The Variety of National Parks
When people think of national parks in the United States, the first thoughts are places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. However, national parks are found in all 50 states.
I recently visited Acadia National Park, in Hancock and Knox Counties, Maine. The park is part of seven towns, Bar Harbor, Gouldsboro, Isle au Haut, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, and Winter Harbor. The park is amazing, and drew tourists from throughout the Northeast United States.
However, there is more than just parks with “National Park” in their name. There are also National Monuments, Seashores, Preserves, Historical Parks, Scenic Trails, and more.
My home, the Blackstone Valley, is home to the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and Heritage Corridor. The region is known to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the US.
The park is mostly concerned with the mill villages that popped up along the 48-mile Blackstone River, stretching from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island.
The region is unknown by most of Massachusetts and the country. When people think of Massachusetts, places such as Salem, Boston, and Quincy are brought up for historical significance. News media also rarely serves out here, with their main focus being Boston and the city’s suburbs. As a resident, it’s actually really nice to get so little attention, but we could use the tourism.
The park is home to various state parks and recreation areas, which are:
- Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park (Northbridge / Uxbridge, Massachusetts)
- Blackstone River Bikeway (Blackstone / Millbury / Millville / Uxbridge / Worcester, Massachusetts / Cumberland / Lincoln / North Smithfield / Providence / Woonsocket, Rhode Island)
- Douglas State Forest (Douglas, Massachusetts)
- East Bay Bike Path (East Providence / Providence, Rhode Island (and more))
- Lincoln Woods State Park (Lincoln, Rhode Island)
- Pulaski Memorial State Park (Glocester, Rhode Island)
- Purgatory Chasm State Reservation (Sutton, Massachusetts)
- Southern New England Trunkline Trail (Blackstone / Douglas / Millville / Uxbridge, Massachusetts (and more))
- Sutton State Forest (Sutton, Massachusetts)
- Ten Mile River Greenway (East Providence / Pawtucket, Rhode Island)
- Upton State Forest (Upton, Massachusetts)
- Quinsigamond State Park (Worcester, Massachusetts)
- Woonasquatucket River Greenway (Providence, Rhode Island (and more))
- World War II Veterans Memorial State Park (Woonsocket, Rhode Island)
As a resident, these recreational areas are great for the public to come and enjoy for years to come.