National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access. The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nation’s most beautiful areas. Today, the system consists of more than 60,000 miles.

Enjoy a fun map! Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 53rd anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

Devils Postpile National Monument, CA

Sequoia National Park

Happy 131st anniversary to Sequoia National Park! On this day, President Harrison signed legislation creating America’s second national park. It was the first national park created to protect the giant sequoia trees from logging. 

At this time, the KNP Complex fires are still growing in the national park and the surrounding areas. Lightning caused these two fires back on September 9th. As a result of the fires, the parks evacuated employees from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the parks are closed to the public. 

John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.”

To celebrate this anniversary and help the national park at this time, you can make a donation to the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. As stated on their website, donations to this fund will support sequoia conservation, lost habitat restoration, repairs to damaged historic and cultural sites, trail work, and wildfire mitigation efforts.

Day Trip!

Last week, we journeyed to Yosemite National Park for the day. The kids had last week off and we needed a day out in nature! And nature did not disappoint!

We took the kids on four hikes and the lucked out on the last one with no crowds. We started the hike to Mirror Lake around 4pm and owned the trail. It can be hard to get away from people in Yosemite, but staying later paid off!

We had a really great day and loved spending a long day in a national park!

For a recent blog post about Yosemite National Park, click here.

Muir Woods National Monument

Happy 113th anniversary to Muir Woods National Monument!

On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Muir Woods National Monument in California named after conservationist John Muir. Muir Woods became the 7th National Monument and was the first one created from land donated by a private individual.

Did you know that the first movement to save Muir Woods was organized by women? Check out this link for a short video about it.

Muir Woods is a great place to see some amazing redwood trees, check out the history here, and take in a few hikes. I highly recommend that you check out Muir Woods National Monument!

Check out their website before heading there to see any restrictions and closures going on now.

Happy 113th!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out of town for a few days and visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Given this trip was plan B for our summer vacation, it turned out really great!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon sit south of Yosemite National Park in California in the southern Sierra Nevadas. Sequoia is America’s second national park created in 1890.

In Sequoia National Park, the kids opted to check out General Sherman as our first adventure in the park. General Sherman stands as the earth’s largest tree in volume of total wood. It is 275 feet tall with a circumference of 103 feet. Its trunk weighs an estimated 1,385 tons! It’s also estimated to be 2,200 years old! Every year, General Sherman grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tall tree of usual size.

Over in Kings Canyon National Park, we checked out General Grant.

While these parks have the amazing giant trees, these two parks also showcase other diverse parts of nature. Enjoy a few photos of other parts of these parks:

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We really enjoyed our time here! We did miss going to the visitor centers and listening to ranger talks, but the kids still learned new things and completed their junior ranger books that we printed out at home before our trip. 

While most people drive on through these two parks in one day, you can easily spend multiple days here and enjoy the variety of landscapes and trails here. I’d highly recommend checking out these two parks if you’re in the area!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir

Happy 129th to Yosemite!

Happy 129th anniversary to Yosemite National Park!

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In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation creating the nation’s third national park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land.

Yosemite National Park is located in central California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Yosemite ignites many images when you say its name. It’s hard not to picture the iconic Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. You can also find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

This park has some cool history facts here too. For one, America’s first female park ranger in the National Park Service came from Yosemite National Park. I highlighted Clare Marie Hodges in this blog post here.

Yosemite has a long history with junior rangers. It had a Junior Nature School that was organized in June 1930 and went until 1954. Could you pass a 1933 junior ranger test?  The national park service has one on their website. Try it here.

Definitely put Yosemite National Park on your bucket list of places to visit and check out the cool landscapes and history at this national park!

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Lassen Volcanic National Park

Happy 113th anniversary to Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Located about 130 miles north of Sacramento, this national park has over 100,00 acres. Congress established this national park back in 1916 making it one of the oldest in our country.

Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors the cool experiences of seeing clear mountain lakes, meadows filled with wildflowers, and a number of volcanoes! In fact, Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world.

We took the two kids there a few years ago and will never forget the “stinky” section of the park. Both kids holding their noses and wondering what that smell was! It definitely entertained mom and dad! 😉 The kids enjoyed seeing the boiling mudpots and steaming vents with that yummy sulfur smell!

If you’re in the Northern California area, check out this unique national park and experience a volcano! Happy anniversary, Lassen!

Enjoy some photos from our time there!