Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
Happy New Year! 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us, but it wasn’t too shabby for the website. One positive of furloughs, cancelled parties, and vacations is more time to work on the blog. With the exception of a long summer weekend in Vermont, we canceled all our travel plans due to Covid restrictions. I took photography day trips to local parks in the early morning hours to avoid crowds.
I’ve collaborated with some great people this year to keep things interesting. Through photo features, Diverse NPS highlights, and guest posts I was able to keep the blog from being entirely New Jersey-based. Still, half of this year’s top 10 were local sites.
Top ten most popular posts from 2020►
Runner Up: Hamilton Grange Virtual Tour
I published this revisit of the Grange with a link to the virtual tour in April. The post received an average amount of attention at that time. But in July, when Disney released Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton fever set in. My post was tweeted on the musical’s page and went viral for a few days.
10: East Point Lighthouse
I visited this South Jersey gem during the 20th Anniversary Lighthouse Challenge Weekend in 2019. It is the second oldest lighthouse in NJ.
9: Kalalau Lookout
This was one of our last stops on our epic 2019 Hawaii adventure. In Kōkeʻe State Park, this lookout provides stunning views of the Kalalau Valley.
8: Blues Overlook
While on our 2017 Utah road trip, we stopped at this overlook in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It looks out on Powell Point.
7: Ellis Island
I covered Ellis Island a few times in 2020, but this post on the Museum of Immigration was your favorite.
6: Waterloo Village
I’ve visited this open-air museum in Allamuchy Mountain State Park in New Jersey many times over the years. It was a bustling canal town in the 1800s.
5: Royal Kona Coffee Center
This is more of a tourist attraction than a museum or park. I guess people really like coffee because this post resonated with many of you.
4: Philmont Scout Ranch
This was a guest post by journalism major Dylan. He shared his adventure at this New Mexico Boy Scout center.
3: Grand Canyon
For Grand Canyon National Park‘s 101st birthday, I shared the video normally shown in the visitor center. Like me, many of you didn’t have the chance to watch the film when visiting the Grand Canyon.
2: Maurice River
I visited the Maurice National Scenic and Recreational River while in South Jersey during the 2019 Lighthouse Challenge. Congress designated 29 miles of the river under the Wild and Scenic River program in 1993 because of its importance as a link between the Pine Barrens and the Delaware Bay ecosystems.
1: Osprey Cam
My most popular post in 2020 was the live-stream of the osprey nest at South Cape May Meadows Nature Preserve. From May until September, we watched an osprey pair successfully hatch and raise three chicks. During the long months of shutdowns and restrictions, it was lovely to check in on the Osprey family periodically. The preserve shut the camera off after everyone flew south. Hopefully it will be back on in the Spring.