Friday, March 25, 2016

National Lands: Nevada

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nevada is crossed by two interstates. Interstate 80 travels across the northern section of the state from Reno to West Wendover. Interstate 15 is in the southern tip of the state from Las Vegas to Mesquite. To the northwest of Las Vegas on the California border is Death Valley National Park. This area is below sea level and is known for its extremely hot temperatures. The park has over three million acres of land and offers hiking, backpacking and mountain biking. Visitors should plan carefully for their visit. Make sure the car is in excellent working order and be sure to bring plenty of water. Along the middle of the eastern border is Great Basin National Park. Interstate 80 is to the north, but not close. The beautiful Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive in the mountains of the South Snake Range is 12 miles long. The Lehman Caves offer marble caves. Food and water are some of the items that are not permitted during tours. Check the park service site for a complete list. Hiking and fishing opportunities are available.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is east of Las Vegas at the southern tip of the state. Interstate 15 is directly north of the area and provides convenient access. Many different kinds of water activities are available in addition to hiking trails. The area is 1.5 million acres and the temperatures can be 120 degrees. Visitors should make sure to be prepared for their visit. Caves and hot springs are located at Black Canyon. Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, which is 20 miles outside of Las Vegas, is new and does not have a visitor center or parking areas. Bus service is available and biking to the park is an option.
English: Manly Beacon and Red Cathedral viewed...
English: Manly Beacon and Red Cathedral viewed from Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The California National Historic Trail, which covers ten states, commemorates those who traveled west during the Gold Rush. The trail is located in the northern section of the state with Interstate 80 as the closest interstate. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail is in six states. The trail is in the southern tip of the state near Interstate 15. Running through eight states is the Pony Express National Historic Trail. In Nevada the trail cuts across the center of the state near Interstate 80. This trail honors the delivery of the mail from Missouri to California.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

National Lands: New Hampshire

English: Aspet House at Saint-Gaudens National...
English: Aspet House at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Hampshire, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New Hampshire is home to two national land areas. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is located in Cornish. The area is south of Lebanon on the western border of the state. To the west are the Connecticut River and Interstate 91, which is in Vermont. Interstate 89 is to the east. An art tour is available as is a tour of the house of this famous artist. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was a sculptor and over 100 of his works are displayed.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail travels through fourteen states. This trail is 2,185 miles long. In New Hampshire the trail cuts across the top half of the state.


Friday, March 4, 2016

National Lands: New Jersey

English: Great Falls of the Passaic River in P...
English: Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located in the top northeastern part of New Jersey along the Delaware River. Interstate 80 travels just to the south of the area. This 70,000 acre park offers a variety of water activities on 40 miles of river in addition to over 100 miles of hiking trails. The Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic River is located south of the Gap. It is between Interstate 80 and Interstate 95. Boating, hiking, fishing and biking are some of activities along the river. The New Jersey Pinelands National Preserve encompasses over one million acres and is located in the southeast section of the state near the ocean.  Swimming kayaking, fishing and hunting are just some of the many available activities. The Great Egg Harbor River has 17 tributaries and is located in the preserve.

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which honors the site where so many immigrants were processed to live in the United States. Morristown National Historical Park commemorates where General Washington and his soldiers spent their brutal winter. The museum is located in Morristown which is on Interstate 287 south of Interstate 80. Thomas Edison National Historic Park showcases the home and laboratory of the famous inventor. The site is located in West Orange which is northwest of Newark on Interstate 280.  Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park has many museums and a castle in the city of Paterson which is on Interstate 80 north of Newark. The most beautiful attraction is the Great Falls of the Passaic River.

Delaware Water Gap, as seen from the Appalachi...
Delaware Water Gap, as seen from the Appalachian Trail at Mount Minsi, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gateway National Recreation Area has three units and a total of 27,000 acres. The New Jersey unit is in Sandy Hook which is at the tip of the Jersey Shore. A myriad of water sports and hiking are just some of the activities. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail travels through fourteen states. In New Jersey the trail passes through the top half of the state. The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route is an auto-trail that covers 300 of the shore with hiking, biking, boating and swimming among the many activities. The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail runs through nine states and DC. New Jersey has two routes that pass along the top half of the state and then down the western edge.