It was on March 1st of 1872 that Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming was declared “a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” However, it took 44 additional years until, in 1916, a National Parks Service Act would be signed by president Woodrow Wilson, officially declaring the protection and conservation of National Parks across the country.
There were many other influential presidents who helped to shape the parks that still thrive in America today. Teddy Roosevelt was one of these patrons. He helped to establish five individual parks which covered an expanse of nearly 100 million acres, which still stand today.
Another great influence to the Parks system was Roosevelt’s cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR was a significant figure because he directed funds in order to purchase land for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along with identifying a number of national monuments.
Thanks to these noteworthy presidents, and many others, there are nearly 60 national parks, and a whopping 6624 state parks that are recognized nationally.
Below are a few of the most frequently visited parks:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 10,099,276 visitors
- Grand Canyon National Park: 4,756,771
- Yosemite National Park: 3,882,642
- Yellowstone National Park: 3,513,484
- Rocky Mountain National Park: 3,434,751
Get outdoors and explore the great National Parks that our country has to offer!
Find National, State and other parks near you! http://www.discovertheforest.org/?m=1#map