America’s National Parks – Happy 100th Birthday!
Are you interested in a bit of history? I did some research on our National Parks system and discovered there are 59 National Parks in America. The National Park service is celebrating its’ Centennial, 100th birthday this year. The department was officially opened on August 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson.
Alaska and California have the Most National Parks
Of course, there are parks scattered throughout the US, but Alaska and California have the most parks, with 8 in each state. Utah has 5 and Colorado has 4. Those 4 states boast 25 parks, leaving 34 throughout the rest of the nation. Chances are there is a National Park near you. They truly are our national treasures. So, let’s get out this summer and discover the wonder of camping, hiking, backpacking or just renting a hotel room and enjoying the vast diversity that each park has to offer.
If there is no National Park, I’m sure you’ll find a National Monument, Historical Reserve or designated hiking trail some place nearby. There are 411 designated areas overseen by the National Park System.
Hike from Georgia to Maine?
You could if you wanted to – the Appalachian National Scenic Trail starts in Georgia and winds for 2,200 miles through 14 eastern states, ending at Mount Katahdin, Maine.
The Pacific Crest Trail is on the west coast of the United States and it offer 2,659 miles of breathtaking scenery and hiking starting in Campo, California and ending in Manning Park, British Columbia, Canada. This trail also offers the opportunity of hitching up your trusty horse, and riding the trail, as well as hiking.
Most National Parks Allow Pets
Speaking of animals, most National Parks will accept Fido, as long as he’s on a leash and kept in the camping areas. A few Parks are more pet-friendly than others. In Acadia National Park, in the state of Maine, your pooch is going to find 45 miles of rustic roads and stone bridges to sniff and explore. Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia, is full of wilderness and offers over 500 miles (some includes the above mentioned Appalachian trail) for Fido’s exploration. Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, welcomes dogs, but of course, simple rules apply so he doesn’t “fall overboard”. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado round out the parks that extend warm welcomes to your 4 legged friends.
Guess Which National Park is the Most Visited?
A total of 307 million people visited our National Parks in 2015. Amazing!! Now if I had to guess which park got the most visitors, I’d put my money on Yosemite. So I found it interesting that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee is the most visited of our National Park system. It hosts over 10 million guests annually. Wow! So here’s the top 5.
1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
2. The magnificent Grand Canyon in Arizona
3. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
4. Yosemite National Park in California
5. Yellowstone National in Wyoming
Most Visited City Park
While it has nothing to do with National Parks, the most visited Park in the US was good ‘ol Central Park in New York city, with 25 million people stopping by every year. Just thought you’d be interested in that little tidbit… I found it interesting. That’s a bunch of people.
So take a look around you and see what amazing places there are to visit – the National Park Service will be at all 59 parks to welcome you – and probably offering some pretty good deals on entry fees tours and celebrations!
Be sure to follow us on Pinterest and check out gorgeous photos of just about every National Park – some jaw dropping photos! Your bucket list will become endless!