It’s finally here!
Every site in the National Park Service has been anxiously preparing the celebration of our country’s majestic, historic, and protected spaces. On August 25, 2016, our National Park Service turns 100 years old. It’s the perfect time to experience the best parts of our country and learn about why the park services has been instrumental in shaping our shared heritage.
If you haven’t already started planning your vacations for 2016, here is our month-by-month list of hashtags to share with your friends and family as you #FindYourPark.
#2016resolutions – Find a quiet spot in your favorite national park to reflect and set goals for the new year. Set a goal to make 2016 your best ParkChasing year yet.
#Hibernation – Take a winter hike and see how many critters besides you are out braving the cold.
#NotYourAverageSwamp – Big Cypress National Preserve protects more than 700,000 acres of tropical plants and wildlife, sure to warm you up in the winter.
#WannabeRanger – Have you ever wanted to know what donning the gray and green would feel like? Visit USAJobs or Volunteer.gov to find ways to feed your inner-ranger.
#CommonGround – Curl up by the fire with a back-issue of Common Ground, the NPS magazine dedicated to historic and natural preservation.
#PresidentialBirthplace – Plan at trip to one of the birthplaces of a President. Learn about why we protect these historic places and the things that shaped these great Americans.
#greatlodges – Reservations for many of the best cabins and historic lodges in the park system fill up months in advance. Plan your summer NPS trip early.
#50for50 – Check out the year-long campaign celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Each week features a different state and the sites that have been protected under this critical legislation.
#SanJuanNHS – Join the staff at San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico for 100 consecutive nights of special activities, ranger-talks and tours in honor of the centennial celebration.
#EveryKidInAPark – Know a 4th grader? Help them get their free pass for themselves and their family to all the National Parks in 2016.
#NPSQuilts – Strike a pose next to your favorite park commemorated in the National Parks Quilts display. 13 parks are featured in the traveling exhibit. The quilts will spend time on display in each of the 13 parks.
#MLKFreeDay – Celebrate the first of the 16 in ’16 fee-free days in the National Park Service. Visit a new place or an old favorite among the 127 parks that typically charge an entrance fee.
#NationalBellRinging – On January 18, 2016 11:00 p.m. at Independence National Historic Park honor an extraordinary American, Martin Luther King, Jr. by hearing the Liberty Bell ring.
#Haleakala – Drive up to Maui’s historic volcano for the summit area sunrise and a hike above 10,000 feet.
#NPSCoins – Check for updates on the 100th anniversary commemorative $5, $1 and half dollar coins to be minted this year.
#CadillacMountain – Be the first to see the sunrise in the United States during a visit to Acadia National Park this time of year. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the east coast and where the sun first touches the United States.
#SeabirdIsland – Alcatraz Island may be famous for the inmates of the past, but it is now home to thousands of colonial nesting seabirds. Take the ferry out to see cormorants, gulls, egrets and more.
#LincolnMemorial – “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” Visit the Lincoln Memorial on February 12th, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
#Delta01 – Go below ground to the “top secret” mission control site of Launch Control Facility Delta-01 at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in North Dakota and experience the life of an Air Force Officer during the height of the Cold War.
#CabrilloTidepools – Schedule a low-tide walk around the rocky intertidal zone at Cabrillo National Monument in California and search for anemones and octopi in this unique ecosystem.
#CentennialForest – Help the longleaf pine reforestation efforts at Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas. Rangers and volunteers will be planting 100,000 saplings this year.
#WildHorses – Assateague Island is one of the few places in the United States to view wild horses in their natural habitat. Relax and enjoy the National Seashore these horses call home.
#HalfDome – Pre-Season permit lottery opens today to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Register for one of the NPS’s most famous hikes.
#ShilohFieryTrail – Stop in the visitor’s center at Shiloh National Military Park and watch the award-winning film on the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh.
#TheOriginalNene – Nene was not always an internet sensation. Look for the native Hawaiian goose along roadways in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
#LikeNoPlaceOnEarth – Move silently around the edges of a deep lake, sheer cliffs, and admire the volcanic past of Crater Lake in Crater Lake National Park.
#FirstLadies – Honor the lives and accomplishments of our nation’s First Ladies at First Ladies National Historic Site and the National First Ladies Library in Ohio.
#DryTortugas – Boat or seaplane is the only way to visit historic Fort Jefferson and the remote shores of Dry Tortugas National Park.
#ThomasMoran – Experience the Grand Caynon of Yellowstone through the eyes of Thomas Moran, one of the great American painters and early promoters of the park system.
#PointReyesWhales – Leave the hustle of the Bay Area behind to watch the grey whales migrate through Point Reyes National Seashore, then stop by to see the elephant seals returning for the season.
#WhatsAHoodoo – Find out what a hoodoo is at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here you can walk among the largest collection of them in the world.
#FieryFurnance – April is one of the most popular months to visit Arches National Park. Sign up for a ranger-led hike of the Fiery Furnace and scramble along the sandstone walls.
