Thursday, February 4, 2016

Honor Past Presidents on Federal Lands

8 Places to Honor Past Presidents on Federal Lands

From Mount Rushmore’s sculpture of four famous Presidents in the Black Hills of South Dakota to our nation’s capital to the granite monoliths of Yosemite National Park in California, American presidents have played integral roles in our country’s heritage and Federal lands. Here we honor perhaps four of the greatest with several locations for you to discover more about their contributions to the United States of America’s rich legacy.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (Jim Keenan, Share the Experience)
Mount Rushmore National
Memorial (Jim Keenan,
Share the Experience)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota is one of our most iconic national parks dedicated to four American presidents. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum selected George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt for their outstanding dedication to our country.
Although there is no camping within the Memorial, reserve a campsite in nearby Black Hills National Forest which has 30 campgrounds available.
Join a park ranger in the park's outdoor amphitheater for an inspirational evening program focusing on the presidents, patriotism and the nation's history. The program ends with the film Freedom: America's Lasting Legacy and lighting of the Memorial.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia

Sunrise Cabin, Virginia in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (USFS)
Sunrise Cabin, Virginia
in George Washington and
Jefferson National Forests
(USFS)
Named for two of the most well-known American presidents, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests contains nearly 1.8 million acres (728,434 ha); one of the largest blocks of public land in the eastern United States. Young Washington traveled through much of these lands.
Book a reservation at Sunrise Cabin, from April 1–November 30, 2016, or at one of several other cabins likeBlue Springs Gap Cabin and Stony Fork Cabin and camp, fish, hike, horseback ride and more in the forest all within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Read our spotlight article about Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
Reserve a family-friendly campsite at Sherando Lake, a popular campground in Virginia and visit Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, a World Heritage Site near Charlottesville and Jefferson-designed The University of Virginia campus.
Hike along the Appalachian Trail (AT), the first National Scenic Trail, which runs through the national forest. The AT extends more than 2,175 miles (3,500 km) from Maine to Georgia.

National Mall and Memorial Parks and National Archives, Washington, D.C.

President’s Park (The White House) (Bhavesh Bhagat, Share the Experience)
President’s Park
(The White House)
(Bhavesh Bhagat, Share
the Experience)
Put these must-see spots at the top of your list while visiting Washington, D.C. Start your journey at the White House Visitor Center for excellent exhibits and information about things to see and do at President’s Park (White House). Home to every U.S. president, except George Washington, the White House is recognizable around the world as a symbol of democracy.
Book a tour of the Washington Monument to capture one of the best views of the National Mall and White House. Pause and think about how President Washington was an integral part in the American Revolution and how he became our first president. Reflect on President Abraham Lincoln’s contributions at the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of the National Mall. At the Thomas Jefferson Memorial gaze at the statue, read the inspirational inscriptions and contemplate this famous Virginian’s unprecedented leadership and ingenuity.
Book a tour at the National Archives to learn more about our founding fathers’ historic documents. Explore the Archives’ ties to Presidential papers and Presidential libraries.

Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

Capitan Mountains in Lincoln National Forest (Rachel Tvede, Share the Experience 2014)
Capitan Mountains in
Lincoln National Forest
(Rachel Tvede, Share
the Experience)
Named for President Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln National Forest’s dramatic scenery includes high mountain meadows, mixed conifer forest, Chihuahuan desert and rugged wilderness. Elevations range from 4,000 feet (1,219 m) to 11,500 feet (3,505 m) and include diverse vegetation from rare cacti in the lower elevations to Englemann spruce in the high country. Just as diverse,recreation in the Lincoln National Forest includes something for everyone – camping, hiking, off-highway vehicle riding, bicycling, scenic driving and much more! Near Cloudcroft, explore the Trestle Recreation Area for popular trails and picnicking or visit the Sunspot Visitor Center and Museum in the Sacramento Mountains to learn more about astronomy. Take a guided tour to visit the observatory’s largest telescope, the Dunn Solar Telescope.
The Lincoln National Forest offers most of its campgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis. For special summer events and family get-togethers, enjoy the Lincoln’s group campgrounds offering advanced reservations. Group campgrounds include theAspen Group AreaBlack Bear Group AreaCedar Creek (Sam Tobias)Lower Fir Group AreaSlide Group Area and the Upper Fir Group Area.
Of the 92 fire lookout sites in the State of New Mexico, 69 are found in National Forests including 16 in this forest. While not all lookouts have withstood the ravages of time or even fire, the Lincoln has nine of the original 16, and six of those are on the National Register of Historic Places list.

