Saturday, December 26, 2015

National Lands: Pennsylvania (Part 1)

Visitors Center at Valley Forge
Visitors Center at Valley Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pennsylvania has many national lands that honor the rich historical significance of the area. The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site is in Gallitzin. This site honors the engineering marvel that enabled canal boats to cross the mountains via the railroad. The area is just west of Altoona and Interstate 99. The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia provides information about the author and his career. Of special interest are the years he spent in that city. The closest interstates are Interstate 95 and Interstate 676. In Gettysburg is the Eisenhower National Historic Site. The President's home and farm are located near the Gettysburg Battlefield. Tours and displays are available. Gettysburg is west of Interstate 83 and just north of the Maryland border.

Friendship Hill National Historic Site in Point Marion was the country estate of Albert Gallatin, a former Secretary of State. The site honors the accomplishments of his career. The estate is located in the southeastern corner of the state near the West Virginia border. Interstate 79 is to the west. Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site, which is the state's oldest church, is in Philadelphia. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in Elverson is near Interstates 76 and 176. The site honors the industrialization of the nation. In Scranton is the Steamtown National Historic Site that celebrates trains and locomotives. Train rides are available.

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Phil...
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia as seen from Spring Garden St. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Independence National Historic Park is located in Philadelphia. This is the place where visitors can see the Liberty Bell. Interstates 76, 95 and 676 surround the area. Valley Forge National Historical Park was the location of the encampment of the Continental Army for the winter. The park is to the northwest of Philadelphia near Interstate 76. The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor has a visitor center in Easton which is on the Delaware River. Many activities are available in this five-county region, so travelers would be wise to check the National Park Service website to find what interests them. Interstate 78 goes through the area.

The Oil Region National Heritage Area is located in the northwestern corner of the state. It is east of Interstate 79 and north of Interstate 80. The site looks at the impact of oil on the nation's history. In Homestead is the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area which celebrates the significance of steel production on the area. Homestead is south of Interstate 376 on the Monongahela River. Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area in Pottstown is located in the southeastern corner of the state. The area is northwest of Philadelphia. Water sports and trails are some of the activities along the 128 mile river area.

Friday, December 18, 2015

National Lands: Rhode Island

Picture of the Slater Mill, on the Blackstone ...
Picture of the Slater Mill, on the Blackstone River, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rhode Island does not have a national park, but does have a rich historical background that is honored in federal lands. The Roger Williams National Memorial pays tribute to the man who founded Rhode Island. He came to the area to seek religious freedom. The memorial is located in Providence with Interstate 95 to the west and Interstate 195 to the south. Exhibits are available at the center and the park is available for walks. Touro Synagogue National Historical Site is in Newport, which is not near any interstate. The closest one to the area is Interstate 195. This site is the oldest synagogue in the United States and is known for its beautiful architecture.

English: Touro synagogue in Newport (Rhode Isl...
English: Touro synagogue in Newport (Rhode Island)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blackstone River Valley has two designations. Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, which commemorates the success of Samuel Slater's spinning cotton mill, is east of Providence and Interstate 95 near the Massachusetts border. The area is also honored by the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. This section of Rhode Island has been called the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Biking and hiking as well as water sports are available. The Washington-Romchambeau National Historic Trail runs through nine states and DC. The trail runs east-west through the center of the state.

Friday, December 11, 2015

National Lands: South Carolina

Congaree National Park, a possible last strong...
Congaree National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
South Carolina is the home of Congaree National Park which is located to the southeast of Columbia. Interstate 26 is to the west of the park. Congaree offers more than 25 miles of trails for hiking. Kayaking and canoeing are also available activities, but the park does not provide boat rentals. From Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida is the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. This area runs 425 miles along the Atlantic coast including the barrier islands. Signs are posted along the way. This area honors the culture of the captive Africans brought to the United States. The Ninety Six National Historic Site offers hiking and fishing in addition to providing information about the Revolutionary War battles fought at the site. The park has 1,022 acres to explore. The park is located near Greenwood in the western part of the state. Interstate 26 is the closest interstate.

