Let’s hit the parks!
National parks around the country are offering free admission to mark the centennial of the National Park Service. Admission is free from Thursday, Aug. 25, to Sunday, Aug. 28, at all national parks, marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
On August 25, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into law to create the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Inspired yet? Enjoy these national park fun facts and head to your closest one this weekend!
National park fun facts:
- Today there are 412 national parks.
- There are 20,000 men and women employed with the National Park Service, alongside 221,000 volunteers.
- In 2015, 307.2 million people visited the national parks.
- The first national park, Yellowstone, was created in 1872 through a law signed by President Ulysses S. Grant.
- In national park areas you’ll find:
- the highest point in North America, Mt. McKinley at 20,320 feet (Denali National Park and Preserve)
- the lowest point in the western hemisphere, Death Valley National Park, CA
- the longest cave system in the world with more than 345 miles mapped (Mammoth Cave National Park, KY)
- a 630-foot-high stainless steel arch (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, MO)
- the world’s largest geyser area (Yellowstone National Park, WY, MT, ID)
the Nation’s deepest cave at 1,593 feet deep (Carlsbad Caverns National Park,NM)
- the world’s largest gypsum dunefield rising 60 feet high and covering 275 square miles (White Sands National Monument, NM)
the world’s most massive Doric Column (Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, OH)
- the deepest lake (1,932 feet) in the United States (Crater Lake National Park, OR)
- the second and third largest natural bridges in the world (Natural Bridges National Monument, UT).
Will you be heading to the parks this weekend?
What’s your favorite national park?