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Today marks the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service. Although the first American national park – Yellowstone in Wyoming (and a bit in Montana and Idaho too!) – was created far earlier in 1872, the Park Service itself is a ripe 100 years young.

On August 26, 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, creating the Park Service as a part of the Department of the Interior. The NPS originally oversaw only 37 protected areas. Today, that list includes 59 national parks and 411 total sites, including national seashores, monuments, historic sites, trails and more.

Find Your Park

To celebrate the Centennial, the NPS has created a fantastic and simple way for everyone to get outside to their nearest and favorite national park. Just go to You can discover outdoor adventure paradises close to home or close to your next vacation destination. Whether it’s hiking in Yosemite Valley, sea kayaking the Maine Island Trail (the country’s first water trail) in Acadia National Park, or even visiting some of our greatest historical sites at the National Mall in Washington, DC, this country has so much to offer.

For more information on the Centennial, visit

But most importantly, get outside and have fun!