English: Fort Sumter in South Carolina, USA.
English: Fort Sumter in South Carolina, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fort Sumter National Monument is located in Charleston Harbor. Interstate 26 provides excellent access to the area. This is where the Civil War began. The Visitor Education Center provides information and picnic opportunities. Fort Sumter access is available only by boat. In Chesnee is Cowpens National Battlefield. This Revolutionary War site is in the northwest section of the state near the North Carolina border. It is just to the east of Interstate 26. Kings Mountain National Military Park is in Blacksburg. The park is also located almost on the North Carolina border. west of Charlotte and east of Interstate 85. Museums and trails are available at this Revolutionary War site.

The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is located in Mt. Pleasant to the east of Charleston and Interstate 26. The park contains a remnant of his plantation.

Friday, December 4, 2015

National Lands: South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the v...
The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the viewing plaza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
South Dakota has two interstates. Interstate 29 runs along the eastern border of the state and Interstate 90 runs parallel to the southern border. Badlands National Park is in the southwestern corner of the state just south of Interstate 90 and east of Rapid City. This park has 244,000 acres of beautiful prairie and fossil beds. Camping, hiking and biking are available for visitors as well as auto tours. Wind Cave National Park has beautiful prairies, wildlife and many hiking trails. Under the prairie is Wind Cave which offers tours for visitors. The park is located directly south of Rapid City and Interstate 90. The Candlelight Cave Tour is an amazing experience and visitors can see how people used to explore caves. Jewel Cave National Monument is located in Custer to the southwest of Rapid City. Tennis shoes or hiking boots are needed for the guided tours.

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located south of Rapid City and near Interstate 90. This popular attraction attracts millions of tourists every year. In addition to viewing the memorial, visitors can learn about the people who used to inhabit the area. The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail runs through eleven states. The trail runs north to south through the middle of South Dakota. The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site has three areas to visit along Interstate 90. The Visitors Center is at Exit 131 to the north. The Launch Control facility of Delta 01 is at Exit 127 to the north. The Launch Facility/ Missile Silo is at Exit 116 to the south. These are remnants of the Cold War. Finally, the Missouri National Recreation River offers camping, boating and fishing. The area is in the center of the southern section of the state near the Nebraska border.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

National Lands: Tennessee (Part 2)

English: Sunken Road, Shiloh National Military...
English: Sunken Road, Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fort Donelson National Battlefield is located west of Dover on the northern border of the state. The fort is on the Cumberland River south of the Land between the Lakes. Interstate 24 is to the east and Interstate 40 is to the south. Tours are available at this Civil War fort. Stones River National Battlefield is in Murfreesboro. This Civil War battlefield has Interstate 24 running directly through Murfreesboro which is southeast of Nashville.

Chichamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is located in this state and in Georgia. Interstates 24, 59 and 75 provide access to these Civil War battle areas. The Shiloh National Military Park is located in the southwest corner of the state near the Mississippi border. The Civil War battle area is east of Memphis and south of Interstate 40 and Jackson. The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area in Murfreesboro is accessed by Interstate 24. This area provides information on the state history around the time of the Civil War.

Andrew Jackson National Historic Site honors the president and his life. The site is located in the northeast section of the state near the North Carolina border. Interstate 81 is the closest interstate. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Middlesboro has 24,000 acres of activities. Civil War information is available. Trails, a waterfall and a cave are featured in the park which is located on the northern border where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet.

English: View of Stones River National Cemeter...
English: View of Stones River National Cemetery  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Natchez Trace Parkway spans three states. The 444 mile road enters Tennessee at the southern border southwest of Columbia. It runs west of Columbia to Nashville. Interstate 65 is the closest interstate. Obed Wild & Scenic River near Wartburg is to the west of Knoxville and north of Interstate 40. Hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting and boating are available.

