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Have you ever visited a national park?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 6, 2007

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Photo of Gwen Wiens

“Yes, a number of them. Acadia National Park in Maine was my favorite. It’s such a different kind of experience than anything here in Kansas.”

Photo of Paul Markham

“Sure; Yellowstone, Yosemite, Gettysburg and the Grand Canyon, among others. I believe Yellowstone is the oldest and is still the best.”

Photo of Sangeetha Kelly

“No, I don’t think so. I would like to go to Yosemite if I could because it’s so famous and I’ve heard a lot about it. My husband is a geographer, and he really wants to go there, too.”

Photo of Eric Weber

“A long time ago I visited Appomattox in Virginia. I was 10 or 12 at the time, and at that point it seemed pretty boring. Ironically enough, I’m kind of a Civil War history buff now.”


dminear60 10 years, 8 months ago

I have been to several national parks and my two favorites are Mesa Verde, (just amazing) and the Grand Canyon (words cannot describe the beauty).

jonas 10 years, 8 months ago

Mesa Verde is quite cool. That's the one with the city on the cliff, isn't it?

trinity 10 years, 8 months ago

i want to go to jellystone. :)

happyhappy friday! :)

Eric Beightel 10 years, 8 months ago

I think I would consider anything under the authority of the National Park Service to be a "National Park", the NPS does. As such, any National Battlefield, National Historic Park, National Historic Site, National Lakeshore, National Monument, National Military Park, National Memorial, National Park, National River, National Recreation Area, National Recreational River, National Seashore, National Scenic River, National Scenic Trail, Parkway, etc. would qualify.

There are five locations in Kansas that are under the supervision of the National Park Service: Tallgrass Praire National Preserve, Nicodemus National Historic Site, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Fort Scott National Historic Site, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

You pay for these areas, get out and visit them! They are essential pieces of the American experience!

preebo 10 years, 8 months ago

I've been to several, but I would suggest visiting Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Glacier above the rest. However, they are all beautiful. For these three though, no more beautiful in America.

mom_of_three 10 years, 8 months ago

According to the South Dakota website, Mt. Rushmore is a National Park, which is where we went last year. Also drove through Badlands National Park, which I would not recommend during a summer heat wave. We also drove through the Black Hills National Forest, and went to the Wind Cave. it was all a must see.

amazonratz 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget two of the closest: the Tallgrass Prairie National Park in Strong City, KS, and Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO. Both gorgeous.

Joe Hyde 10 years, 8 months ago

The National Park Service needs a regulation that prohibits vehicles bearing Kansas license plates from entering National Parks.

Our state has five rivers that are pre-registered with the National Park Service for inclusion in the federal Wild & Scenic Rivers system. "Wild & Scenic" means these rivers are recognized as being among the most beautiful streams in the entire nation. W&S is as good as it gets.

Yet because of property rights arguments backed by trespass laws that harken back to the paranoid range baron days of statehood, no U.S. Representative or Senator from Kansas has ever proposed these rivers for Wild & Scenic inclusion by vote of the Congress.

Here it is 2007 and Kansas still has the most repressive stream access laws this side of the old communist Soviet Union.

On land, our state has many breathtaking vistas that are admired for their beauty. Admired from a distance only. As yet we have allowed no National Park to be created in our state, where such vistas can be protected from unsound land practices and over-development, and returned to natural condition where damages have begun.

Given our state's sad history of property rights paranoia and selfishness, it would be only fair if the National Park Service officially banned Kansas residents from entering and enjoying parks in other states. The logic is simple: Because we vigilantly keep people out of our most beautiful places, other states are ordered to vigilantly keep us out of theirs. Anyone from Kansas, KEEP OUT.

This really wouldn't be so bad. For in-state family vacations our kids would still have The World's Biggest Ball of Twine to fire their imaginations.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 8 months ago

Go to Rocky Mountain National Park on spring break, and rent some snow shoes. In the mid-Spring the trails are reasonable, but there is still a lot of good snow for snowshoeing. I'm not a Grizzly Adams type, but anyone can enjoy snowshoeing, and Spring Break is very off-season (during the week). We've done it during that time, and it was almost like we had the park to ourselves. Profoundly memorable. A tree-hugger's wet dream.

