Custer State Park, located in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, is a state park rival to many of our national parks in terms of history, scenic beauty, and opportunities for recreation of many kinds. Amid the clear mountain waters and towering granite peaks, you can find solace for body, mind and spirit. Named for George Armstrong Custer, the 71,000-acre state park also offers great scenic drives.
Established in 1972, Buffalo National River is America’s first National River and about 135 miles long. It is among a handful of rivers in the lower forty-eight states that do not have dams interrupting their natural course. Visit Buffalo National River to enjoy the beauty of the Ozark Mountains, up close and personal. You can find great views, mysterious caves, sparkling waterfalls and beautiful hand-made items along the way.
Beartooth Highway is designated a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It comprises sixty-eight miles of US 212 through some amazing countryside in southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming. It is considered to be the gateway road to Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance. The highway was dedicated on June 14, 1936. “Beartooth” comes from the Crow name, “Na Piet Say” for the sharp bear tooth shaped spire at Beartooth plateau, which can be seen at the West Summit pull-out. Beartooth Highway is closed between October and Memorial Day.
National Wild and Scenic Rivers of the Unites States have been protected by law since the program’s inception in 1968. There are about 250 designated National Wild and Scenic Rivers, to date. We’ve selected three of these interesting and diverse ecosystems to explore.
We believe that Washington, D.C. is a must-see for every American traveler. The centerpiece of American history and politics is a destination where you will always learn something new. Unlike many American cities, the sites are almost always free and your best bet is to explore the city by foot or rail.
To see wonderful scenery, sample a slice of Appalachian Mountain life, and enjoy a slower pace, nothing can beat driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Opened in June of 1936, the Blue Ridge Parkway covers 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Mountain portion of the Appalachian Mountains. It is designated an All-American Road as well as a National Parkway, and is visited more often each year than any of our National Park units.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail covers about 1,200 miles across the state of Wisconsin. It follows the meandering edge of the moraine created by the Ice Age. This National Scenic Trail was established in 1980. While you could hike the Trail, this guide provides a driving option that follows the same route, more or less. Going from Potawatomi State Park in the east to Interstate State Park in the west, it offers many trailheads with parking.
There are 124 National Monuments throughout the United States. When you are traveling in the Midwest, there are some wonderful National Monuments to see. Remember that there are also National Historic Sites, Seashores, Rivers, Trails and more that are awaiting your visit, in the Midwestern states.
As a result of the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1966, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area now preserves a wonderfully scenic 1.2-plus million acres of mostly desert landscape for your enjoyment. Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are located on the border of Utah and Arizona.
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, in southernmost Arizona along the border with Mexico, preserves the only setting in the USA where the organ pipe cactus grows in the wild. Named for its resemblance to organ pipes, the “Stenocereus thurberi” can grow to a height of more than twenty feet. Impressive in and of itself, it is also a stunning feature of the rugged desert landscape.