100 Facts About the National Park Service (Part 3)

By Christina Maness

Editor’s Note: This is part 3 of a four-part series celebrating the centenary of the National Park Service. Please enjoy reading part one, part two, and part four of this series.

51. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia, provides over 2,180 miles of hiking across mountains in 14 US states.

52. A photovoltaic and battery power system on the roof of the historic prison on Alcatraz Island generates up to 60 percent of the needed power to provide electricity for the site’s 1.4 million visitors each year. It’s estimated to eliminate approximately 700,00 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

53. The arrowhead used as the National Park Service emblem was officially authorized by the Secretary of the Interior on July 20th, 1951.

54. According to the National Park Services description of the arrowhead emblem, “the Sequoia tree and bison represent vegetation and wildlife, the mountains and water represent scenic and recreational values, and the arrowhead represents historical and archaeological values.”

55. In 1947 Barbara Washburn became the first woman to climb Mount McKinley, or Denali, the highest peak in North America.

56. The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has fossils of trees from 225 million years ago.

57. The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Eads, Colorado ensures visitors never forget the day of November 29th, 1864 when US soldiers killed 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indiansmany of which were women and children.

58. The black-footed ferret, one of the rarest mammals in the world, calls Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks in South Dakota home.

A black-footed ferret in Wind Cave National Park - NPS photo

59. John Muir is often called the father of the national parks. He encouraged people to experience nature so that they would be inspired to protect it. The conservationist’s life is celebrated with a national historic site in Martinez, California. He also has a national monument filled with coastal redwood trees named in his honor.

60. Mount Rainier in the Cascade Range of Washington state last erupted about 150 years ago and, though dormant, is still considered active.

61. Biscayne National Park in Florida covers the longest stretch of mangrove forest on the United States’ East Coast. It also protects one section of the reef system along the northernmost section of the Florida Keys.  

62. The world’s largest protected marine area is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument; it spans ocean above the northwestern islands of Hawaii. This national monument is 582,578 squares milesan area greater than all the other national parks put together.

63. The plants and cacti of Joshua Tree National Park owe their protection in large part to one woman: Minerva Hamilton Hoyt. Her work culminated in 825,000 acres being designated as a national park in 1936.

Joshua Tree Sunset - Photo Credit: NPS-Brad Sutton

64. The Lehman Caves at Great Basin National Park in Nevada formed under a shallow sea covering the area some 550 million years ago.

65. To preserve and celebrate the city’s rich musical culture, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, along with the New Orleans Jazz Commission, have interviewed over 100 local musicians.

66. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the coastline of the eastern United States. You’ll find its peak at 1,530 feet in Acadia National Park in Maine.

67. In 1903 Captain Charles Young became the first black man to act as a superintendent over a national park. Captain Young and the famous Buffalo Soldiers guarded what is now Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park.

68. Many founders start their business or organizations from home. Clara Barton was no exception. Barton founded the American Red Cross and headquartered the organization out of her Maryland home for seven years. Her 38-room home is now a national historic site.

69. The Potomac Heritage Trail spans 710 miles from Washington, DC to Pennsylvania, offering bike, hike, and paddle opportunities along the Potomac and Youghiogheny River.

70. Quagga Mussel have invaded Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona. They are an invasive species and their spread is being contained by the National Park Service and boaters visiting the area.[source]

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area - Lake Powell - Padre Bay - Photo Credit: NPS-Photo Ross Kantra

71. Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Maine is where the Revolutionary War began on April 19th, 1775, with the “shot heard round the world.”

72. Glacier National Park in Montana is home to 25 named glaciers, including the protected land’s largest—Blackfoot. They are all shrinking. 

73. In 1919 Robert Sterling Yard became the first executive secretary of the National Parks Association, which is now known as the National Parks Conservation Association.

74. The Rocky Mountain National Park boasts the highest continuous paved road in America. Called the Trail Ridge Road, it takes visitors as high as 12,183 ft above sea level and offers majestic views.

75. Travelers passionate about the civil rights movement can visit the birthplace and grave of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the national historic site in Atlanta, Georgia, named in his honor.


Published: 8/27/2016

While traveling the world as a digital nomad, Christina found it difficult to find the fine travel experiences that satisfied her conscience. She started The Wayward Post with Ziggy to help travelers find those travel experiences that are driving positive change and to give the Wayward hat tip to travel-related brands doing the right thing. All while amplifying the work of amazing writers and photographers.

When she's not writing for The Wayward Post, you'll find her working with do-good brands run by amazing people with the marketing agency, ZATWIC. Or maybe just drinking a craft cocktail.  Follow her on Twitter.

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