Exploring Sound

A coyote calls to its kind from a snowy, wilderness location.
The call of a coyote is a beautiful natural sound that carries across the landscape. NPS / Bryan Harry

In order to fully appreciate and understand the importance of soundscapes in parks as well as your everyday life, you must experience and explore sound for yourself. To enhance your soundscape experience, follow our suggested tips, including simple yet effective approaches you can take to make a difference in the park soundscape.

Visit our sound gallery to listen to some of the sounds you might experience in the national parks, from natural sounds—birds, mammals, geological, meteorological sounds—to cultural sounds—cannon fire, Native American music, sensation jazz, reveille—and human-caused sounds—boat, motorcycle, jet, snowmobile, car alarm. Watch National Park Service videos for inspiration and information about soundscape environments, and the research and field work being done to protect them.

NSNSD summarizes sound measurements taken in national parks in a Natural Resource Report report series.

If you are a teacher or park interpreter looking for fun and informative soundscape activities to share with students or park visitors, then visit our Teaching Materials page.

Waves crash against rocks along the coast of Acadia National Park.

Listen Up!

A gallery of captivating sounds recorded in national parks

Solar powered audio recording equipment is installed in a clearing in evergreen forest

Get Inspired!

Video clips introduce the wonder and science of soundscapes

A woman sits on the sandy shore of a riverbank in a wilderness mountain canyon.

Close Your Eyes!

Tips to enhance the soundscape in your everyday life

Last updated: February 16, 2018