Florida’s National Parks: Pirates, Reefs, Forts and Swamps

Florida’s National Parks: Pirates, Reefs, Forts and Swamps

When you think of the National Park Service, Florida is probably not the first state that comes to mind. California, Colorado, and Arizona are more synonymous with National Parks. Yet Florida has 11 National Park sites.

National Parks are great places to learn about a state’s geology, ecology and history.

greategretWe may not have Arches or Yosemite, and you’re not going to see a buffalo or ride a donkey down a ravine. However, we have some beautiful and interesting spots all our own – places where you can see centuries-old forts, go snorkeling along a reef, learn about our early Native American populations like the Timucuan, or take an airboat ride past alligators and wading birds. Most of these spots are also great places to see natural Florida.

Here is a list of Florida’s 11 National Parks, by region:

Northwest Florida
Gulf Islands National Seashore

Northeast Florida
Fort Caroline National Memorial

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Fort Matanzas National Monument

East Central Florida
Canaveral National Seashore

West Florida
De Soto National Memorial

South Florida
Big Cypress National Preserve

Everglades National Park

Biscayne National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Photo credits: U.S. National Park Service


2 responses »

  1. Okay, Grog 😉 I looked this up on the national park site, and here’s how they explain it:

    “Areas added to the National Park System for their natural values are expanses or features of land or water of great scenic and scientific quality and are usually designated as national parks, monuments, preserves, seashores, lakeshores, or riverways. Such areas contain one or more distinctive attributes like forest, grassland, tundra, desert, estuary, or river systems; they may contain windows on the past for a view of geological history; they may contain imposing landforms like mountains, mesas, thermal areas, and caverns; and they may be habitats of abundant or rare wildlife and plantlife.

    Generally, a national park contains a variety of resources and encompasses large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of the resources.”

    There are also National Monuments, National Historic Sites, National Seashores, etc., etc.

    State parks are parks that have more of a significance to the state.

    If you look, most of the National Parks in Florida have some major historic significance or contain very important natural resources, like the Everglades. Good question!

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