Nearly one third of children from six months to six years live in households where the TV is on most of the time.The National Park Service (NPS) Junior Ranger program brings children ages 5 – 12 outdoors, replacing TV, computer, and mobile devices with trees, trails and nature studies. Junior Ranger handbooks, maps and activity sheets are available thru the NPS website, through the links below or they may be picked up at any NPS park visitor center.
FRIENDS works with the NPS Junior Ranger program to involve children in conservation and volunteerism and helps fund the Blue Ridge Parkway program and materials. Close to 2,000 children participate annually. Our volunteers also provide special FRIENDS Junior Ranger activities and events such as our Kids Fishing program, Save Parkway Views viewshed planting events.
To become a Junior Ranger, children will need the handbook, Parkway map and one activity sheet. They must complete all the activities in the handbook and at least three of the activities on the activity sheet. Then they may bring the completed materials to any park visitor center for a Ranger to check their answers. Rangers are typically available from Memorial Day through October. New Junior Rangers will receive a badge, certificate and sticker for their handbook.
Families can travel the Parkway with their Junior Rangers to complete activity sheets that are connected to locations along the way. The materials include games such as Parkway Bingo, which lets Junior Rangers circle sites they see on the Parkway and word games relating to things they might see or do.
Junior Rangers also participate in special Junior Ranger activities and events throughout the year.
The website Kids in Parks also has a variety of activities related to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In past years, children have participating in planting trees to improve Parkway viewsheds, hiked and cleared trails, and helped build bridges over Parkway creeks. Students from elementary and high schools have also worked along the Parkway. In the spring of 2010, for example, more than one hundred 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders amazed the Park Service by cleaning 105 campsites at the Roanoke Mountain Campground and painting and resurfacing them with gravel—in less than four hours!
|Milepost 8.5||Humpback Rocks|
|Milepost 63.6||James River|
|Milepost 86||Peaks of Otter|
|Mileposts 120-176||Roanoke and Mabry Mill|
|Milepost 213||Blue Ridge Music Center|
|Mileposts 294-297||Moses Cone and Julian Price Park|
|Milepost 316.4||Linville Falls|
|Mileposts 367-384||Craggy Gardens and Asheville|
|Mileposts 238-244.7||Brinegar Cabin and Doughton Park|