August 25, 2016 is a special day in history for the United States. A hundred years ago today, the National Park Service was established.
The idea of creating the National Parks dates back to 1832, when artist George Catlin was exploring the northern great plains, and thought to himself that these great lands should be protected from development and modernization. Nothing came of this until 1864 when California senator John Conness sponsored an act to make the Yosemite Valley a protected land for public use and recreation. After the founding of Yosemite, soon other parks followed, such as Yellowstone in 1871 and Mackinac in 1875. Many beautiful lands over the next 40 years were added to the list of protected lands, but things changed for the best for the parks when President Wilson established the National Park Service. The service was created to manage and protect all of these beautiful lands and make sure they could survive for future generations to experience them.
LBA encourages our students and their families to take advantage of this holiday and go off the grid and enjoy the beautiful outdoors in our wonderful national parks.
Here are some of our favorites to visit for hiking, camping, and any outdoor activities:
1. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area
Our first choice is the closest to the South Bay, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area. The park is technically not a “National Park” but is governed by National Park Service. The Recreational Area offers many activities that would be fun for the whole family, such as hiking along the Backbone trail, and also for the backpacking enthusiasts, the trail is great for a couple days of hiking.
2. Channel Islands National Park
Second on our list is a coastal experience for the ocean enthusiast. Across the ocean in our backyard, the Channel Islands National Park is a great choice for a weekend expedition. The islands offer great activities such as hiking, backpacking, and especially Kayaking.
3. Yosemite Valley
Our third and final recommendation is for a weekend road trip up north to the beautiful Yosemite Valley. One of the most visited parks in all of america, its popularity is credited to the breathtaking views and spectacular activities that the area offers. The valley hosts some of the best hiking trails in all of the country, and the park is well known for their challenging and unique climbing routes.
Starting today (August 25th) and continuing through Sunday (August 28th) the National Park Service is offering free entry into the parks to celebrate the centennial. LBA encourages all of our families to visit any national park and experience the beauty and freedom that these parks offer.