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Mesa Verde National Park

An important archaeological preserve

The Mesa Verde National Park is found in the United States of America. It is found in Montezuma County in the State of Colorado; and Mesa Verde is an American National Park as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is currently the biggest archaeological preserves in America today.

President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 established the park and this was to help protect and preserve the cliff dwellings in the area and some of the very best in the world also. He called them the works of man and the President was very proud of the park also. Though, the park still remains a cultural National Park; in fact it was the first park. It currently stretches over 81.4 square miles and there are so many different ruins of villages and homes found in the Four Corners of the park. Currently there are more than 4,000 archaeological sites found at the park and at least 600 cliff dwellings also in the park.

There is a complete 52,400 acres of land in the Mesa Verde National Park. This is found in south west Colorado and the many amazing canyons have all been created because of the erosion from the receding water ways, and ancient oceans also. The elevations in the park can range from 6000 to 8572 feet. The climate of the Mesa Verde National Park is fairly arid. Most of the water source is from the summer rains and winter snow falls also.

Mesa Verde National Park Facts
Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park

The History of Mesa Verde National Park

It was said that the Anasazi used to inhabit the region for many years; though evidence suggests that the people left before the 15th century. However, they made up most of farmers which grew crops; and most famers cropped corn and it was a large part of their every day diets also. Most of the men in the settlers were in fact hunters so that their diets could be expanded to meat products also.

The women of the groups spent their days basket weaving and pottery also; and the artefacts were in fact high prized. Though, there are no written records of the group through their groups. In 1190, the people started to build the cliff dwellings in which the park is famed for. These structures are found in the caves of the park and were built expertly also. Though the largest cliff dwelling is going to be the Cliff Palace and it is one of the most visited sites of today.

Key References for Mesa Verde National Park

In 1756, an expedition of the region near the park under Don Juan Maria de Rivera. During the expedition, the ancient ruins were seen however the expedition didn’t note down any notable proof of existence of these that would clearly mark these ruins out in their journals. This was the first white man expedition from New Mexico.

In 1886, a newspaper, the Denver Tribune created and published an article which suggested the creation of the area to become a national Park at the archaeological site.

In 1906, American President Theodore Roosevelt approved the parks creation.

In the 1930’s-1940’s, the civilian conservation corps started to exclave the park and create roads and rails also.

In 1966, the park was named on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1978 the Mesa Verde National Park was named a World Heritage Site.

In 1987, the Mesa Verde Administrative District was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 the park suffered from wild land fires.

Services Found In the Mesa Verde National Park

The spruce tree house – this is going to be opened throughout the year if the weather is good of course.

The Chapin mesa archaeological museum – this part of the park can be opened all throughout the year also.

The balcony house, cliff palace and long house are all amazing places to visit. However, these are ranger guided tours and visitors will need tour tickets to go on these tours also. Dwellings throughout the park can usually be seen from the road; however some of the dwellings aren’t open or available to the tourists.

Mesa Verde National Park Information
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Hiking trails – there are many great hiking trails to use.

A beautiful and comfortable camp ground

Facilities for food – this is usually only during the peak seasons.

Lodgings and fuel stations are also available during the busy seasons of the year. During the winter all of these things are not going to be available to view.

There is a federal exclusive jurisdiction over the park; this means that the federal National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers will handle every emergency in the park. All of the services such as fire for wild land and structural as well as medical and law enforcement services also.

The Ute Mountain Tribal Park and Modifications

Across from the Mesa Verde National Park lies the Ute Mountain Tribal Park which is almost 125,000 acres all along the Mancos River. This helps to bring history, culture and knowledge about the people who lived in the area years ago. In 2008, the Colorado Historical Society invested seven million dollars into a new project to culturally modify trees within the park.

The Mesa Verde National Park is certainly a lovely area in which thousands visit every year. The park is going to be one amazing park to visit and there are so many amazing sites and scenery to view today. There is a huge history when it comes to learning who lived in the area and how they managed to receive water from the rain is truly amazing. Many do love the park and it has so many things to explore also today.

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Mammoth Cave National Park

The Longest Cave System Known in the World.

