Did you ever wonder how old and how extensive our system of National Parks is?
By David McClelland
Our National Parks began in 1872 with the opening of Yellowstone which covers portions of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and 2,219,790.71 acres. This Park has 4 mountain ranges and 60 mammal species. There are hot springs and geysers with Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring being the best known. The next two National Parks to open were Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890 in California. New National Parks must be approved by an act of the U.S. Congress. The newest National Park is Great Sand Dunes, established in 2004 in Colorado.
Isle Royal National Park near Houghton, is currently Michigan's National Park. We also have: Father Marquette National Memorial in St. Ignace, Keweenaw National Historical Park in Calumet, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising-Grand Marais, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire. Finally, we have North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs from New York to North Dakota, through seven states, including Michgan. In Michigan, it runs for 875 miles from the SE corner of the state near Morenci, north to the Straits of Mackinac. In the UP, it runs east and west.
We have 58 National Parks operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. Can you name the other 54? I couldn't come close.
The other 54, in alphabetical order, with the state abbreviations are: Acadia-ME, American Samoa-AS, Arches-UT, Badlands-SD, Big Bend-TX, Biscayne-FL, Black Canyon of the Gunnison-CO, Bryce Canyon-UT, Canyonlands-UT, Capitol Reef-UT, Carlsbad Caverns-NM, Channel Islands, CA, Congaree-SC, Crater Lake, OR, Cuyahoga Valley-OH, Death Valley, CA/NV, Denali-AK, Dry Tortugas-FL, Everglades-FL, Gates of the Arctic-AK, Glacier-MT, Glacier Bay-AK, Grand Canyon-AZ, Grand Teton-WY, Great Basin-NV, Great Smoky Mountains-NC, Guadalupe Mountains-TX, Haleskala-HI, Hawaii Volcanos-HI, Hot Springs-AR, Joshua Tree-CA, Katmai-HI, Kenai Fjords-AK, Kings Canyon-CA, Kobuk Valley-AK, Lake Clark-AK, Lassen Volcanic-CA, Mammoth Cave-KY, Mesa Verde-CO, Mount Ranier-WA, North Cascades-WA, Olympic-WA, Petrified Forest-CA, Redwood-CA, Rocky Mountain-CO, Saguaro-AZ, Shenandoah-VA, Theodore Roosevelt-ND, Virgin Island-VI, Voyageurs-MN, Wind Cave-SD, Wrangell-AK, St. Elias-AK, and Zion-UT.
I don't know of anyone who has visited all 58 of our National Parks. Do you?