Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of National Parks

Monday, September 12, 2016

As I'm sure you've seen on travel blogs, magazines, tv, and social media, the US is celebrating 100 years of national parks this year. With all of the traveling that I've been fortunate enough to do, I haven't had the chance to visit any national parks in the US. How lame is that?

So, I hadn't been planning to post at all about the 100th anniversary of national parks, until I was contacted by Cotopaxi to write about a national park -- anywhere in the world, which is fitting as Cotopaxi works to sustainably positively impact communities in need all over the world.

Although I haven't had the chance to visit any national parks in the US, I have visited national parks in Lithuania, my current expat home. There are several national parks in Lithuania, including Trakai National Park, Curonian Spit National Park, Samogita National Park, Aukstaitijan National Park, and Dzukija National Park, but the number depends on the website you are referring to (although I'm sure the exact number could be found if I could read Lithuanian). I've visited the former two national parks on this list, and had not even realized they were considered national parks!

Trakai National Park, located only about 30 minutes from Vilnius, preserves a historically and culturally important town and its beautiful surrounding scenery. In Trakai, you can see the beautiful, brick Trakai Castle and the surrounding lakes and forests. I've written more about Trakai here and here.

The Curonian Spit National Park is one of the most unique natural spaces I've visited due to its sand dunes, crystal clear waters, pine forests, and bird colonies. It really is stunning, and I'd love to have the chance to visit in the summer. The long and narrow spit of land is split between Lithuania and Russia (Kaliningrad), so I've only seen one side, but everywhere you go is simply stunning. I've written more about the Curonian Spit National Park here and here.

 In the coming months, I'm hoping to visit Aukstaitija National Park and I can't wait to write a post about it when I do. If you are in the US, what parks have you been to or are planning to go to in the near future (refer to the handy guide from Cotopaxi below). If you are abroad, have you visited a national park in your current home?

Please note that this post was inspired by Cotopaxi, but all words and opinions are my own.

Have you visited any of these national parks in Lithuania?

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