National Park Service - Nomenclature of The National Park System

Nomenclature of The National Park System

The National Park Service uses over 20 different titles for the park units it manages, including national park and national monument.

Classification as of 2003 Number Area Visitors
National Military Park, National Battlefield Park, National Battlefield Site, and National Battlefield 25 71,502.49 acres (289 km2) 8,360,261
National Historical Park, National Historic Site, and International Historic Site 125 228,260.60 acres (924 km2) 34,407,217
National Lakeshore 4 228,995.14 acres (927 km2) 3,728,821
National Memorial 27 10,588.45 acres (43 km2) 30,559258
National Monument 76 2,027,864.58 acres (8,206 km2) 22,646,428
National Park 58 52,095,045.71 acres (210,821 km2) 62,950,968
National Parkway 4 177,339.69 acres (718 km2) 29,948,911
National Preserve and National Reserve 20 24,191,311.63 acres (97,899 km2) 2,956,325
National Recreation Area 18 3,700,277.20 acres (14,974 km2) 50,645,414
National River and National Wild and Scenic River and Riverway 15 746,262.99 acres (3,020 km2) 5,999,161
National Scenic Trail 3 239,659.27 acres (970 km2) not available
National Seashore 10 595,013.55 acres (2,408 km2) 17,920,507
Other Designations (White House, National Mall, etc.) 13 36,826.96 acres (149 km2) 11,156,670
Totals 398 84,331,948.26 acres (341,279 km2) 320,309,151
National parks of the United States
  • Acadia
  • American Samoa
  • Arches
  • Badlands
  • Big Bend
  • Biscayne
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Canyonlands
  • Capitol Reef
  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Channel Islands
  • Congaree
  • Crater Lake
  • Cuyahoga Valley
  • Death Valley
  • Denali
  • Dry Tortugas
  • Everglades
  • Gates of the Arctic
  • Glacier
  • Glacier Bay
  • Grand Canyon
  • Grand Teton
  • Great Basin
  • Great Sand Dunes
  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • Guadalupe Mountains
  • Haleakalā
  • Hawaiʻi Volcanoes
  • Hot Springs
  • Isle Royale
  • Joshua Tree
  • Katmai
  • Kenai Fjords
  • Kings Canyon
  • Kobuk Valley
  • Lake Clark
  • Lassen Volcanic
  • Mammoth Cave
  • Mesa Verde
  • Mount Rainier
  • North Cascades
  • Olympic
  • Petrified Forest
  • Redwood
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Saguaro
  • Sequoia
  • Shenandoah
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Virgin Islands
  • Voyageurs
  • Wind Cave
  • Wrangell–St. Elias
  • Yellowstone
  • Yosemite
  • Zion

List of national parks of the United States (by elevation)

National Monuments preserve a single unique cultural or natural feature. Devils Tower National Monument was the first in 1906.

National Historic Sites protect a significant cultural resource that is not a complicated site. Examples of these types of parks include Ford's Theatre National Historic Site and William Howard Taft National Historic Site.

National Historical Parks are larger areas with more complex subjects. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park was created in 1940. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park was dedicated in 1936. Historic sites may also be protected in national parks, monuments, seashores, and lakeshores.

National Historical Parks of the United States
  • Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
  • Adams
  • Appomattox Court House
  • Boston
  • Cane River Creole
  • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove
  • Chaco Culture
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
  • Colonial
  • Cumberland Gap
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage
  • George Rogers Clark
  • Harpers Ferry
  • Hopewell Culture
  • Independence
  • Jean Lafitte
  • Kalaupapa
  • Kaloko-Honokōhau
  • Keweenaw
  • Klondike Gold Rush
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Lowell
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller
  • Minute Man
  • Morristown
  • Natchez
  • New Bedford Whaling
  • New Orleans Jazz
  • Nez Perce
  • Palo Alto Battlefield
  • Paterson Great Falls
  • Pecos
  • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau
  • Roosevelt Campobello International Park
  • Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front
  • Salt River Bay
  • San Antonio Missions
  • San Francisco Maritime
  • San Juan Island
  • Saratoga
  • Sitka
  • Thomas Edison
  • Tumacácori
  • Valley Forge
  • War in the Pacific
  • Women's Rights
Full Alphabetical List

National Military Parks, Battlefield Parks, Battlefield Sites, and Battlefields preserve areas associated with military history. The different designations reflect the complexity of the event and the site. Many of the sites preserve important Revolutionary War battles and Civil War battlefields. Military parks are the sites of larger actions, such as Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Shiloh National Military Park—the original four from 1890. Examples of battlefield parks, battlefield sites, and national battlefields include Richmond National Battlefield Park, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, and Antietam National Battlefield.

National Seashores and National Lakeshores offer preservation of the national coast line, while supporting water–based recreation. Cape Hatteras National Seashore was created in 1937. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, created in 1966, were the first national lakeshores.

United States National Lakeshores and National Seashores
National Lakeshores
  • Apostle Islands
  • Indiana Dunes
  • Pictured Rocks
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes

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