• Americasbesthistory.com

National Park Timeline

Carlsbad Caverns

National Park Timeline

The history of our National Park system and other federal lands began in 1790 when the District of Columbia was formed. This included what now is part of our park system; the White House, the National Mall, and the National Capital Parks. But it was not until Yellowstone was installed as a National Park on March 1, 1872 that you could truly say that the National Park System was founded. And it was a great founding. The National Park Timeline here will be organized by current park unit, in alphabetical order, and include the dates of formation, and any other changes that may have occurred.

  • A

    Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site (Kentucky July 17, 1916) - Authorized as Abraham Lincoln National Park, 1916. Redesignated NHP 1939, then Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, 1959.

    Acadia National Park (Maine July 8, 1916) - Authorized as Dieur de Monte National Monument, 1916. Redesignated as Lafayette National Park, 1919. Redesignated Acadia National Park, 1929.

    Adams National Historic Park Massachusetts December 9, 1946 - Authorized as Adams Mansion National Historic Site, 1946. Redesignated Adams National Historic Site, 1952. Redesignated Adams National Historic Park, 1998.

    African Burial Ground National Monument New York February 27, 2006

    Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Nebraska June 5, 1965

    Alagnak Wild River Alaska December 2, 1980

    Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) Alaska December 2, 1980

    Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument Texas August 31, 1965 - Authorized as Alibates Flint Quarries and Texas Panhandle Pueblo Culture NM, 1965. Redesgnated Alibates Flint Quarries NM, 1978.

    Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site Pennsylvania August 31, 1964

    Amistad National Recreation Area Texas November 11, 1965 - Authorized as Amistad Recreation Area, 1965. Redesignated Amistad NRA, 1990.

    Andersonville National Historic Site Georgia October 16, 1970

    Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Tennessee August 29, 1935 - Authorized as Andrew Johnson National Monument, 1935. Redesignated Andrew Johnson NHS, 1963.

    Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve Alaska December 1, 1978 - Authorized as Aniakchak National Monument, 1978. Incorporated in Aniakchak NM and Preserve by ANILCA 1980.

    Antietam National Battlefield Maryland August 30, 1890 - Authorized as National Battlefield Site, changed to National Battlefield, 1978.

    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Wisconsin September 26, 1970

    Appalachina National Scenic Trail ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA., TN, NC, GA. October 2, 1968

    Appomattox Court House National Historic Park Virginia June 18, 1930 - Authorized as Appomattox Court House monument, 1930. Redesignated Appomattox Court House National Historical Monument, 1935. Redesignated a National Historic Park 1954.

    Arches National Park Utah April 12, 1929 - Authorized as Arches National Monument, 1929. Redesignated Arches National Park, 1978.

    Arkansas Post National Memorial Arkansas July 6, 1960

    Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Virginia March 4, 1925 - Restoration authorized as Lee Mansion, 1925. Designated Custis-Lee Mansion 1955. Redesignated Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, 1972.

    Assateague Island National Seashore Maryland and Virginia September 21, 1965

    Aztec Ruins National Monument New Mexico January 24, 1923 - Authorized as Aztec Ruin National Monument, 1923. Redesignated Aztec Ruins NM, 1928.

    B

    Badlands National Park South Dakota March 4, 1929 - Authorized as Badlands National Monument, 1929. Redesignated Badlands National Park, 1978.

    Bandelier National Monument New Mexico February 11, 1916

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado June 3, 1960

    Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Alaska December 1, 1978 - Authorized as Bering Land Bridge National Monument, 1978. Redesignated Bering National Preserve by ANILCA 1980.

    Big Bend National Park Texas June 20, 1935

    Big Cypress National Preserve Florida October 11, 1974

    Big Hole National Battlefield Montana June 23, 1910 - Authorized as Big Hole Battlefield National, 1910. Redesgnated Big Hole National Battlefield, 1963.

    Big South Fork National Recreation Area Kentucky & Tennessee March 7, 1974

    Big Thicket National Preserve Texas October 11, 1974

    Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Wyoming and Montana December 31, 1964

    Biscayne National Park Florida October 18, 1968 - Authorized as Biscayne National Monument, 1968.

    Incorporated in Biscayne NP, June 28, 1980.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Colorado March 2, 1933 - Authorized as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, 1933. Redesignated Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, 1999.

