The US National Parks system is a national treasure, offering visitors the chance to explore and appreciate some of the country's most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural wonders. While many people are familiar with some of the more well-known parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, there are many things about the National Parks system that people may not know. Below are the 5 things you might not know about the US National Parks…
What can US National Parks surprise you with?
1. There are 63 National Parks in the United States.
While some of the more famous parks like Yosemite or Zion may come to mind, there are actually 63 National Parks across the country. From the tropical beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, there are a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems to explore.
2. The National Parks system is over 100 years old.
The National Park Service was created on August 25th, 1916, making 2016 the centennial celebration for the agency. The first National Park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Today, the National Park system includes not only parks but also monuments, historic sites, and other protected areas.
3. The National Parks are home to some of the oldest living things on Earth.
Some of the trees in the National Parks, such as the giant sequoias in California's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, can live for thousands of years. The oldest living tree in the world, a Great Basin bristlecone pine, is located in California's Great Basin National Park and is over 5,000 years old.
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4. The National Parks are home to many endangered species.
Many of the National Parks are home to species that are endangered or threatened. For example, Yellowstone National Park is home to the largest herd of wild bison in the country, as well as the threatened grizzly bear. Acadia National Park in Maine is home to the endangered Atlantic puffin, while Everglades National Park in Florida is home to the endangered Florida panther.
5. The National Parks are accessible to everyone.
The National Park system is committed to making the parks accessible to all visitors, regardless of their physical abilities or financial means. Many parks have wheelchair-accessible trails and facilities, and the National Parks Service offers free admission on certain days throughout the year. Additionally, the America the Beautiful Pass, which costs $80 per year, allows entry to all National Parks and other federal recreational lands for one year.
In conclusion, the US National Parks system is a treasure trove of natural beauty and wonder, with much to offer visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're a seasoned park-goer or a first-time visitor, there's always something new to discover and learn about in these amazing places.
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