What protects more than 400 national parks and monuments, 84 million acres and spans across America and its additional territories? If you guessed the National Park Service, you’re correct! On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created this government agency under the Organic Act in an effort to preserve America’s most beautiful natural spaces. Join us as we find special ways to celebrate our National Park Service today — and every day.

Find a Park Near You

America’s national parks can be found in 28 states, along with territories including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chances are, there’s a national park within driving distance for you, so there’s no time like the present to plan your next visit! You might also choose to visit more than one — for example, you could tell your friends that you’ve explored the 15 least-visited national parks in the U.S., or make the truly impressive bucket-list goal of visiting each and every one.

Learn About Its History

If you’re a student of history, you’ll be fascinated by the people and events who make up the story of the National Park System. Learn how the NPS came to be after the creation several national parks — including Yellowstone, Sequoia and Yosemite — or how our parks have grown and changed through the years. You might also be interested to learn more about the women who contributed to the National Park Service early in its history, like Isabelle F. Story, Lillie Rose Walker and Cecilia Matic.

Get active

If you love to get outside and be active, there’s no better place to explore than our national parks. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a dream for many hikers, while golfing in Red Rock Country is some of the best in America. Yellowstone National Park is breathtaking in the winter — and it’s an incredible place to snowmobile, snowshoe and ski with your fellow learners.

Share the Fun with Your Grandkids

One of the most important ways we can celebrate our national parks is by sharing their wonders with the next generation. Learn with them online as you share games and trivia created by the National Park Service, or introduce them to your favorite national parks on Road Scholar learning adventures at Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and more.

Enjoy a Virtual Exploration

Can’t make it to a park? Don’t worry — through the wonders of technology, there are many ways to explore our national parks virtually! Check out the webcams hosted by the National Park Service that offer a live look at places like Lake McDonald or Yosemite Falls, or take a virtual tour of locations including Crater Lake National Park or the National Mall. You can even join Road Scholar for a three-day Adventures Online to learn about Chaco Canyon and Pueblo history.

And of course, you can always join Road Scholar for a national park learning adventure to learn from our experts and meet other learners share your love for nature. We hope you’ll join us to explore America’s national parks soon!

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