America’s National Parks Posted by Gabriele on Jan 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
The national parks system in the United States is both extensive* and impressive. In my opinion America’s national parks are one of my country’s best features. I love being out doors, hiking and camping and these parks are some of the best places to do these activities in the United States. I would like to introduce you to a number of the famous and less well known national parks in the United States over the next few months, but first I am going to start today by giving you some general information about the national park system in the United States.
The United States has 58 protected areas called national parks**. The first national park to be established in the United States was Yellowstone National Park in 1872. The national parks in the United States are operated and protected by the National Park Service. The men and women who work in the national parks are called “park rangers”. They usually where uniforms and are available to provide the public with helpful information about the park, but also to police the people visiting the parks and protect the animals and land.
Twenty-seven out of fifty states in America have national parks. Alaska and California have the greatest number of national parks in their states, as they have eight national parks each. The largest national park in the United States is in the state of Alaska and is called Wrangell-St. Elias National Park; it is over 8,000,000 acres (32,000 km2) in size. The most visited national park in the United States is Great Smokey Mountains National Park (located in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina) with over 9 million visitors every year. Below is a picture I took in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park this past fall. Can you guess why they call those mountains the “smokey mountains”? That isn’t actually smoke though, they are just low-lying clouds in the mountains.
You can find out more information about the national park system by visiting the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/index.htm. You can go camping at most national parks in the United States; many have lodges*** to stay in as well. In my next post I will share with you more information about the first national park created in the United States, Yellowstone National Park. I will also share some pictures from a trip I took to Yellowstone a few years ago.
** a reserve of natural land that is protected from development and for the enjoyment of the public
** a large house/dwelling used as a temporary residence usually found in the woods
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