In April of every year, during National Park Week, the National Park Service joins with the National Park Foundation (the official charity of America’s national parks) to celebrate America’s treasures! National Park Week is a time dedicated to exploring new, amazing places and discovering stories of history and culture. National Park Week 2019 is Saturday, April 20th through Sunday, April 28th. This week is always a good opportunity to learn about National Parks in your area and the beautiful creation inside of these parks that awaits you.
To kick off National Park Week 2019, all entrance fees will be waived on Saturday, April 20th! Throughout the week, parks all over the country will host a variety of special programs and events to celebrate. Each day of National Park Week will have a special theme. You can share your national park experiences and memories on social media by using the hashtags that correspond with each day. Here is the list of different themes:
- Saturday, April 20th: National Junior Ranger Day (#JuniorRangerDay)
- Sunday, April 21st: Military and Veterans Recognition (#MilitaryAndVeteransRecognition)
- Monday, April 22nd: Earth Day (#EarthDay)
- Tuesday, April 23rd: Transportation Tuesday (#TransportationTuesday and #NPSOnTheMove)
- Wednesday, April 24th: Wild Wednesday (#WildWednesday)
- Thursday, April 25th: Throwback Thursday (#ThrowbackThursday)
- Friday, April 26th: Friendship Friday (#FriendshipFriday and #NPSFriends)
- Saturday, April 27th: BARK Ranger Day (#BarkRanger)
- Sunday, April 28th: Park Rx Day (#ParkRx and #HealthyParksHealthyPeople)
Mark your calendar for this awesome week! Now, let’s take a look at some National Parks within our state, and around our area. There are many parks around our area that are perfect to visit.
Located in Daviston, AL., Horseshoe Bend Park is home to beautiful trails and rivers. It is also known for its rich history and culture. On 27 March 1814, Major General Andrew Jackson ‘s army of 3,300 men attacked Chief Menawa’s 1,000 Red Stick Creek warriors fortified in a horseshoe shaped bend of the Tallapoosa River. Over 800 Red Sticks died that day. The battle ended the Creek War, which resulted in a land cession of 23,000,000 acres to the United States and created a national hero of Andrew Jackson. Activities include trails, canoeing, and sight-seeing of the park’s history.
Located near Fort Payne, AL., on top of Lookout Mountain is the Little River Canyon National Preserve. This beautiful place is known for its forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs. Numerous recreational activities are offered here.
If you are from South Florida, or traveling that way, you must check out Big Cypress. The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, support the rich marine estuaries along Florida’s southwest coast. Protecting over 729,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. There are many things to do in this preserve including camping, swamp tours, ranger chats, and canoe adventures.
If you are into history, then this National Historic Site is for you. Located in Andersonville, GA is the Camp Sumter military prison. This prison was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died here. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation’s history. There are many sites to see while visiting here.
These are just a few of the National Parks around our area. To find more parks, visit the National Park Service website here. To learn more about National Park Week, click here. Do not forget to tag us on social media so we can see how you are taking life outside.