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) Assateague Is... 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.