The National Park Service turns 100 years old on August 25, 2016, and is celebrating with many special events, free park days (August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday, September 24: National Public Lands Day, and November 11: Veterans Day), an Imax movie, and even commemorative coins and postage stamps. It’s a party!
Did you know that Ohio is home to nine different National Park sites? You could spend a wonderful vacation traveling around to all the different attractions and learning so much about American history, and Ohio history in particular.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is found along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. Cuyahoga is a beautiful park, combining a floodplain, deep ravines, waterfalls and farmland all in one. It’s a great place to hike or bike, with many trails, including the 21 mile Towpath Trail. You can also see exhibits on Ohio life, both modern and historical.
In Wilberforce Ohio, visit the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument. Charles Young was born to enslaved parents in 1864. After the Civil War, his family moved to Ripley, Ohio, where Charles found great educational success. After teaching school for 2 years, Charles entered West Point and received his commission in 1889. Among his many accomplishments in a very long and distinguished military career were fighting with distinction in the Phillipine-American War, and teaching at Wilberforce University, as well as a stint as the first African-American national park Superintendent. The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument is open for informal tours as of now.
Other National Park sites in Ohio are the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, at Wright-Patterson AFB, the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, in Chillicothe, the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, in Mentor, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, at Put-In Bay, the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati, and the David Berger National Memorial in Beachwood.
Visit Ohio’s National Parks and learn all about our exceptional history!