In Kentucky, the Mammoth Cave National Park can be found. This is an American National Park and it brings together some of the world’s best known and most loved cave systems. The cave system is also one of the world’s longest systems also; this is the Mammoth Cave system in which is found in the National Park.

The official name is the Mammoth Flint Ridge Cave System for the park; this is because of the ride which is under the formed cave. However, the park is such a beautiful park to visit whether someone wishes to find out all of the information about the cave system or just enjoy the beauty of the caves also.

In 1941 on the 1st of July, the establishment of the park was first completed. It wasn’t until 1981 when the Mammoth Cave National Park becomes a World Heritage Site; this was on the 27th of October. In 1990 on the 26th of September, the park became an international Biosphere Reserve also.

Mammoth Cave National Park covers more than 52,800 acres – 52,830 acres to be exact; and the park can be found in Edmonson County within the State of Kentucky. There are smaller areas which lead east towards Barren County and Hart County of Kentucky also; and it is found centre at the Green River.

The Nolin River feeds into the park’s Green River also; and there are more than 400 miles of passageways to the amazing cave system also. This does help to make it the world’s biggest known cave system; this is more than twice the size of the Jewel Cave in South Dakota which is the second longest cave system. The Jewel Cave in South Dakota has 157 miles of passageways in the cave; at least, that is what is known for sure.

Mammoth cave National Park Facts and information
Rotunda Room in Mammoth Cave / Photo courtesy of USGS

The Limestone Labyrinth of Mammoth Cave National Park

The Mammoth Cave was developed by the limestone which is capped off with a layer of sandstone. This helps to ensure the cave system is incredibly strong and stable also; and there are more than 390 miles of passageway in the system also. However, each and every year so far, there have been newer discoveries and connections which always add more miles to the cave system. This is truly incredible because it could mean that there are more passageways in the cave system that are yet to be discovered so whoever know where this cave system might stop!

The Mammoth Cave National Park was first established in order to help preserve the cave system which could have been at risk if it was not protected and preserved over the years. Big Clifty Sandstone is the known name of the upper sandstone used in the cave system; these are very thin layers of limestone which are found in the sand stone. These form an epikarstic zone; these are not big enough conduits to allow the caves passages to enter.

There is a rather large sinkhole which has been formed at the bottom of one of the valleys – this is near the south region of the park. The park service’s call this the Cedar Sink and there is a small river that enters one of the sides of the sinkhole and disappears underground again at the other side.

This is a spectacular achievement because not many people can actually explore this area out. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the sinkhole and even the cave and its system. Many believe that there are many more passageways which haven’t been discovered yet. It could be possible and it will be something that more and more are keen to learn about because the caves could be in fact incredibly long!

However, the Mammoth Cave National Park is also the home place of the very much endangered albino shrimp. This is t Kentucky Cave Shrimp; is creature has not been seen for some time, though it is very hard to spot at times.

Mammoth Cave National Park located in Kentucky
The world’s longest cave system / Photo courtesy of National Park Service

Visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park Today

There are many amazing tours to choose from when it comes to visiting the caves. The cave tours are going to be some of the very best tours to choose from today and they are given by the National Park Service. There are some amazing features that will stand out when you are visiting and touring the caves including;

The Fat Man’s Misery

The Grand Avenue

The Frozen Niagara

These amazing features can be seen on the lighted tours. These tours can range from one hour all the way to six hour long tours! This is a huge amount of information to find out in this time; and there are 2 tours which are only going to be lightened up on the trail with the paraffin lamps which are carried by the visitors also! These are certainly going to offer more.

These lamps will help to give an authentic feel to the tour and it is much better than electronic lighting also! Though there are also some amazing so called wild tours which lead away from the more developed parts of the cave. Instead the tours head to the very muddy and dusty tunnel ways which are very fun to use!

There is a lot of different information given out on each tour so to learn all information, it might be best for visitors to take several tours to learn about the caves and the different faces of the cave also. It will be very fun to learn about the prehistory of the caves as well as the history of the years within the cave also. The tours are given by the National Park Service cave guides.

