The National Park Service was established by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25th, 1916, which means it has been 104 years since it was established. In order to celebrate this monumental birthday, and considering the recent importance of traveling locally, the NPS has decided to gift us all with the gift of nature and free entrance to many parks and historical sites. Here is what the organization had to say in an official statement.
“As we celebrate the 104th birthday of the National Park Service, we are also recognizing the centennial of the [19th] amendment that strengthened the public position of women in American civic life, empowering them to be stronger advocates for the places that became part of the National Park System over the next 100 years.”
The statement continued: “From nature’s wonders in the Florida Everglades, to the Washington, DC, home where abolitionist and suffragist Frederick Douglass did some of his famous work…many of America’s important places are protected because women used their civic voices in their communities and nationwide.”
The NPS welcomes over 318 million visitors on a yearly basis. Some of the wonderful places you can visit (and now for free!) include New York’s Women’s Rights National Historical Park, which is located in Seneca Falls. This year, the park is celebrating the centennial of the passing of the 19th Amendment. There will be a virtual ceremony held as well.
While you’re in the area, you can also visit the Vanderbilt Mansion located in Hyde Park, New York. This will give you a peek into what life could have looked like for the wealthy during the gilded age.
Other incredible locations to visit include Denali National Park, located in Alaska, or hiking through the gorgeous red cliffs of Zion National Park in Utah. There are so many hiking trails, national parks, and historical sites available to visit across all the 50 states, and now that they’re free, there really is no excuse to make a trip to the great outdoors.
For those who prefer nature from the safe confines of their own home, there is actually an option for you too! The NPS has provided plenty of virtual tours on its websites. These include locations like the coral reefs off the Florida Keys or taking a look at the Hawaiian lava tubes.
Whether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or are trying to find some inspiration for future travel, the NPS is a great resource that’s available to us all. It is a wonderful organization that we’ve had the privilege of having around for over 100 years, so let’s try to take advantage of it and see what wonders nature has to offer all around the United States.