Down East Road Trip – Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A Park Frozen in Time, Nestled in the Heart of Urban Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Brandywine Falls

As we have come to discover as we’ve embarked on a few of these National Park survey trip over the years, there never seems to be quite enough time. Of course, this is a product of how we plan our road trips – with a desire to sample as many parks as possible – and more often than not it leaves us with hopes of revisiting these parks on an extended or dedicated trip in the future. Such was certainly the case with Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Down East Road Trip – Shenandoah National Park

A Flyby Visit along the Ridges and Ravines of Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park - Rabbit at Breakfast

Because of our tight schedule, we had only a few hours to explore Shenandoah National Park. We certainly didn’t give the park the time it deserved, but despite our whirlwind adventure, we saw more wildlife, big and small, in Shenandoah, than we had seen in any other park.

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Down East Road Trip – The Blue Ridge Parkway

469 Miles of Grandeur Without a Single Stop Sign

Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway

Over the years, we’ve logged many miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway – from rainy spring afternoons to brisk autumn mornings – though we’ve never come close to driving the full 469 miles of the parkway. But on this trip, we decided to rectify that problem. So, we set aside two full days to wind our way from the end of the Parkway near Cherokee, NC to its nexus in Rockfish Gap, VA. We may have had some hiccups along the way…

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Down East Road Trip – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Finding Quiet in the Smoky Mountains on a Very Busy 4th of July Weekend

Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Sunset on Clingmans Dome

So… When we were planning our trip early this year, we knew many of the parks we visited can be busy during the summer, and while we planned around much of the busyness by visiting the most popular parks during mid-week, we weren’t so lucky with the Smoky Mountains. While our first park of the trip, Mammoth Caves, was relatively quiet, The Smokey Mountains were quite the opposite. Yet even so, the park is big by eastern standards and we were able to find spots of quiet respite along the way.

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Down East Road Trip – Mammoth Cave National Park

Exploring the largest cave system in the world and the park above it

This summer, we had the great privilege of escaping the sweltering Florida heat and spending five weeks on the road, photographing most of the national parks east of the Mississippi, as well as a half dozen or so other National Park Service monuments, memorials and battlefields along the way. Our first stop was Mammoth Cave National Park.

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