Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

by Sandra Merville Hart The 10,894 acres of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills of Kansas are almost all that’s left in the United States of tall grass prairies. Only 4% of prairie remains More than 400,000 square miles of prairie existed fifty years ago. Only 4% remain. The rest have been plowed up or destroyed to build malls, roads, and cities. This Kansas national preserve wants to rescue tall grass prairies. Tall grass can grow as tall as seven feet Over seventy species of grasses grow in the Flint Hills. Many of them reach full height — four to seven feet — in September and October. Several Native American tribes including the Pawnee, the Osage, the Wichita, and the Kansa hunted in this area. Controlled fires burn away old...

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

If your family is planning a vacation to North Dakota, consider adding a visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Three very different sections in the park The park was first established as a memorial park in 1947 and renamed as a national park in 1978. Three completely different sections make up the park: the North Unit is near Watford City; The South Unit is near Medora; and Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch sits in the middle. The Maah Daah Hey Trail All three sections are connected by the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which in the Mandan Indian language means “an area that will be around for a long time.” This trail is 101 miles long. It connects with seven campgrounds. If you walk the trail, you may see horseback riders, hikers, and bicycle riders. Teddy...

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Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park

Over 600,000 people visit Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota every year. Strong winds at the cave’s entrance gave the park its name. In fact, according to legend, wind blew the hat off one of the Bingham brothers who discovered the cave when he stood at the mouth of the cave. 135 miles of cave tunnels Explorers have found over 135 miles of passages inside the cave, making Wind Cave one of the longest in the world. Another unusual thing about the cave is boxwork, formations that look like honeycombs. Cave Tours Several different ranger-led cave tours allow guests to explore Wind Cave. A two-hour candlelight tour takes visitors back in time while exploring by candlelight, but you must be at least eight to join this tour. Summer Campfire Programs Campfire...

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park may be the world’s most famous park, but it is definitely the oldest national park. It was established in 1872. 96% of the park is in Wyoming; the rest is in Idaho and Montana. Over 300 geysers and hot springs Yellowstone National Park is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Over 3,600,000 visitors come every year to see over 300 geysers and hot springs. In fact there are more geysers and hot springs in the park than anywhere else on earth. Old Faithful The most famous geyser is Old Faithful, which erupts at intervals of 60 to 110 minutes. The geyser reaches a height of 106 to 184 feet and the eruptions last from one and half minutes to five minutes. Have your camera ready to snap an impressive photo like the one from...

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