Thursday, August 18, 2016

National Lands: Kansas

US Army 51501 Belated Honors for Fort Larned S...
US Army 51501 Belated Honors for Fort Larned Soldiers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Kansas the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is located in Topeka. This site commemorates the case that ended legal segregation in public schools. Topeka is located on Interstate 70 west of Kansas City in the northeast corner of the state. The Fort Larned National Historic Site features a fort on the Santa Fe Trail. This site is well-preserved and complete. The fort is to the southwest of Great Bend and south of Interstate 70 in the central part of the state. Fort Scott National Historic Site is located south of Kansas City near the Missouri state line. No interstate is close to the area. Nicodemus National Historic Site honors the African Americans who helped with the settlement of the Great Plains. The site is located in the northwestern section of the state east of Colby and north of Interstate 70.

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects what is left of the tallgrass that used to cover so much of the prairie lands.  The area is to the west of Emporia and Interstates 35 and 335. Trails and fishing are available in the area. The California National Historic Trail covers ten states. In Kansas this trail cuts across the northeast corner of the state. The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail travels through eleven states. It runs along the Missouri River along the upper eastern border of the state. Traveling across seven states is the Oregon National Historic Trail. This trail also cuts across the northeastern corner of the state. Young men carried the mail on horseback from Missouri to California. The Pony Express National Historic Trail traces this route. In Kansas the trail travels along the northeast corner. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail runs across the northern section of the state.

Friday, August 12, 2016

National Lands: Kentucky

Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky)
Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The world's longest known cave system is in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave National Park has over 400 miles of caves. The park is located to the northeast of Bowling Green with easy access provided by Interstate 65. Cave tours are available, but visitors should check the National Park Service website for the list of restricted items. No matter how hot the weather is, visitors should remember the cave temperature is much lower. A jacket would come in handy. The park offers more than the cave. Biking, hiking, camping and horseback riding are also available. Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area has 125,000 acres of land. This area is located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border just west of Interstate 75. The park has hiking trails and horse trails. Whitewater rafting is available and so is the opportunity to tour a coal mine.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is in three states. The park is where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia all meet just east of Interstate 75. The area has waterfalls, trails and caves. It is also rich in historical sites. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is located southeast of Elizabethtown and to the east of Interstate 65. Hiking trails and picnic areas are available. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail travels through nine states. It commemorates the relocation of the Cherokee people from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee to Oklahoma. In Kentucky the trail runs through the southwestern part of the state.

Friday, August 5, 2016

National Lands: Louisiana

English: A scene in the Atchafalaya Basin in L...
English: A scene in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Louisiana is a state rich in culture and the national lands in this state reflect the importance of its cultural heritage. Atchafalaya National Heritage Area covers fourteen parishes and celebrates the Cajun Culture in the area. Basically, this site is the center of the lower section of Louisiana. Interstate 49 and Interstate 10 are close to this part of the state. The Cane River Heritage Area is located in Natchitoches which is on Interstate 49 between Shreveport and Alexandria. Forts, plantations, museums and historic homes are in the area. Hiking, biking and fishing are some activities. In Natchez is Cane River Creole National Historic Park. The park celebrates the Creole culture and includes two plantations.

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail is shared with Texas. This 1,000 mile road connected missions and posts. In Louisiana this trail travels west from Natchitoches. Interstate 49 is the closest interstate. In New Orleans the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve has six sites around southern Louisiana. These include a cemetery, a battlefield and a museum. These sites are not close to on another, so visitors should check the National Park Service website. The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park pays homage to the famous music of New Orleans. The visitor center is in the French Quarter. The Poverty Point National Monument in Epps is located in the northeastern corner of the state. It is just north of Interstate 20 and west of the Mississippi River. This site has 400 acres and has Native American earthworks dating back to 12 centuries before Christ.