Friday, November 20, 2015

National Lands: Tennessee (Part 1)

English: The Big South Fork of the Cumberland ...
English: The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Scott, Fentress, and Pickett Counties of Tennessee and McCreary County, Kentucky, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located on the eastern border of Tennessee. The park also extends into North Carolina. Interstate 40 hugs the eastern edge of the park. Interstate 40 is to the north and Interstate 75 is to the west which makes this park very convenient to visit. The beautiful plant life and the picturesque mountains draw many travelers each year. In fact, this is the nation's most visited national park. Biking, fishing, hiking and horseback riding are just a few of the myriad of available activities.

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is located in Oneida and extends into Kentucky. The park straddles the northern border of the state with Interstate 75 to the east. Hiking trails, horse trails and whitewater rafting are available at this park. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs through fourteen states at a length of 2,185 miles. The trail travels through the eastern edge of the state with Interstate 40 as the closest interstate.

Main Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains Nat...
Main Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from Gatlinburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is 330 miles long and extends over four states. The trail is located in the northeastern corner of the state. Interstate 81 is to the north and Interstate 26 is to the west. To commemorate the relocation of the Cherokee people to a new homeland is the Trail Of Tears Nation Historic Trail. The trail covers nine states and cuts through the state on a diagonal from southeast to northwest from east of Chattanooga through Nashville to east of Clarksville. Interstate 24 is closest interstate to the trail.

Friday, November 13, 2015

National Lands: Texas (Part 2)

Photos and maps related to Padre Island. Padre...
Padre Island National Seashore - sand dunes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Padre Island National Seashore is a popular vacation spot which is located south of Corpus Christie. Interstate 37 leads right to the area. This stretch of land is known for its long undeveloped barrier beach area. North of Beaumont and Interstate 10 is Big Thicket National Preserve, which is close to the Louisiana border. Forty miles of hiking trails are available. Boating is permitted as is hunting in certain sections of the preserve. The newest addition to the National Parks lands is the Waco Mammoth National Monument which is located in Waco just west of Interstate 35. Visitors can view fossils of mammoths. Fees apply for the tours and they are not covered by the National Park passes. In El Paso is the Chamizal National Memorial which is on the border with Mexico with Interstate 10 as the closest interstate. The site has a cultural center and hiking and biking.

Photos and maps related to Padre Island. Padre...
Padre Island National Seashore - surf fishing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fort Davis National Historical Site is the site of an Indian Wars' Frontier Military Post. It is located south of Pecos and Interstate 10. The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is in Johnson City which is north of San Antonio. The park is west of Interstate 35 and east of Interstate 10. The site honors the accomplishments of President Johnson.  Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park is located at the southern tip of the state. No interstate will get travelers to the area, but Interstates 35 and 37 will get visitors part of the way. This site provides information about the U.S. - Mexican War. The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park presents information on the role of the missions. The El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail is in Texas and Louisiana. Travelers should check the National Park Service website since some of the area is on private land. The El Camino Real de los Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail is in New Mexico and Texas. Most sites are along Interstate 25.

Friday, November 6, 2015

National Lands: Texas (Part 1)

English: The Rio Grande, separating Mexico fro...
English: The Rio Grande, separating Mexico from the U.S., within the massive 1,500 foot high walls of Santa Elena Canyon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two national parks are located in Texas. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the far western section of the state. The park is west of El Paso on the Texas-New Mexico border. The closest interstate is Interstate 10 to the south. The fossil reef has more than 80 miles of trails. Hiking and backpacking are some of the available activities. Horseback riding is permitted on some trails for those who bring their own horses.

Big Bend National Park is located in southwestern Texas with Interstate 10 to the north. This park is on the big bend of the Rio Grande River on the border with Mexico. Boating opportunities are available on the river, which has been designated the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. The area is covered by 100 miles of paved roads and 150 miles of dirt roads and 200 miles of hiking trails. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are some of the many activities.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Tex...
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To the east of Big Bend on the Rio Grande River is Amistad National Recreation Area. The area is south of Interstate 10 and north of Del Rio. Fishing and boating are available, but visitors must keep in mind that the border line for Mexico is in the middle of the lake. In Fritch is the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. The lake is located north of Amarillo and Interstate 40. A variety of water activities, hiking and horseback riding are available. Also in Fritch near Lake Meredith is the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. Guided tours of the quarry are available.