Theodore Roosevelt Sites—Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site (New York); Sagamore Hill National Historical Site (New York); and Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

Sagamore Hill (NPS)
Sagamore Hill (NPS)
Although currently closed for renovations, the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is scheduled to reopen this year. Stop by in New York to learn about our 26th President’s inspiring early years growing up in the big city.
Sagamore Hill was Roosevelt’s home near Oyster Bay, New York from 1885 until his death in 1919. During his time in office, his "Summer White House" was the focus of international attention. Explore the natural surroundings, book a tour and visitSagamore Hill National Historic Site to delve into the life of this great conservationist and president. Become inspired by his legacy as one of America’s most popular presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to native grasses which provide food for a wide diversity of animals such as bison, elk, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn and smaller mammals such as prairie dogs.
Theodore Roosevelt originally came to Dakota Territory in 1883 to hunt bison. Because commercial hunters had slaughtered most herds in recent years, he found it difficult to find a bison. During this first trip, he became interested in raising cattle. Read more about Roosevelt the rancher.
Roosevelt returned to the area then built his Elkhorn Ranch and became a rancher, following the deaths of his mother and wife in 1884. Learn more about Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch.
Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy surrounds us today in the 230 million acres (93 million ha) of public lands he helped establish during his presidency. Much of that land was set aside as national forests. Roosevelt created the present-day United States Forest Service in 1905, an organization within the Department of Agriculture. He was also the first president to create a Federal Bird Reserve, and established 51 of these during his presidency. These reserves would later become our national wildlife refuges, managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Also during his administration, the National Park System grew. When the National Park Service was created in 1916 - seven years after he left office, there were 35 sites managed by the new organization of which he helped created 23 of those.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois

Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois (Steve Martin, Share the Experience)
Lincoln Home in
Springfield, Illinois
(Steve Martin, Share
the Experience)
Sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln guided our country through an epic period in history. He believed in the ideal that everyone in America should have the opportunity to improve their economic and social condition. Lincoln’s life was the embodiment of that idea.
Visit Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield to discover his hopes, dreams and challenges as he led this country through difficult times.
Discover treasures and fascinating stories and exhibits about the 16th President at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina and Virginia

Two kayakers paddling on Lake Drummond near bald cypress (Timothy Burton, Share the Experience)
Two kayakers paddling
on Lake Drummond near
bald cypress (Timothy
Burton, Share the
Experience)
Straddling the Virginia-North Carolina border the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refugeis the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres (404,686 ha). In 1728, William Byrd II, charged with surveying the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina, proposed draining the swamp, selling the timber, and using the land for agricultural purposes. Some forty years later, several prominent Virginians, including George Washington, founded the Dismal Swamp Land Company to implement Byrd's plan. The company did not succeed with the agricultural venture, but commercial harvesting of the swamp's resources began.
Use this map (PDF) to locate refuge trails. Try the Washington Ditch entrance to enjoy the ¾-mile (1.2 km) accessible boardwalk trail that loops deep into the forest, or take the 4.5 mile (7.2 km) hiking or biking trail to Lake Drummond. An observation deck is located at the lake where bald cypress trees stand as sentinels in and around the lake. The Railroad Ditch entrance is a six mile (9.6 km) auto tour route to Lake Drummond. On this route, visit the Underground Railroad Education Pavilion, the Cypress Marsh, the West Ditch Boardwalk and Lake Drummond. For auto access, a self-serve permit is required. Check the refuge’s plan your visit page for details.
Although there is no camping in the refuge you can stay at nearby First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome and Valley (NPS)
Yosemite National Park’s
Half Dome and Valley (NPS)
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, establishing Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as the first protected wild land. This grant also set aside the first California state park. This perennial park favorite is an extremely popular camping, hiking and recreation destination. This year marks the Centennial of the National Park Service and Yosemite will be a top pick for today’s travelers. Read our in depth articles: Yosemite National ParkCalifornia Gold Rush: Stake Your Claim at Yosemite and Other Popular California Places – tips for striking it rich with a rare permit or reservation at a prime destination and 10 Yosemite Valley Alternatives to locate other places to stay and catch the magic that is Yosemite.

(source: recreation.gov)
8B Ranch / Outdoors

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