How Many National Parks are There?

October 17, 2016Rocío LowerNPF Blog
Carved wooden tikis on the beach of Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
– Steve Gray, Share the Experience
Reconstruction Era, Freedom Riders, and Birmingham Civil Rights National Monuments became the three newest additions to the National Park System on January 12, 2017.

The National Park System encompasses 417 national park sites in the United States. They span across more than 84 million acres in each state and extend into the territories, including parks in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

Red brick fort surrounded by green-blue waters at Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park

Valerie DeBiase, Share the Experience

Within the system, there are 59 sites that include “National Park” as part of their proper name such as Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. Though world-renowned for their grandeur and beauty, our national treasures encompass far more than these 59 sites. They include landscapes and historical narratives within areas that interpret our nation’s past, and cultural and recreation areas that stretch our minds and bodies to learn and do more.

Betty Greene, Share the Experience

The system is comprised of 20 national park types that fall under the protection of the National Park Service to preserve, unimpaired, for this and future generations. These designations include:

National Battlefields (11)

National Battlefield Parks (4)

National Battlefield Site (1)

Petroglyphs carved into the sandstone at Arches National Park

Petroglyphs at Arches National Park

Kenneth Carper, Share the Experience

National Military Parks (9)

National Historical Parks (51)

National Historic Sites (78)

International Historic Sites (1)

National Lakeshores (4)

National Memorials (30)

Statue of Liberty with the New York City scape behind
Vicki Lynn Thomas, Share the Experience

National Monuments (87)

National Parks (59)

National Parkways (4)

National Preserves (19)

National Reserves (2)

National Recreation Areas (18)

National Rivers (5)

National Scenic Trails (3)

National Seashores (10)

National Wild and Scenic Rivers and Riverways (10)

Other Designations (11)

With over 400 places for you to find your park, where will go you next? If you want some inspiration on where to go, what to do, and where to stay, sign up to download any of our free travel guides and start planning your next adventure today!

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