Friday, October 30, 2015

National Lands: Utah (Part 2)

The Rainbow Brigde National Monument
The Rainbow Brigde National Monument (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More of Utah's spectacular scenery is located in the national monuments. North of Zion and east of Interstate 15 is Cedar Breaks National Monument. Hiking and cross country skiing are available with many other activities. Straddling the Utah-Colorado border is Dinosaur National Monument. Interstate 80 is north and Interstate 70 is south, but neither highway is close. Hiking and river rafting are available as is an education in fossils. In the Four Corners area is Hovenweep National Monument and no interstate is even close to this section in southeast Utah. Hiking is available is this park which features archeological sites. In Blanding, Natural Bridges National Monument has three bridges and hiking and camping. It is west of Hovenweep and south of Canyonlands in the southeast corner of the state. Access to Rainbow Bridge National Monument is by boat on Lake Powell. Hiking is by permit only from the Navajo Nation. Timpanogos Cave National Monument is located south of Salt Lake City and north of Orem off Interstate 15.

Overview at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
Overview at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After seeing red rocks and sand, visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area receive a jolt of blue to the eyes with vivid color of the lake. Many water activities are available in this park which is located in south central Utah to the east of Interstate 15. The Union and Central Pacific Railroads were joined in Utah. That spot is marked by the Golden Spike National Historic Site. This place is located west of Interstate 15 and north of the Great Salt Lake. Running through ten states is the California National Historic Trail which is located in the northern section of the state. The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail is also in the northern part of the state east of Salt Lake City. Covering six states is Old Spanish National Historic Trail. Check on the National Park website because some of the areas are under the ownership of various agencies. Commemorating the delivery of mail over eight states is the Pony Express National Historic Trail.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

National Lands: Utah (Part 1)

Thor's Hammer formation in Bryce Canyon Nation...
Thor's Hammer formation in Bryce Canyon National Park. Southwestern Utah, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The classic view of Canyonlands National Park ...
The classic view of Canyonlands National Park from the Green River Overlook, in the Island in the Sky district, Utah, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Canyonlands National Park, located near Moab, ...
Canyonlands National Park, located near Moab, Utah and Arches National Park,(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Utah, a state of incredible beauty, seems to have a welcome overload of amazing scenery. This state is home to five national parks. All five parks are located south of Interstate 70 and west of Interstate 15. Arches National Park is just south of Interstate 70 near the Colorado border outside Moab. Although it has over 2,000 arches, the park also features a variety of other land forms. Every turn of the road offers new treasures. Hiking and rock climbing are among the many activities.

North and west of Arches is Canyonlands National Park which contains absolutely breathtaking scenery. Hiking, boating and horseback riding are available is this beautiful, desolate area. To the west is Capitol Reef National Park which offers hiking, biking and climbing. The Waterpocket Fold is an amazing feature. This is also a desolate area that requires visitors to carry in a good supply of water.

To the southwest is Bryce Canyon National Park which is to the east of Interstate 15. Bryce offers hiking in a sea of hoodoos. These rock formations look like a maze of frozen trees from the canyon rim. In the southwest corner of Utah is Zion National Park which is near Interstate 15. The impressive peaks of this park are awe-inspiring. Hiking, biking and climbing are some of the myriad of activities available. All of these parks have more detailed description elsewhere on this site.


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Friday, October 16, 2015

National Lands: Vermont

Killington Peak, Vermont, seen from Pico Peak
Killington Peak, Vermont, seen from Pico Peak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although it has only two national areas, Vermont is rich in state parks that showcase its beautiful scenery. The Appalachian Trail runs through fourteen states. In Vermont the trail enters the state near White River Junction and cuts across the state and then turns south near Killington Peak. The trail then continues south on the western side of the state. The nearest interstate to the beginning of the Vermont section of the trail is Interstate 89.

The Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller National Historic Park is near the Appalachian Trail. It is located to the west of White River Junction. Tours of the buildings are offered. The area is also great for hiking. A Civil War Home Front Walking Tour is also available.

Friday, October 9, 2015

National Lands: Virginia (Part 2)

http://www.assateagueisland.com/ Assateague Is...
http://www.assateagueisland.com/ Assateague Island National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Shenandoah National Park is the jewel of Virginia. Its 200,000 acres offer a myriad of activities for visitors. Skyline Drive provides an opportunity to view amazing vistas. The 500 miles of hiking trails give a chance to see the local wildlife. The northern entrance of the park is at Front Royal and Interstate 66. The southern entrance is near Waynesboro at Interstate 64. The park is connected to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Assateague Island National Seashore has its southern entrance in Virginia and the northern entrance in Maryland. Interstate 64 will get visitors close to the area. Biking and horseback riding are available, but water is in short supply. Shelling is limited to only one gallon and the shells must not be occupied.

English: View of Shenandoah National Park from...
English: View of Shenandoah National Park from the Skyline Drive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 2,185 mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs through fourteen states. The trail enters Virginia at Harper's Ferry and runs southwest through the state. Interstate 81 provides the closest interstate access. The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail commemorates the area that Smith and his crew mapped around Chesapeake Bay. Boating and hiking are just some of the activities along nearly 3,000 miles. Virginia is one of four states to host the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. This 330 mile trail tracing the route of patriot militia runs through four states with Interstate 81 as the closest interstate to its location in southwest Virginia. At the very top tip of the state is the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail with Interstate 270 as the closest interstate. The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is 560 miles over land and water with a myriad of activities. The National Park Service website has a map of entry points. The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail runs through nine states and DC. In Virginia the trail is east of Interstate 95 and north of Interstate 64.

The Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network offers a variety of water and land activities. In McLean the Claude Moore Colonial Farm showcases farm life at the time of the Revolutionary War. Interstate 495 is the closest interstate. Also in McLean visitors can view the Great Falls of the Potomac River. George Washington is honored by the George Washington Parkway outside DC and the George Washington Birthplace National Monument located near the Potomac in eastern Virginia to the east of Interstate 95. Just south of Dale City on Interstate 95 is Prince William Forest Park that has camping, hiking and biking activities. Finally, In Vienna is the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts just to the west of DC near Interstate 495.

Friday, October 2, 2015

National Lands: Virginia (Part 1)

A statue in Historic Jamestowne commemorating ...
A statue in Historic Jamestowne commemorating the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Virginia is a state rich in historical significance and that is reflected in the number of parks that honor such events. The Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, which is located near Lynchburg, has Interstate 81 to the west. This place of the surrender of General Lee offers a look at the events of the Civil War. The Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park is located in northern Virginia near the intersection of Interstates 81 and 66. Visitors can learn about the heritage of the Shenandoah Valley. Colonial National Historical Park gives a look back at the settlements of Jamestown and Yorktown. This park is located near Interstate 64. Also part of this historical park is Historic Jamestowne which features the recreation of the early settlement and Yorktown Battlefield, site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War. The Cape Memorial honors the site of the first landing of colonists. The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, which is located in Richmond,  honors her work for civil rights.

English: Arlington House also known as the Rob...
English: Arlington House also known as the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Virginia is the site of several National Battlefield Parks. The Richmond National Battlefield Park features many examples of life during the Civil War. South of Richmond on Interstate 85 is the Petersburg National Battlefield, site of another bloody Civil War battle. To the west of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 66 is the Manassas National Battlefield, which is the site of a Confederate victory. The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park was the scene of over 15,000 deaths during the Civil War. Interstate 95 runs through Fredericksburg.

