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Theodore Roosevelt’s North Dakota: Badlands, Bison, and the Making of a Conservationist — Smithsonian Associates

Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota

In 1883, Theodore Roosevelt looked to the Badlands of western North Dakota as a place where he could transform himself from an asthmatic 24-year-old New Yorker into a big-game hunter, rancher, and authentic cowboy. A year later, it took on new meaning as a place of refuge and solace after the deaths of his wife and mother.

Experience landscapes — filled with dramatic vistas, vividly colored canyons, and wandering herds of wild bison — on a 5-day study tour led by author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley that brings you into the heart of Roosevelt’s Badlands and the national park that bears his name.

Various Prices

Fall Tree Walk through the Regional Garden (On-site Tour)

U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, United States

Spend an autumn evening strolling through the Regional Garden, where native fall fruits are abundant and splashes of leaf color are beginning to show through. Join Melanie as you walk and learn to identify trees of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain. During the walk, Melanie will guide you in identifying tupelo, hop-hornbeam, red buckeye, pawpaw, common persimmon, oaks, and many other native trees. She will also share some of the arboreal history of Washington, D.C., which has long been known as the “City of Trees,” and offer ideas for self-guided tree tours in and around the nation’s capital.

Nature Hike in the Potomac Gorge at Carderock, Maryland — Smithsonian Associates

Billy Goat Trail C North Parking Lot, Carderock., MD, United States

Join author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley for an autumn nature hike in the scenic Potomac Gorge at Carderock, Maryland, and learn how to forest bathe. Hike on the Billy Goat Trail, section C, starting at the Carderock climbing area. The trail offers dramatic river vistas and passes through a mature forest of oaks, hickories, maples, beeches, black walnuts, and sycamores. Stop along the route to admire trees with their autumn foliage and fruit, notice birds and other wildlife, and see wildflowers. Midway in the walk, enjoy a few moments of forest bathing, quietly appreciating the splendor of the surroundings. The hike returns to the Carderock climbing area parking lot on the C&O Canal towpath.

$55 – $75

Politics and Prose: Capitol Tree Walk with Author Melanie Choukas-Bradley

U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum Washington, DC, United States

Join naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and several other nature books, for a fall walking tour of the historic and botanically diverse trees of the U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum (the new official name of the site). The visit offers the chance to admire trees in early autumn splendor including several species of maple and magnolia, century-old oaks, pecans, giant sequoia, and the intriguing jujube. Many of the trees, such as oaks, pecans, black walnuts and dogwoods, will be bearing fall fruit, a perfect time to study and appreciate them.