There is an adventure waiting for you at your nearest National Park. It’s National Parks Celebration, this year marks the centennial celebration of The National Park Services. Believe it or not there are some 412 National Parks across the country for public pleasure. Since 1916, NPS has been preserving natural and cultural resources for the education and enjoyment of the National Park System around the country. They are the organization that keeps things going, teaming up with groups, tribes, citizens, local government, businesses within their own communities to help maintain their history and heritage. And ultimately retaining a fabric of American history.
The National Park Service is 100 but parks existed before then, in fact Yellowstone National Park is the first established national park. On March 1, 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act to keep the two million acres in Wyoming and Montana sacred. Free from development, purchase, vandalism so that people could enjoy it in all it’s glory. It was the model for other establishments around the country.
Because of the tall order to safeguard landmarks in the country there are more than 200-thousand employees and volunteers that keep things running. Fees, though these parks are a part of nature there is an entrance fee to visit most locations. A portion the money is put right back into the upkeep of the sites.
Places of historical influence are worth conserving and this gives you an opportunity to discover and learn about National Parks you may not have thought to consider. There are a host of places you wouldn’t have imagined. There is bound to be something near you.
Here are a list of National Parks that I highly recommend:
Statue of Liberty Grandiose symbolism of a free America. A gift from the French, it’s a US must-see tourist attraction. The colossal sculpture is copper but do to natural weathering is now light green. It towers 305 feet from the top flame to bottom base.
Ellis Island America’s migration hub of the late 1890’s was Ellis Island. Shiploads of foreigners, most of them Europeans, in all 12-million were processed at the Ellis Island immigration station from 1892-1954. Restoration of the facilities started in the late 1980’s and the main building is now a museum.
Grand Canyon It’s colored eroded rock that is a total of 18 miles wide, 277 river miles and 1-mile deep. It is gigantic. Divided into the North and South Rim with a West side option. The Grand Canyon West, the Hualapai Tribal Lands is home to The Skywalk, a glass floor shaped like a horseshoe sticking out about 70 feet.
Joshua Tree National Park California, where the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert kiss. It’s just under 800,000 acres. Rock Piles in Joshua Tree are the result of millions of years of underground volcanic activity, erosion, and earthquakes.
Denali National Park An Alaskan gem, it is one of the largest parks in the US at six million acres. Mount Denali, formerly Mount McKinley stands more than 20-thousand feet high. There are plenty of trails for hiking, backpacking and biking. And a backyard to wildlife like moose, wolves, sheep and grizzly bears.
There are tons of surprises in the NPS family, plenty to create trips around. Embrace the nature around you. Discover a piece of history. These places are preserved for your enjoyment and meant to last for generations to come. It’s National Parks Celebration, visit a location near you, for a complete listing go to www.nps.gov. #FindYourPark
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