April 20, 2017
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than spending a day at one of America’s National Parks? Beyond the obvious parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, there are countless lesser-known National Parks that showcase earthly marvels and some may be right in your backyard. Through the support of the National Park Foundation – the official charity of the National Park Service – the most iconic natural wonders of the world are protected and preserved. The Eco News Network team encourages you to Find Your Park and spend a day being amazed at the wonders of nature.
Here are a few unusual National Parks to consider.
Scotts Bluff National Monument (Nebraska) An important landmark to the pioneers heading west on the Oregon Trail during the 19th century, Scotts Bluff towers 800 feet above the North Platte River. This enormous rock formation preserves a unique geological and paleontological history including fossils of prehistoric horses, cats and turtles.
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area (Kentucky & Tennessee) Comprised of 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau that include the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, this park harbors a wide range of plants and animals, from black bears to the threatened eastern slender glass lizard.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument (Utah) Located in the desert of southern Utah, this park is home to something truly unique: one of the largest known natural bridges in the world. Carved out of soft sandstone by millennia of erosion, the bridge stands 290 feet tall — almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty — and 275 feet across.
Canyonlands National Park (Utah) Known for its quirky geologic formations called “hoodoos,” red-rock vistas and canyon trails, Canyonlands National Park is divided into four districts. The park offers numerous ways to experience up close to its many canyons and the Colorado and Green rivers that form them.
North Cascades National Park (Washington) Over 300 glaciers, just three hours north of Seattle, North cascades offers glacier-capped mountain peaks, wilderness and waterfalls. It’s the perfect national park for climbers, backpackers, and hikers.
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) Just 75 miles from Washington, DC, Shenandoah National Park offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails including 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. In addition to Skyline Drive, hiking trails, and beautiful wilderness; the site offers exhibits, lodging, restaurants, and stores.
Congaree National Park (South Carolina) Congaree has a variety of ways for you to enjoy your visit to the park including: hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and camping. There is an abundance of opportunities to experience the wonders of wilderness and explore the splendor of one of the oldest and tallest forests east of the Mississippi.
About The National Park Foundation The National Park Foundation is the official charity of the National Park Service protecting America’s special places, connecting people to nature, and inspiring the next generation of park stewards. Your donations to the National Park Foundation help sustain and conserve more than 415 national parks comprising more than 84 million acres of America’s most cherished landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites. Donations in any amount, from one-time gifts to recurring monthly contributions, are among the most helpful ways that you can support our national parks.
Photo credits: National Park Service. Scotts Bluff/Credit: Benoit Lebourgeois, Share the Experience; Rainbow Bridge/Credit: Todd Isaac, Share the Experience