In 1916 Congress created the national park service to care and preserve our nations parks, this year happens to be the 100th anniversary. From NPR to National Geographic coverage (i have a subscription, it was an awesome gift) everyone is talking about parks. So I thought I might need to make my “Top 10 National Parks-To-Visit List” Not parks that I have visited…. Just a bucket list of those I WANT to visit. Also, I really wanted to find out what the differences are between a National Park and a National Lakeshore or National Forest. Through the power of the hivemind/Google here is what was discovered.
Lynn Alexander Lewandowski helped out by laying out the basics: “National Parks are managed by the Nat Park Service within the Dept of Interior, and are managed mostly for preservation purposes with some recreation thrown in.
National Forests are managed by the Forest Service in the Dept of Agriculture, and are managed for multiple purposes, including commercial timber, recreation, grazing, fishing, and more. So Nat Parks can mostly just be used for recreation. National Forests can be used for commercial purposes”
So it turns out, different legislation helped establish the National Parks and National Forests. Also the National Forests are twice as big with 193 million acres, including forests, grasslands and the national Tallgrass prairie (Monty Don was pretty impressed)
There are 84 million acres of National parks, which include monuments, historical parks and sites. National Lakeshores and Seashores are also managed by the National Park Service. All of the national Lakeshores are on Lakes Michigan and Superior, and nine of the ten national seashores are on the Atlantic Ocean, including two on the Gulf of Mexico. (which explains Sleeping Bear- one of my all time favorite places on earth)
Here is a list of the Hivemind favorite parks. Lots of people loved these parks (more than 4 mentions) :
A few people adored these national treasures (more than 1 less then 4)
- Grand Tetons
- Olympic National Park
- Joshua Tree
- Grand Canyon
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Acadia National Park
A few people loved going here (one mention)
- Fort Jefferson
- US Virgin Islands National Park
- Channel Islands
- Isle Royale
- Nez Perce National Historical Park
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Rocky Mountain
- Mesa Verde
These national Lakeshores got a shout out!
- Sleeping Bear (2)
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (2)
And these National Forests were mentioned!
- Shoshone National Forest
- Olympic National Forest (2)
Also an Honorable Mention for: Ohiopyle State Park
S0, here is my top 10 – I –Wanna-Go-List in no particular order –
- Grand Canyon
- Channel Islands
- Hawai’I Valcanoes
- Olympic National
- The Gulf Islands (national Seashore)
Special thanks to the following people for sharing your favorite parks! Amy Lindholm, David Bleckley, Adam Bernard Eby, Anne Rosenbaum, Caitlin Smits, Mariah Caitlin, Lee Mueller, Janelle Burden Hill, Sierra Cole, Rickey Ainsworth, Bridie Bereza, Roberta F. King, Lynsey Marcellus Chandler, Metta Dwyer, Rachel Lee, Rob Qualls, Sarah Watts, Lillian Adler Ostendorf, James Hash, Michelle Hunt, Lynn Alexander Lewandowski, Jason Robinson, Elise VanLaar Kemler, Eric Tank, Alison Hurley, Nora Faber and Eric Tank
Also I have been totally loving the Interior’s Instagram. Check it out.