April 20 – 28th 2013 is National Park Week
What’s National Park Week mean for you? From Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26, all national parks are waiving their entrance fees. That’s right – free entrance to each and every United State National Park. It’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy one of the United States’ greatest treasures.
Find A National Park Near You
Did you know that practically every American is less than 100 miles from a designated national park, monument, shoreline, trail or historical site? The odds are there is a national park not far from your neighborhood. The United States Winter Activities at Yellowstone National Park is an incredible park system just waiting for you to come out and explore.
So what are you waiting for? Find a national park near you. Check out the week’s activities at the National Park Service’s calendar of events. Schedule a time to get out and explore one of these national treasures. Take advantage of National Park Week’s free admission and get to know your local national park.
Then check out these fifteen fun facts about the United States National Park System.
Fifteen Fun Facts About the National Park System
What better way to kick off National Parks Week than to learn more about the United States National Park Services? Here’s fifteen facts to get you started.
1. There are 401 national parks encompassing over 84 million acres of land. The parks include spectacular natural areas, seashores and lakeshores, battlefields and military parks, historic homes and archaeological sites, scenic trails and scenic riverways.
2. Every single state in the U.S. has at least one national park.
3. The largest national park is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, with more than 8.3 million acres. And the smallest national park is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia, at less than an acre.
4. There are over 17,000 miles of trails, 43,000 miles of shoreline, and 12,000 campsites.
5. The national parks include 68,000 archaeological sites, 27,000 historical structures, 582 national natural landmarks, and 49 national heritage areas.
6. The five most visited national parks are:
Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Yosemite National Park, California
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana
Olympic National Park, Washington
7. The National Parks System includes one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park.
8. Three of the ten highest waterfall in the world are located in Yosemite National Park.
9. The National Parks System manages 17 of the 21 World Heritage Sites that are located in the United States.
10. More than 280 million people visit the national parks each year.
11. The largest trees in the world (the giant Sequoia trees) and the largest carnivores (the Alaskan brown bears) can be found in national parks.
12. Explore volcanoes, glaciers, white sand beaches, black sand beaches, petrified trees, dinosaur fossils, Native American ruins and Revolutionary War artifacts, all found at national parks.
13. Visit the longest cave system in the world (Mammoth Cave National Park) and the nation’s deepest cave (Carlsbad Caverns National Park).
14. Witness American bald eagles, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, wolves, peregrine falcons, California condors, flying fox, gray whales, moose, elk, and many more wild animals while exploring national parks. The parks are home and habitat for over 400 endangered species of animals and plants.
15. Let the kids explore with the free Junior Ranger program. They’ll have fun with activities like panning for gold, nature hikes, tidal bore hikes and fossil exploration. Check with the park’s ranger station for daily Junior Ranger activity schedules.
Want even more facts? Go to National Park System Fun Facts.
Don’t forget to enter the National Park Week’s Getaway Giveaway! They’ve partnered with Globus Travel to give away an incredible trip to some of the country’s most treasured national parks, including Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and the Grand Tetons.
Some our fondest vacation memories have taken place at a United States National Park. Take advantage of this special offer and start making your own fond memories.
What’s your favorite national park? How many of the “top five” visited parks have you been to? Share with us in the Comments section below.
Images and video from The National Park Service and National Park Foundation websites.