#ChannelIslands – Kayak, dive or snorkel in kelp forests, sea caves, and some of the best marine landscapes in the world on your trip to Channel Islands National Park in California.
#NPSWeek – National Park Service week starts April 16 through April 24. Celebrate free admission to the parks during these dates and special events around the NPS.
#HappyBirthdayJohnMuir – April 21st is John Muir’s birthday. Celebrate with a mountain hike in one of the parks he worked hard to protect.
#MigrationMaps – Hundreds of species rely on NPS units for migration paths. Check out the nifty online migration maps for the migration patterns of Leatherback turtles, caribou and the Florida Manatee.
#EarthDay– April 22 is Earth Day. Roll up your sleeves and show this amazing planet some love today. Get Inspired to volunteer in one of your parks.
#OldStoneHouse – Take a break from monuments and museums to visit The Old Stone House, the oldest building in Washington D.C. and a good example of Revolutionary War-era architecture.
#GlacierBay – A lifetime of ParkChasing would not be complete without a trip to Glacier Bay National Park to experience the 25 million acres of pristine wilderness, one of the largest protected areas in the world.
#TamiamiTrailTriatholon – Try your hand at the Tamiami Trail Triatholon route in Everglades National Park. Visitors bike the 15 miles, hike 3 miles, and then paddle 3.5 miles each from a different visitor’s center in the park.
#TrumanTribute – May 8th marks the birth date of our 33rd President, Harry S. Truman. Take the audio walking tour around the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site for a tribute to the People’s President.
#GemoftheCaribbean – Drop by the 7 acres of waterfront and historic structures at Christiansted National Historic Site tell the tale of Danish colonial life in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
#TheLastSpike – On May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined rails at the site of the Golden Spike National Historic Site, commemorating the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad and a changing American landscape. Hop a ride to Utah and learn about what railroads meant to the parks.
#GrizzlyCubs – Keep your distance, but watch the mountainsides as the grizzly bears return in Denali National Park, Glacier National Park, and across the Northern Rockies.
#BioBlitz – Find a park near you participating in the nationwide BioBlitz on May 20-21 for a hands-on biodiversity experience.
#BiscayneMangroves – Miles of Biscayne National Park is covered in mangrove jungles. Explore these salt water wonders for the famous Florida spiny lobster.
#Minidoka – Remember one of the darkest eras of U.S. history happens within the walls of Idaho’s Minidoka National Historic Site one of the Japanese Forced Relocation Centers used during WWII.
#GoldRush – Decide if you would have survived the bitter cold and rough and tumble boomtowns of the Klondike Gold Rush at the National Historic Park in Skagway, AK.
#Shenandoah – Plug away on a 101 mile section of the Appalachian Trial through Shenandoah National Park. You may find yourself making plans for all 2,185 miles later on.
#SaintGaudens – Visit the home and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors in New Hampshire’s only National Park Site.
#BisonBellows – Spend the afternoon watching the bison heard wandering Wind Cave National Park. The park was started in 1910 to make a home for these grazing giants.
#PaddlethePark – Drop in your paddles on the Congaree River Blue Trail for 50 miles of pristine riverway as you head downstream to Congaree National Park.
#EndlessSummer – Travel north to experience some of the longest summer days (up to 22 hours!) in the world at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
#IsleRoyale – Travel by ferry to a backpacker’s paradise in the middle of Lake Superior and take your chances of meeting one of Isle Royale National Park‘s resident moose.
#RockBottom – Tell all your friends you’ve been to the lowest point in North America – 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley National Park.
#TheLoch – Leave from the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park for lunch at the Loch, an perfect alpine lake to spend the afternoon beside, relaxing in the Rocky Mountain air.
#ManyGlacier – One of ParkChasers favorite places to hike in the NPS is the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. Quiet trails, big Montana skies and the chance to see Grinnell Glacier up close.
#WorldListeningDay – July 18th is World Listening Day. Check out the NPS Science of Sound website for nature’s wild soundscapes.
#SenecaFalls – Commemorate the First Women’s Rights Convention on July 19th and 20th 1848 at Women’s Rights National Historic Park in New York.
#bearcam – Watch the biggest bears jockey for salmon on the live streaming webcams at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park.
#AviationTrail – Pick up your free water bottle when you bike (or hike) to at least six of the twelve sites in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
#JennyLake – Take the famous shuttle ferry across the crystal clear waters of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.
#Kobuk – Often the least visited National Park in the system, a trip to Kobuk Valley is not for the faint of heart. With no roads, no trails, no campgrounds, no gift shops, and a visitor’s center miles away from the park, self-sufficiency and survival is the name of the game.
#HappyBirthdayHawaiiVolcanoes – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park turns 100 years old on August 1st. Celebrate with a fee-free visit to the park today.
#GrandPortage – Visit the North West Company Rendezvous Days at Grand Portage National Monument, commemorating the history of the Ojibwe people and when the Canadian fur traders arrived from wintering posts to exchange goods along the shores of Lake Superior.
#GiffordPinchot – Ask a park ranger about Gifford Pinchot today. August 11 marks the birthday of this controversial conservation pioneer.