One of the most famous attractions of the caves is the Echo River Tour; and this is when the visitors are taken on a boat trip. The trip goes all the way along a huge underground river system which is truly amazing. During the 1990’s the Echo River tours were stopped because of the environmental reasons.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A World Heritage Site

 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO world heritage Site as well as a national park of the United States of America. The park can be found just at the ridgeline of the amazing Great Smoky Mountains which are a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. North Carolina and Tennessee borders run through the centre of the park and it is one of the most popular and most visited National Parks throughout America today.

In 1934, the U.S. Congress was chartered; and in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the park also. The land covers almost 522,420 acres which is a huge area to cover; and it is one of the biggest and most protected areas throughout the Eastern part of America. For visitors trying to get to the park, they will need to take highway 441 at Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee in North Carolina. Federal funds helped to pay for the park which is the first national park to do so. All other parks were not given money by the government but rather private or state funds.

History of the Park

The Cherokees used to live in the Great Smoky Mountains before the European settlers appeared. The region was solely the home of the Cherokees but during the 18th and the 19th centuries, the land became populated with settlers. Most of the settlers were able to live off the land and create a good home for them throughout the entire year.

All of the Native Indian tribes were removed forcefully in 1830 because of the President – Andrew Jackson. He was the one who signed the Indian Removal Act which started the forceful removal of all Indian’s and they were moved east of the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facts
Headlights emerging from a tunnel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Most of the Cherokee left their homes, however, some didn’t and hide throughout the area in which they were led by the warrior Tsali. Some of the descendants do actually live in the Qualla Boundary today! However, the logging business grew considerably as other settlers appeared on the land. There was also the Little River Railroad constructed in the 19th century which was used to specifically move all of the timber from the remote regions of the park.

However, the cut and run style of the removal of the trees helped to destroy the beauty of the land. This lead to visitors and the locals to raise money for the preservation of the land; and even though the National Park service wanted to take this into their administration, they didn’t have the money to do so.

The land however didn’t have a park around it. Though, the American government offered two million dollars as well as five million coming from J.D. Rockefeller Jr.; and citizens from North Carolina and Tennessee came together to offer funds. Slowly, the park was formed but in doing so, the homesteaders in the mountain ranges were removed – evicted from the land, along with the loggers and miners.

Timber operations and farms were solely stopped in order to create and protect the vast areas of park also. Though the park didn’t become an international Biosphere Reserve until 1976; and it wasn’t until 83 when the park was known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Various Attractions throughout the Park

The park is certainly one of the biggest tourist attractions in this part of the country and does attract over 10 million visitors each year. However, there is a lot of income from tourism from the surrounding towns of:

Cherokee

Gatlinburg

Sevierville

Pigeon Forge

Townsend

Sylva

Bryson City

Maggie Valley

Hiking is a very popular activity in the park and there are over 800 miles of trails to take. The Appalachian Trial is certainly one of the most popular trails to take when it comes to hiking. Fishing and sightseeing are both very popular activities in the park also; and horseback riding and cycling are amazing to choose also. Though there are many things that visitors can do when they visit the park.

Famed Areas of the Park with Historical Ties

There are 4 historical districts and 1 archaeological district within the park that the National Park Service is going to be responsible for. They will maintain these 5 areas and there are 9 different historical places that are individual listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Information
Peaceful Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The historical listings are:

The Roaring Fork Historical District

The Cades Cove Historic District

The Noah Ogle Place

The Oconaluftee Archaeological District

The Elkmont Historic District

The 9 different individual listings are:

The Walker Sisters Place

The Alex Cole Cabin

The John Messer Barn

The Little Greenbrier School

The John Ownby Cabin

The Hall Cabin Which Is Located In Hazel Creek

The Tyson McCarter Place

The Oconaluftee Baptist Church

The Mayna Treanor Avent Studio

There are many EV’s found in the park – electric vehicles – this was announced in 2001 and these were offered by the TVA – the Tennessee Valley Authority. This was supposed to be a research project to help evaluate the performance in the mountain range and terrains with these vehicles.

The air pollution in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in fact one of the most polluted parks in America.There were almost 150 days which were considered to be unhealthy because of the air pollution found in the air of the park.

This is a new record and it is terrible because it is not expected to be found in a national park but it is. Though, even still this is considered to be a small problem there are many visitors that come to the park every year. It is a great park and one of the best in America today; and it does seem that everyone is doing all they can to try to preserve the park and land.

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