Summer may be coming to an end, but there's still plenty of time to enjoy the warmth in nature. August is National Parks Month, so be sure to take advantage of the long, warm, summer days by getting outside and enjoying the serenity of a national park.
If you didn't know, there are over 400 National Parks available for you to visit - encompassing more than 84 million acres of protected land, an area larger than the state of New Mexico.
Throughout the National Parks, there are 18,000 miles of trails - about the same distance as the Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to Argentina. Not all National Parks are rugged mountains, and wide open plains. The National Park of American Samoa features lush jungles and beautiful tropic beaches.
This year is a special year for the National Parks Service; this August, they turn 100!
Despite Yellowstone being named the first National Park in 1872, the Park Service wasn't established until 1916 when Congress decided there should be an agency dedicated to caring for these protected lands. Before the Park Rangers took over, there were several caretakers of the early parks, including the United States Cavalry - in fact, the Park Ranger uniform was designed in homage to the Cavalry.
During August 25th - August 28th, you can visit any National Park for free! Find a National Park nearby and go have an adventure.
Here are a few fun ways to celebrate:
- Get out and visit the parks near you
- Share your favorite park moments on social media
- Donate to help the National Park Foundation support vital projects in your national parks
- Go on a walking tour
Get out and celebrate our amazing, protected parks by exploring!