100 Facts About the National Park Service (Part 4)

100 Facts About the National Park Service  (Part 4)

By Christina Maness

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

76. Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is home to the United States’ deepest limestone cave, which goes over 16,000 feet into the ground.

77. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” after being inspired by the defense of Fort McHenry between September 13th and 14th, 1814 (during the War of 1812). The fort is now a national monument and historic site.

78. The Blue Ridge Parkway provides nature lovers with 470 miles of road from North Carolina to Virginia to soak in scenic mountain views.

The view north from Sharp Top Mountain at The Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

79. At John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon the ranger station—outfitted with a photovoltaic solar array—generates 67 percent more energy than it consumes.

80. At Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, visitors can see 206 American Indian mounds that were built between 450 B.C.E. and 1300 to honor the lives of people who passed away during that time.

81. The national monument and icon known as the Statue of Liberty is 152 feet tall. It was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and given to the United States by France in 1886.

82. Thomas Edison was awarded 1,093 patents during his lifetime. Fans of invention can visit the national historical park named in his honor in West Orange, New Jersey. The park includes his residence, as well as his chemistry lab, machine shop and motion picture studio.

83. A 352-foot high column stands on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial to celebrate good relations between Great Britain, Canada and the United States.

The view of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. NPS Photo.

84. A photovoltaic system is used to power the lights in Crystal Cave in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

85. The United States’ first coastal area to be designated as a “national seashore” is Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. It’s home to Cape Hatteras Light Station, the tallest lighthouse in North America at 198.49 feet.

86. Between 1941 and 1949 legendary photographer Ansel Adams captured images of breathtaking landscapes at every national park established at that time except one: Everglades National Park in Florida.

87. The oldest masonry fortifications in the United States and its territories are found in Puerto Rico at San Juan National Historic Site. Spaniards began building the fortification in the 1500s.

Fortifications in San Juan National Historic Site. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

88. At 8,751 feet, Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the highest point in Texas.

89. The national parks are valuable for both preserving beauty and supporting the local economy. Every dollar invested in the National Park Service results in $10 back into the economy. [source] 

90. The trail to the top of the rock formation known as Angels Landing in Zion National Park provides one of the National Park Service’s most famous hikes. According to legend, its name came from hiker Frederick Fisher, who upon first seeing this unmistakable rock in 1916, said “only an angel could land on it.”

The view of the valley at Zion National Park from Angels Landing. Photo by Zygmunt Spray.

91. To see some of the tallest trees in the world, visit Redwood National and State Parks in California. Redwood trees typically tower 350 feet above the forest floor.

92. Looking for a ramble and research? Environmentally-friendly travelers can help with climate change research at Mount Rainier National Park by taking photos of wildflowers for MeadoWatch.

93. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore along Lake Erie in Wisconsin boasts 7 historic lighthouses—the most of any site in the National Park Service.

94. Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt each have four National Park Service-managed sites named for them—more than any other individual. [source]

95. The nation’s first national monument is Devils Tower, a monolith of igneous rock in Wyoming.

Devils Tower National Monument seen from the Joyner Ridge Trail. Photo Credit NPS - Avery Locklear

96. Go back to the Ice Age at Waco Mammoth National Monument in Texas. The paleontological site is home to at least 23 Columbian mammoths and one saber-toothed cat.

97. While writing about Massachusetts’ Cape Cod National Seashore in the 1800s, Henry David Thoreau said “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”

98. Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Utah is a sacred site for American Indians thanks to a natural bridge that reaches 290 feet above the bottom of Bridge Canyon. It’s only accessible by boat from Lake Powell or from a hike through the Navajo Nation, which requires a permit.

99. The drive between Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim Village and South Rim Village is a whopping 215 miles.

100. Grand Teton is the only national park in the United States to have a commercial airport in its boundaries. The airport is located in the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Published: 8/28/2016

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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