Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky MountainsThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. With over 9,000,000 tourists per year, it is the most visited national park in the U.S. On its path from Maine to Georgia the Appalachian Trail also passes through the center of the park. The park was established by the United States Congress in 1934 and dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkThis National Park was created in 1916 on the big island of Hawaii and encompasses an area of 505 square miles. Over one half is considered wilderness where visitors can hike and camp. In acknowledgment of the park's extraordinary biological importance, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was named as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National ParkHot Springs Reservation was created by Congress on April 20, 1832. It is located near Hot Springs, Arkansas and was designated as a National Park on March 4, 1921. It is one of the smallest of the national parks in the U.S.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Entrance to Mammouth Cave National ParkSince 1816, visitors have walked the underground mazes of Mammoth Cave. Mammoth Cave National Park in central Kentucky was authorized as a national park in 1926 and was fully established July 1, 1941 to conserve a system of caves that are a part of the Green River valley and centered around the Green River, with a tributary, the Nolin River, feeding just inside the park. The Green River has a dam near the western end of the park, so that the river only flows freely for a small section in the eastern part. This is the longest cave series on earth, with more than 365 miles investigated, and located on over 52,800 acres (214 km²).

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National ParkMount Rainier National Park, located in Ashford, Washington. The park was created on March 2, 1899. The mountain is an active volcano surrounded by more than 35 square miles (91 km²) of snow and glacial ice. The park contains 368 square miles (953 km²) and includes all of Mount Rainier, that is 14,411 feet tall and is the largest single-peak glacial system in the U.S. Carbon Glacier is the largest glacier by volume in the continental U.S., while Emmons Glacier is the largest glacier by area. The mountain is enclosed by flourishing old forests, extraordinary high meadows and a National Historic Landmark District.

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