November 11th marks the last free entrance (to National Parks) day of 2016. There are typically 3-5 free park days a year, including National Park Week where entrance is free all week if you don’t mind the crowds…but for all the visitors to the National Parks, not as many people know about what the parks offer and the things that make them unique. So we’ve put together a short list of interesting things to chew on while you make your way to a park this Friday.
1.Yellowstone set the precedence for having and preserving National Parks. It was established in 1872, and the list has only grown since then.
2.There are 58 National Parks today. Woo hoo! Can you name at least half of them?
3.Most of the National Parks are in the Western half of the U.S. California has 9, Alaska has 8, Utah has the "mighty" 5, and Colorado follows with 4. If you’re lucky enough to live in the western part of the U.S. why not check some out for next year’s free entrance days.
4. One of the National Parks is an Island, actually, a set of islands in Michigan’s Lake Superior. The park is called Isle Royale and includes a subset of islands in the surrounding area. However, to be fair, there are a few other "island" parks including the Channel Islands in California, Dry Tortugas near Florida, and the Virgin Islands.
5.The least visited park is the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska, which has fewer than 11,000 visitors a year. That’s crazy considering it’s one of the largest national parks in the U.S. (the top four largest parks are all located in Alaska, FYI, and the Grand Canyon doesn’t even make the top ten!)
Other Cool Things:Canada has planned free entry to all National Parks THE ENTIRE YEAR of 2017. This does not include camping or other fees, just entry, but it’s still pretty awesome, right?! So, uh, who wants to go to Canada next year?
AND for more information about National Parks in your area, or their fees, hours, free entrance, etc. please check out their website at:https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks-state.htm
Be sure to check back with the Traveling Foreigners for more insightful posts.
Happy Free National Park Days!