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial pays respect to the Civil War general. The Booker T. Washington Memorial features the accomplishments of this famous man. The closest interstate is Interstate 81 and the memorial is located southeast of Roanoke. Fort Monroe National Monument presents the history of the Indians in the area as well as the Civil War history. This monument is located on Interstate 64 in the Hampton area.

Harper's Ferry National Historic Park runs through Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland and is located where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River. Interstate 70 is the closest interstate to this historical community that features hiking and museums. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is in Virginia and also Tennessee and Kentucky. This park is located in the tip of the southwest corner of Virginia. Interstate 81 is to the east and Interstate 75 is to the west. Historical buildings and hiking trails are just some of the activities available.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

National Lands: Washington

Olympic National Park, Washington, USA.
Olympic National Park, Washington, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Washington is home to three national parks and the state's interstates can help travelers get to them. Mount Rainier National Park is east of Interstate 5. This impressive mountain is 14,410 feet tall. The park offers hiking and climbing opportunities, but it also has boating and fishing. Although most of the roads are closed for the winter season, the Nisqually entrance to Longmire is open. Mount Rainier is incredibly beautiful and worth a multi-day visit. Another amazing area is Olympic National Park. Almost a million acres of this park present many types of vegetation and activities for visitors. Olympic is located to the west of Interstate 5 in the northwest corner of Washington. The park has mountain peaks, waterfalls, rivers, forests and shorelines, so it presents activities for everyone. The last area is North Cascades National Park which is located to the west of Interstate 5 on the Washington-Canadian border. Mountains peaks and beautiful forests await visitors. Hiking and fishing are just some of the activities. Lake Cheland National Recreation Area is also in the vincinity. Visitors should check park alerts for all of these areas since they have been impacted by the drought and are subject to fires.
English: Mowich Lake is a lake located in the ...
English: Mowich Lake is a lake located in the northwestern corner of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many areas of historical significance are in Washington. Visitors can learn about the fur trade as they visit Fort Vancouver, which is located on the north side of the Columbia River in Vancouver by Interstate 5. In Seattle is the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park providing information on those who came to the area seeking gold. Interstate 5 is the nearest interstate. Near the border with Oregon in the southeast corner of the state is the Whitman Mission Historic Site. Interstate 82 is to the east. In the northwest corner of Washington are many islands located to the west of Interstate 5 in the beautiful San Juan Island National Historic Park. This area is reached by ferry. Also reached by ferry is Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve. The Nez Perce National Historical Park covers four states. No interstates are near the park which is in the southest corner of the state.

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is in northeast Washington north of Interstate 90. Boating, fishing and swimming are some of the available activities. Covering seven states is the Oregon National Historic Trail. Located in the southern part of the state, the trail commemorates the move west of the pioneers. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail runs through eleven states. It is also in the southern part of the state with Interstate 84 as the closest interstate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

National Lands: West Virginia

Lower Railroad rapid on the New River, just do...
Lower Railroad rapid on the New River, just downstream from the Cunard access point in the New River Gorge.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although it does not have a national park, West Virginia has many national areas. This state is one of fourteen states through which the Appalachian Trail runs. The trail provides 2,185 miles of hiking opportunities for visitors. The trail enters the state at Harpers Ferry. Only four miles of the trail are in West Virginia before the it straddles the state line with Virginia for fifteen miles. The nearest interstate to Harpers Ferry is Interstate 81.

West Virginia is known for its white water rapids. The nearest interstate to the area is Interstate 64/77 south of Charleston to Beckley. To the east is Gauley River National Recreation Area. This river is famous for its rapids which are Class V and above. To the south of this area is the New River Gorge National River. This beautiful area also has white water rafting opportunities.  The upper river offers Class I - III rapids while the lower gorge features Class III - V. The famous bridge near Fayetteville permits rappelling and BASE jumping on the third Saturday of October. Finally, Bluestone National Scenic River is located near Hinton which offers ten miles of protected river and a beautiful gorge. Interstate 64 is to the north and Interstate 77 is to the west.

