HAPPY NATIONAL PARK WEEK!
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a park bill that created the Yosemite Grant, marking the first time that the U.S. federal government had specifically set aside land for public use. The Yosemite Grant paved the way for Yellowstone to become the first official national park eight years later in 1871.
Finally, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act creating the National Park Service.
Today, the national park system includes 401 protected and recognized areas across the country, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, and scenic rivers and trails.
Below are all the sites I have had the pleasure of visiting on my travels (this list will be updated as I explore more of the U.S.!).
Total so far: 29
- Denali National Park and Preserve
- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
- National Mall and Memorial Parks, including:
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
World War II Memorial
- Fort Frederica National Monument (on St. Simon's Island)
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (at Pearl Harbor)
- Boston National Historical Park (including Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, the Paul Revere House, and other sites along the Freedom Trail)
- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis)
- Pecos National Historical Park
- White Sands National Monument
- Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island
- Wright Brothers National Memorial (where the first manned, powered flight took place)
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- Perry's Victory and International Peace Monument (at Put-In-Bay on Lake Erie)
- Oklahoma City National Memorial (site of the OKC bombing in 1995)
- Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor (including antebellum plantations where the culture was first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa)
- Arches National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Zion National Park
- Historic Jamestowne (part of Virginia's “historic triangle“)
- Grand Teton National Park
What are some of YOUR favorite parks/memorials in the U.S.?