One of my personal goals is to hike in every US National Park. Easier said than done, as quite a few are not accessible by car and very pricey. Nonetheless, I charge forward in my quest with relentless passion.
And if you open that challenge up to every recognized National Park Service location, that list is somewhat daunting to embark on (technically there are 423 official sites).
As of March 2022, I have ventured into 48 of our 63 National Parks and can’t get enough of the history over the last 150 years. Fun fact: the grand daddy of them all, Yellowstone, has the distinction of being proclaimed the first in the entire world back on March 1, 1872, while New River Gorge in southern West Virginia is the newest just ratified in December 2020.
As for National Monuments, Historic Parks and Preserves, I have eclipsed 90 visits along the journey as well. Each sliver of history is unique and worthy of more people experiencing these protected wonders.
I wish I had started sooner, but I have joined the bandwagon of tourists snapping a pic of every park sign adorning the entrances. It is almost like a right of passage and trying to come up with new, innovative poses to keep the photos interesting is always the ultimate challenge. Nonetheless, I am on the prowl for those unique signs that show the true character of a region.
From the obscure to the iconic, these national treasures are beckoning you to get off the couch, lace up your hiking boots, plan at the very least a long weekend getaway and purposefully get lost in the wonders of nature.