If you've got the $$: Ram's Horn Village Resort.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 8 months ago

Rocky Mtn National Park is great. Keep in mind they have serious weather out there. I was going to walk up Long's Peak one time. Got to the trailhead about midnight & it was raining. Decided to sleep a couple of hours & see if it was going to let up. When I woke up, there was snow on the ground & lots more coming down. I headed home at that point. Two guys froze to death on Long's Peak later that same day.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 8 months ago

BTW, we are getting rained on like crazy right now. I just saw a catfish swimming north on Fannin Street. He was heading for higher ground.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 8 months ago

Lets see...Badlands, Wind Cave, Rocky Mtns, Grand Canyon, Black Canyon, Smoky Mtns, Mammoth Cave, and Hawaii Volcanoes. I've also visited numerous National Monuments and memorials including Rushmore, Lincoln's boyhood home, Agate Fossil, Jefferson Natl Expansion, Devil's Tower,yadda, yadda...

The National Park Service has these passport books that they sell at all stops. Visit a Natl Park or monument and you get a cancellation stamp for your book. We've done this with the kids for quite a few years and it is fun for them (and me) to grab the backpack (where the passports live) before vacation and see how many more stamps we can get. It's a great way to quickly remember where you've been, and you might end up going places you might not have gone, otherwise.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 8 months ago

Wow! According to my trustly little passport book, there are 29 different classifications of "National Whatevers."
My list just got way longer (including all the whatevers): ...

BorderRat 10 years, 8 months ago

Went to Rocky Natl. Park and climed Long's Peak with a High School group years ago. Had such a good time, I've been back many times. Interesting to see the changes and impact people have had on the park in the last 35 years. Still fun, but the traffic in Estes Park is crazy.

purplesage 10 years, 8 months ago

Made the mistake of walking down into the Canyon 3 summers ago. It was 106 and a long, very difficult climb out. I would never have imagined that walking could be arduous. Also enjoyed RMNP and have a faint remembrance of the Great Smoky Mountain NP as a 4 year old.

I have lived around 2 national recreation areas and as blue harleystated been on other sites that were battlefields (like Gettysburg) and historic sites.

preebo 10 years, 8 months ago

I went to College in Boulder, and spent much of my time in Rock Mtn. Nat'l Park, especially on Long's Peak. I took my 5 year old Son there for the first time in May. The family and I are planning a trip to Glacier in Montana this summer as well. I still would like to visit all 58 Parks at some point. I just hope there still there.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 8 months ago

I was camping in RMNP in '77 when the big Thompson Canyon flood happened, though we went to the movies in Estes Park and saw Bad News Bears while it was raining so we didn't have to sit in the tent all evening. I've been to the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore several times. I'm not sure I've been to any other National whatever but there are many I would like to see.

Way to go with the criminal negligence, con 1 . . . NOT!

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 8 months ago

Each of the Parks in Kansas (as ebbenji pointed out) is worth the effort of getting there. And it requires very little effort to get there.

erod0723 10 years, 8 months ago

riverat, I hate to burst your bubble, but the World's Largest Ball of Twine is not the world's largest anymore. Some schmucks in North or South Dakota made a bigger one. Also, I think the ball of twine got significantly damaged by the tornadoes last month.

H_Lecter 10 years, 8 months ago

There is no better place to hunt than the national parks. The serenity and scenery are unsurpassed and the wildlife is abundant. Heck, I usually get all I can carry out in a day and it seems as if I'm the only hunter I ever see there. Have you ever tasted Spotted Owl cooked over a roaring campfire? There's nothing like it. Last year I had to leave one of the forests out west in a hurry though. I finished dinner and was hiking out when a forest fire chased me out of there. Turned out to be huge...real shame.

blackwalnut 10 years, 8 months ago

Check out what they charge to enter a national park. It's an outrage. This is the people's land.

Martin_D_15 10 years, 8 months ago

Grand Canyon is awesome. So is Yellowstone and Glacier. Mesa Verde is great anytime of year. Arches is way cool. But my favorite by far is Canyonlands, because hardly anyone goes there and it is so remote. I can mountain bike there all day long and never see another person.

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