Areas that honor significant events of history or heritage include the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This park of 184 miles honors the canals as a major method of transportation. Interstate 68 and Interstate 81 are the closest to this area. The Coal National Heritage area presents the history and conditions of coal mining in the state. Interstate 77 is in the southern section of the area. The Wheeling National Heritage Area features the architecture and history of this city which is located on the Ohio River. Interstate 70 runs through the city. Museums, trails and battlefields are some of the attractions available at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. To the north is Interstate 68 and to the west is Interstate 81. Finally, West Virginia is part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network which is part of 170 museums, trails and water areas.


Friday, September 11, 2015

National Lands: Wisconsin

English: Squaw Bay Sea Caves, part of the Apos...
English: Squaw Bay Sea Caves, part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, on the mainland near Cornucopia, Wisconsin) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wisconsin has many state parks, but only four national land areas. In the northern section of the state is the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Lake Superior surrounds the twenty-one islands of this area. Hiking and many types of water activities are available. Both Interstate 39 in the east and Interstate 94 in the west will take travelers part of the way, but not all the way to the lakeshore.

Two National Scenic Trails are in this state. The Ice Age Trail runs along the edge of where the glaciers in the state used to be. The trail is is 1200 miles long and has many sections to it. Travelers should make sure to research their trip before they embark on their journey. The National Park Service provides information on their website. The North Country National Scenic Trail covers seven states from New York to North Dakota. Since this trail is in the northern part of the state near Lake Superior, no interstates are near it.

The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway has 255 miles of water. The area is in the northwestern section of the state and runs along the western side of Wisconsin and also the eastern part of Minnesota. The closest interstate is Interstate 35 which runs to the west in Minnesota. Interstate 94 travels to the south of the area on its way to St. Paul.

Friday, September 4, 2015

National Lands: Wyoming

Castle Geyser during an eruption. Yellowstone ...
Yellowstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wyoming is home to two national parks. Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are located next to each other in the northwest corner of the state. The closest interstates to the parks are not in Wyoming. Interstate 90 travels through Montana to the north of the parks. To the west is Interstate 15 that runs through Montana and Idaho. In Wyoming Interstate 25 is located to the east of the parks and Interstate 80 to the south. No interstate will take travelers directly to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its geysers, but it has a variety of attractions. Areas such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are just a few of the reasons why this area was made the first national park. So many activities are available in Yellowstone that visitors could spend weeks here. Backpacking, boating, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, camping and wildlife viewing are just a few of the many activities travelers can enjoy.

A quick trip south on the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway will take travelers to Grand Teton National Park. This impressive set of mountains does not have foothills. The view is breathtaking. Activities here include hiking, boating, skiing, camping and fishing. South of the park is Jackson Hole, which is an interesting town to visit.

English: Grand Tetons Barns The John Moulton B...
English: Grand Tetons Barns The John Moulton Barn at the base of the Tetons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Four National Trails run through Wyoming. Auto Tour Route driving instructions are available on the National Park Service website. The California National Scenic Trail travels through ten states and is close to Interstate 80. The trail is in the southern half of the state. The Mormon Pioneer trail is also in the southern half of the state and travels through five states. Covering seven states, the famous Oregon Trail travels near the Mormon Pioneer in the southern part of the state. The last trail is also famous. The Pony Express Trail covers eight states and provided the route for a ten-day trip to deliver mail. It is in the same area as the Mormon Pioneer and the Oregon.

Devil's Tower National Monument is known to many as one of the settings for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The park, whose main attraction is the climbing of the tower is located in the northeastern corner of the state near Interstate 90. Fossil Butte National Monument is in the southwestern corner of the state north of Interstate 80 and near the Idaho border. Activities center around the fossils.

Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area has 120,000 acres of activities which include fishing, hiking and boating. This area extends north into Montana and is to the west of Interstate 90. Finally, Fort Laramie National Historic Site is in the southeastern corner of the state. This military post is located east of Interstate 25 and west of the Nebraska line.

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