Why are most of the National Parks in the United States west of the Mississippi River? The land east of the Mississippi was around and settled for many years before the National Park Service was established. You would think that the huge Adirondack Park and Niagara Falls would be part of its function today, and they are in a somewhat limited way. Both are state parks that predate the National Park Service by many years.
The huge Adirondack Park in upstate New York was established in 1892 and Niagara Falls State Park came along in 1885 after Frederick Law Olmsted, who created New York City’s Central Park, designed it. The National Park Service didn’t happen until 1916. A link between the NPS and the Adirondack State Park finally happened in 1963 when it was declared a National Historic Landmark District. Niagara Falls State Park is now the oldest American State Park. The monumental Adirondack State Park is 6 million acres and the largest state park in the original 48 states.
Another facility in New York that predates the National Park Service is the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was created in 1875 and Ellis Island became an immigration entry point in 1892. The statue and the island are now under the auspices of the NPS. The 2 together form a major and very popular National Monument. There are 5 other National Monuments in New York State including the African Burial Ground, Castle Clinton, Stonewall, Fort Stanwix, and Governors Island. Niagara Falls became a National Heritage Area of the NPS in 2008. The NPS is very active in New York State with 10 National Historical Sites like the Theodore Roosevelt and Martin Van Buren homes and 3 National Historical Parks like Women’s Rights, Saratoga, and Harriet Tubman. Both Roosevelt and Van Buren became Presidents. The Erie Canal that predates the National Park Service has become the Erie Canalway, a National Heritage Corridor. The Appalacian Trail only includes New York State for 90 miles.
Ruth & I have been to several attractions in New York State. Most recently we have visited the Women’s Rights complex in Seneca Falls where I took the photo of anther Ruth and posted it just above. On the same trip we saw the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. Before that we went to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, The Adirondacks State Park, Niagara Falls, and the Theodore Roosevelt home and America’s First Presidential Library in Hyde Park. I would still like to see 2 NPS facilities in the Catskill Mountains, The Vanderbilt Mansion and the Thomas Cole House.