National Parks Centennial

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial in a boat-friendly park.

National parks are woven into the history of the United States, and it’s hard to imagine the national landscape without them. One of the national parks’ most enthusiastic early supporters was President Theodore Roosevelt, whose experiences in the Dakota Territory shaped his conservation policy and appreciation for protecting the country’s greatest natural treasures. While in office, Roosevelt approved the creation of 5 new parks as well as over 100 million acres of national forest allowing future generations the opportunity to enjoy these pieces of national heritage. As the number of parks gradually increased, government officials saw the need for a federal management program that could provide the parks with much needed protection and funding. With the signing of the Organic Act in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service with the goal of preserving and maintaining designated national parks. The birth of the National Park Service marked a turning point in American ecological conservation, and the National Park Service now oversees the preservation of more than 400 individual parks and preserves.


The National Park Service commemorates its centennial on August 25, 2016—Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service! While the park landscapes range from dynamic glaciers and rugged mountains in Glacier Bay National Park to the desert canyons and prairies of Glen Canyon in Arizona, many parks are easily accessible by boat. Hitch up the trailer and celebrate at one of these boat-friendly national parks in regions across the country. nps.gov  


• Fire Island National Seashore, New York

• Obed Wild and Scenic River, Tennessee

• Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

• Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

• Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia

• Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

• Biscayne Bay National Park, Florida

• Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida


• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota

• Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

• Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

• Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri

• Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas

• Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Texas


• Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado

• Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona and Nevada

• Channel Islands National Park, California

• Olympic National Park, Washington

• Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

—By Susanna Botkin, Southern Boating Magazine August 2016