In 1792, America’s first planned industrial city was established around the Great Falls of the Passaic River. Harnessing the power of the falls, cotton and silk mills began to spring up along the river. It was here in Paterson, New Jersey, that the American Industrial Revolution was born, making our country an economic player on the world stage. Today, the history and the stunning falls are protected as Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Photo by volunteer Terry McKenna, National Park Service.
On Veterans Day, we say thank you to all the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Memorials across the country honor our brave veterans and make sure that we never forget their dedication and sacrifice. Photo of the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. by Scott Thomason (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy 40th birthday, Badlands National Park! This South Dakota park was established on this day in 1978, and it’s anything but bad. Long before it was a park, the Badlands’ rugged beauty has drawn visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Today, the park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets live. Photo by William Green (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts is known for Revolutionary history and bold fall colors. Under the rustling leaves, you can hear whispers of the past at the Captain William Smith House. Captain Smith led a small militia against British soldiers at the Battle of Concord, fighting in the fields near his house. The house and fields have been restored to their 1775 appearance, making a visit feel like traveling back in time. Photo by Joseph Sirkovich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated. A universal symbol of freedom and democracy, the statue was designated as a national monument in 1924, and the National Park Service has been caring for the colossal statue since 1933. Photos by National Park Service.
Happy birthday to President Theodore Roosevelt! As President, Roosevelt established 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks and 18 national monuments on over 230 million acres of public land. His words and actions were a massive contribution to the conservation movement and cemented his legacy as a champion of public lands. Photo of Theodore Roosevelt Island (part of George Washington Memorial Parkway in D.C. and Virginia) by Katherine Scott (www.sharetheexperience.org).
On this day in 1867, the Territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States, and in 1917, Alaska Day was created to celebrate this historic moment. From stunning mountains to winding rivers that snake through valleys, there are over 222 million acres of public lands in Alaska and much of it’s managed by the Interior Department. This beauty scene is Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The river flows west past the jagged limestone ridges of the White Mountains and is a popular spot for river adventurers. It’s great for a float trip, wildlife viewing and fishing. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Bandelier National Monument’s human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons of New Mexico. Between 1150 and 1550 CE, Ancestral Pueblo erected permanent settlements whose remains give us clues about their lives and culture. Built along the base of a cliff, the homes at Long House stood three to four stories high. The cliff face and remaining structures are decorated with hundreds of petroglyphs showing a variety of subjects. A visit here is like traveling back in time. Photo by Sally King, National Park Service.
We’re ending our week-long celebration of rivers and trails with this beautiful shot of Cow Island – where the Missouri Wild and Scenic River crosses the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. Canoeists can follow in the footsteps of famous explorers Lewis and Clark as they traverse the geological folds and faults of “Breaks” country on Montana’s Upper Missouri River. Anglers can cast a line for one of the many fish species found here, or #FindYourWay to adventure along the river’s banks. This spot doesn’t just protect an outstanding landscape and the story of its legendary exploration. It also tells the story of a brutal, sorrowful moment in our history – the 1877 flight of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe from their homelands while being pursued by the U.S. Army. After the Nez Perce were ordered to relocate to a reservation, violence erupted and the Nez Perce fled towards Canada. Nearly 750 Nez Perce men, women and children travelled over 1,170 miles through the mountains before they surrendered just shy of the Canadian border. Their desperate and circuitous escape route, along with their story of pursuit and persecution, is now called the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. As you walk in the same path as the Nez Perce, learn about this part of our country’s heritage and see some of the sacred land that the Nez Perce still use today. Photo by Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
The imposing rock formation of Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska rises 800 feet above the North Platte River and the surrounding prairie. For pioneers and travellers, it was visible for several days before they actually reached it and meant the end of the Great Plains and the beginning of the Rocky Mountains. Visitors today can get a sense of frontier time as they look out over some of the the best preserved prairie in the country – gorgeous grasslands relatively untouched by human disturbance. Photo by B. Wagner, National Park Service.