#BlackCanyon – Experience some of the steepest cliffs in North America when you stare down 2,722 feet into one of Colorado’s gems, the Black Caynon of the Gunnison National Park.
#TurtleNestCam – Wait and watch patiently at home for the baby sea turtles to hatch and scurry to the surf on the Canaveral National Seashore live Turtle Nest webcam.
#NPS100 – Happy Birthday NPS! August 25, 2016 is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Celebrate the centennial in your favorite park!
#NorthRimTrip – Mule trips leaving from the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are now booked 13-18 months ahead. Mark your calendar for an unforgettable park vacation.
#InternationalDarkSky – Find out which of your parks are among the last true dark skies and part of the International Dark Sky Association. These special areas like Great Basin National Park have nightly stargazing programs.
#MtWashburn – Look out over miles of pristine Yellowstone wilderness on a dynamic day hike to the top of Mount Washburn. Visit with the staff member assigned to fire-lookout duty.
#WeirFarm – Escape to the only national park dedicated to American painting with a visit to Connecticut’s Weir Farm National Historic Site.
#ElkFest – Wake up early to hear the elk bugling in the valleys of Rocky Mountain National Park. Elk Fest happens every September in nearby Estes Park, drawing thousands of visitors to the park during elk mating season.
#DakotaNights – Join skywatchers under some of the clearest night skies in the United States at Theodore Roosevelt National Park‘s Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival, September 23-25, 2016.
#NationalPublicLands – September 24 is National Public Lands Day. Enjoy your national parks on this fee-free entrance day
#CapitolReef – Trek to a remote area of the park and sleep among the twisting gorges and slot canyons of Capitol Reef National Park.
#PicturedRocks – 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline is set aside in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Plan your visit to include some of the best open sea kayaking, boating, and hiking in all of Michigan.
#KilaueaIkiTrail – In 1959 this area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was a lava lake. Descend into the crater through a rainforest and walk among the steam vents and cinder cones.
#ArtAuction – More than 450 items are available during the Native American arts and crafts auctions held in May and October at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation.
#FossilHunter – October 16 is National Fossil Day. Admire the skills of scientists at the Fossil Preparation Lab, a working paleontological laboratory in Badlands National Park.
#HappyBirthdayTeddy – October 27 marks President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Celebrate one of the greatest U.S. presidents in the parks he loved.
#GoingBatty – Take a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to learn about some of the most advanced bat research in the world.
#AgeofSteel – Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area tracks our industrial roots. Visit many of the famous Americans sites that made Pennsylvania the Steel Making Capitol of the World.
#Sandboarding – Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest sand dune formations in the United States, and one of the only places you can try your luck at sand boarding and sand sledding.
#FallColors – McKittrick Caynon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is sometimes called the “most beautiful spot in Texas” and it’s also well-known for the bright red, orange, and yellow foliage during late October and early November.
#WildCaving – Experience Jewel Cave National Monument up close and personal on a ranger-led 2/3 mile spelunking tour complete with hard hat.
#HomesteadNM – Look up your family’s original homestead documents at the site of the first homestead in the United States, Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, Nebraska.
#Invasives – Over 6,500 non-native invasive have been documented on park lands. Find out what you can do to prevent the spread during your park visits.
#VeteransDay – Celebrate our nation’s heroes with a fee-free visit to one of our military commemorative parks today.
#Arches – Picture the famous stone arches at Arches National Park covered in a soft blanket of white. See this park in a way that most visitors miss during a winter hike.
#CliffDweller – See 2000 years of Mogollon history and culture up-close at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico.
#PlaceOfRefuge – Visit Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, once protected kapu breakers and defeated warriors from harm and now protects a pristine section of Hawaii coastline.
#GreatSmokyMtns – See what everyone’s excited about with a trip to America’s most visited National Park. Between 8 and 10 million people make a stop in this treasured park every year.
#IceCaves – Watch the winter weather carefully for the chance to see ice caves along the shore of Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
#TheAmericanSpa – Take a break from the cold winter weather in a traditional bath at Buckstaff Baths in Hot Springs National Park. People have been enjoying these soaks since 1912.
#LaFiestadeTumacacori – Pack your bags on the first weekend of December for the Santa Cruz Valley and Tumacacori National Historical Park for a weekend of food, history, and a piñata breaking you wont want to miss.
#PearlHarbor – Commemorate the fateful day in American history, with a quiet ride across the bay to the USS Arizona Memorial and the WWII Valor in the Pacific Monuments.
#TakeFlight – On December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers took flight. Visit the spot where they famously landed at Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina.
#SnowshoeWalk – Mount Rainier National Park is the perfect place to join a ranger for an afternoon snowshoe hike to learn how the park’s plants and wildlife survive the long winter days and heavy snow.
#BigBendBirds – Big Bend National Park in Southern Texas is a great place for birds. Go out with a good field guide during the annual Christmas Bird Counts.
#NYE – Close out a year of exploring our parks with family and friends. Just be sure to make plans for next year’s ParkChasing!