Nature Observation

Arcadia National Park
Arcadia National Park (Maine)                     photo credit:  Michael Rickard

Nature Observation


Many people enjoy hiking, nature walking, nature observation, fishing and hunting. Many folks keep a nature observation journal to record their memories and destinations. You certainly don't need to book a trip to Lemaire Channel to see a stunning vista. Our great country offers many vistas where great memories and enjoying times can be experienced. National parks, national wildlife refuges, state, and local parks offer many opportunities to get out and enjoy spectacular scenery, wildlife, fresh air and clear starry nights away from urban light pollution.  From alpine tundra and snowy mountains of Alaska to the wetlands of the Everglades in Florida, our country has many opportunities to explore. Landmarks, ancient lava flows, and archeological sites are just some of the more rare treasures that our National Parks have to offer.


Learn more about conservation here>> Conservation
Learn more about national landmarks, trails, and parks below.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park (Montana)                  photo credit: Dept of Interior 

National Natural Landmarks


Recognizing and encouraging the conservation of sites that contain outstanding biological and geological resources, National Natural Landmarks are selected for their outstanding condition, illustrative value, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education. It is the only natural areas program of national scope that recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in both public and private ownership.

With over 600 landmarks bearing the designation of a National Natural Landmark, there is surely some of the most spectacular landmarks in the country which illustrate the rich and diverse tapestry of the country's natural landscape. A few National Natural Landmarks include:

  • Diamond Head Volcanic Crater, HI
  • Dunes Nature Preserve, IN
  • Gardens of the Gods, CO
  • Burney Falls, CA

Learn More>> National Natural Landmarks

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)                 photo credit: Ed Cooper

National Historic Trials

These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement. Many opportunities to check out the many trails that explore such historic topics such as:
  • Continental Divide
  • Trail of Tears
  • Pony Express
  • Lewis & Clark
  • Many more...
Learn More>>  National Historic Trails 
Great Smokey National Park
Great Smokey National Park                    Photo credit: Charles Wickham

National Park List

Here is a list, by state, of all of the National Parks in the USA. Please note that National Monuments, National Recreation Areas, National Historical Parks, National Historical Sites, and National Military Parks are not included in this list. 

Alabama

Alaska 

Denali National Park
Gates of the Arctic National Park
Glacier Bay National Park
Katmai National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kobuk Valley National Park
Lake Clark National Park
Wrangell-St Elias National Park

Arizona 

Grand Canyon National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Saguaro National Park

Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

California

Channel Islands National Park
Death Valley National Park (see also Nevada)
Joshua Tree National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Redwood National Park
Sequoia National Park
Yosemite National Park

Colorado 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

Connecticut 

Delaware 

Florida 

Biscayne National Park
Dry Torugas National Park
Everglades National Park

Georgia

Hawaii 

Haleakala National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Idaho 

Yellowstone National Park (see also Wyoming & Montana)

Illinois

Indiana 

Iowa 

Kansas 

Kentucky 

Mammoth Cave National Park

Louisiana 

Maine 

Acadia National Park

Maryland 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Isle Royale National Park

Minnesota 

Voyageurs National Park

Mississippi 

Missouri 

Montana

Glacier National Park
Yellowstone National Park (see also Wyoming and Idaho)

Nebraska 

Nevada 

Death Valley National Park (see also California)
Great Basin National Park

New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

Carlsbad Caverans National Park

New York 

North Carolina 

Great Smokey Mountains National Park (see also Tennessee)

North Dakota 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Ohio 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Oklahoma 

Oregon 

Crater Lake National Park

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island 

South Carolina 

Congaree National Park

South Dakota 

Badlands National Park
Wind Cave National Park

Tennessee 

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Texas 

Big Bend National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Utah 

Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capital Reef National Park
Zion National Park

Vermont 

Virginia 

Shenandoah National Park

Washington 

Mount Rainier National Park
North Cascades National Park
Olympic National Park

West Virginia 

Wisconsin 

Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park (see also Montana and Idaho)

US Territories National Park

American Samoa National Park
US Virgin Islands National Park
Denali National Park
Denali National Park (Alaska)                       photo credit: Michel Hersen

National Wildlife Refuges

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt created a “Federal Bird Reservation” at Pelican Island in Florida to save brown pelicans. This was a pivotal moment for the conservation movement in that it established the groundwork for what would become the National Wildlife Refuge System.

More than 560 national wildlife refuges have been established across the country, with at least one in every U.S. state and territory. Millions of Americans visit and enjoy these protected areas up close each year. The national wildlife refuges offer activities such as hiking, photography, fishing, hunting, wildlife-watching, canoeing, kayaking, and environmental education.

To learn more about the National Wildlife Refuge 

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park (South Dakota)   photo credit: Harlan Humphrey

State Parks

Our States have many resources that are close to you. State Parks, State Recreation Areas, and State Forests also provide abundant opportunities for nature observation. Utah alone has 43 state parks and about 33 of them are ideal for birding and nature observation. Check out resources near you for your enjoyment!


Learn more about State Parks here.