On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved legislation creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau within the Department of Interior. Although 35 national parks and monuments had already been designated, there was no official government agency responsible for managing them. Today the National Park Service manages nearly 400 areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
Areas managed by the National Park Service include national parks, battlefields, seashores, monuments, and historic sites nationwide. These areas offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation and educational experiences. Although the National Park Service is best known for its great scenic parks, more than half the areas preserve places that commemorate persons, events, and activities important in our nation's history. These range from archeological sites associated with prehistoric Indian civilizations to sites related to the lives of modern Americans.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
2995 Lincoln Farm Road
Hodgenville, KY 42748-9707
A cabin, symbolic of the one in which Lincoln was born, is preserved in a memorial building at the site of his birth.
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0177
The sea sets the mood here, uniting the rugged coastal area of Mount Desert Island, picturesque Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland, and the spectacular cliffs of Isle au Haut.
Adams National Historical Park
135 Adams Street
Quincy, MA 02169
The park includes the home of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, of U.S. Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams, and of the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams; and the birthplaces of both presidents and United First Parish Church, location of the Adams Crypt.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
301 River Road
P.O. Box 27
Harrison, NE 69346-2734
This park was originally a working cattle ranch owned by Capt. James Cook and known as Agate Springs Ranch. The park features renowned quarries that contain numerous, well preserved mammal fossils from the Miocene Epoch; these represent an important chapter in the evolution of mammals. The park's museum collection also contains more than 500 artifacts from the Cook Collection of Plains Indian artifacts.
Alagnak Wild River
c/o Katmai National Park and Preserve
P.O. Box 7
King Salmon, AK 99613-0007
The Alagnak River flows from Kukaklek Lake in Katmai National Preserve and offers 69 miles of outstanding whitewater floating.The river is also noted for abundant wildlife and sport fishing for five species of salmon.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
c/o Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
P.O. Box 1460
Fritch, TX 79036-1460
For thousands of years, people came to the red bluffs above the Canadian River to dig agatized dolomite from quarries to make projectile points, knives, and other tools.
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
110 Federal Park Road
Gallitzen, PA 16641
Traces of the first railroad crossing of the Allegheny Mountains can still be seen here. An inclined-plane railroad built between 1831 and 1834, it permitted transportation of passengers and freight over the mountains, providing a critical link in the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal system and with the west.
Amistad National Recreation Area
HCR-3, Box 5-J
Del Rio, TX 78840-9350
Boating, watersports, and camping highlight activities at the Amistad Reservoir on the Rio Grande River.
Andersonville National Historic Site
496 Cemetery Road
Andersonville, GA 31711-9707
This Civil War prisoner-of-war camp commemorates the sacrifices by American prisoners not only in the 1861-65 conflict but in all wars. The prison site is partially reconstructed. Includes National Prisoner of War Museum and Andersonville National Cemetery (16,000 interments, 1,004 unidentified).