Tomorrow (August 25th) the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of existence. How exciting is that?! National Parks have been named one of “America’s Best Ideas.” The Ken Burns six-part documentary on the parks explains this: “THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.” (source) Having been to national parks, historic sites, memorials, lake shores, and more…I agree with this quote whole-heartedly.
I stepped foot into my first national park just over 6 years ago. Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Amazement. Breathtaking. Wanting to photograph every view just in case I’d forget it someday. Just pausing to soak it all in. This adventure into Badlands NP would start a love affair with: the National Park Service, travel, hiking, state parks, nature, and more. I’ve visited a number of NPS sites over the past 6 years, but it’s just a drop in the bucket of what’s possible. President Obama just designated the 413th NPS site: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.
In honor of the centennial of the National Park Service, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from my visits to different sites. To date I have visited:
- Badlands National Park, SD (2x)
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD (2x)
- Devils Tower National Monument, WY
- Yellowstone National Park, WY
- Grand Tetons National Park, WY
- Olympic National Park, WA
- Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, MT
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND (2x)
- Wind Cave National Park, SD
- Grand Portage National Monument, MN (2x)
- Voyageurs National Park, MN
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, WI (multiple times)
- North Country National Scenic Trail, WI
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
- Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
- Shenandoah National Park, VA
- Appalachian Trail, VA
- Blue Ridge Parkway, VA
There are so many more I want to visit. I have a pretty strong feeling that I’ll gladly spend the rest of my life chipping away at this “to-visit” list.