featured at the top of this newsletter? Find out now!

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