    Blue Ridge Parkway North Carolina and Virginia June 16, 1933

    Bluestone National Recreation Area West Virginia December 26, 1988

    Booker T. Washington National Monument Virginia April 2, 1956

    Boston African American National Historic Site Massachusetts October 10, 1980

    Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Massachusetts November 12, 1996

    Boston National Historic Park Massachusetts October 1, 1974

    Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Mississippi February 21, 1929

    Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site Kansas October 26, 1992

    Bryce Canyon National Park Utah June 8, 1923 - Authorized as Bryce Canyon National Monument, 1923. Redesignated Utah National Park, 1924. Name changed to current in 1928.

    Buck Island Reef National Monument Virgin Islands December 28, 1961

    Buffalo National River Arkansas March 1, 1972

    C

    Cabrillo National Monument California October 14, 1913

    Canaveral National Seashore Florida January 3, 1975

    Cane River Creole National Historic Park Louisiana November 2, 1994

    Canyon de Chelly National Monument Arizona February 14, 1931

    Canyonlands National Park Utah September 12, 1964

    Cape Cod National Seashore Massachusetts August 7, 1961

    Cape Hatteras National Seashore North Carolina August 17, 1937

    Cape Krusenstern National Monument Alaska December 1, 1978

    Cape Lookout National Seashore North Carolina March 10, 1966

    Capital Reef National Park Utah August 2, 1937 - Authorized as Capital Reef National Monument, 1937. Redesignated Capital Reef National Park, 1971.

    Capulin Volcano National Monument New Mexico August 9, 1916 - Authorized as Capulin Mountain National Monument, 1916. Redesignated Capulin Volcano NM 1987.

    Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site North Carolina October 17, 1968

    Carlsbad Caverns National Park New Mexico October 25, 1923 - Authorized as Carlsbad Cave National Monument, 1923. Redesignated Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 1930.

    Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site District of Columbia February 27, 2006

    Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Arizona March 2, 1889 - Authorized as Casa Grande Ruin Reservation, 1889. Redesignated Casas Grande National Monument 1918. Redesignated Casas Grade Ruins National Monument 1926.

    Castillo de San Marcos National Monument Florida October 15, 1924 - Authorized as Fort Marion National Monument, 1924. Redesignated Castillo de San Marcos NM, 1942.

    Castle Clinton National Monument New York August 12, 1946

    Catoctin Mountain Park Maryland November 14, 1936 - Authorized as Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area, 1936. Redesignated Catoctin Mountain Park, 1954.

    Cedar Breaks National Monument Utah August 22, 1933

    Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Park Virginia December 19, 2002

    Chaco Culture National Historic Park New Mexico March 11, 1907 - Incorporated Chaco Canyon National Monument 1907.

    Redesignated Chaco Culture NHP, December 19, 1980. Chamizal National Memorial Texas June 30, 1966

    Channel Islands National Park California April 26, 1938 - Authorized as Channel Islands National Monument, 1938. Incorporated as Channel Islands NP, March 5, 1980.

    Charles Pinckney National Historic Site South Carolina September 8, 1988

    Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Georgia August 15, 1978

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park Maryland, DC, West Virginia September 23, 1938 - Acquired 1938. Designated National Monument, 1961. Redesignated Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, January 8, 1971.

    Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Georgia and Tennessee August 19, 1890

    Chicasaw National Recreation Area Oklahoma July 1, 1902 - Authorized as Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902. Redesignated Platt National Park, 1906. Arbuckle National Recreation Area authorized February 1, 1965. Incorporated Arbuckle NRA and Platt NP in Chicasaw NRA, March 17, 1976.

    Chiricahua National Monument Arizona April 18, 1924

    Christiansted National Historic Site Virgina Islands March 4, 1952 - Authorized as Virgin Islands National Historic Site, 1952. Redesignated Christiansted National Historic Site, 1961.

    City of Rocks National Reserve Idaho November 18, 1988

    Clara Barton National Historic Site Maryland October 26, 1974

    Colonial National Historic Park Virginia July 3, 1930 - Authorized as Colonial National Monument, 1930. Redesignated Colonial National Historic Park, 1936.

    Colorado National Monument Colorado May 24, 1911

    Congaree National Park South Carolina October 18, 1976 - Authorized as Congaree Swamp National Park, 1976. Incorporated Congaree Swamp NP to Congaree NP, November 10, 2003.

    Coronado National Memorial Arizona July 9, 1952

    Cowpens National Battlefield South Carolina March 4, 1929 - Authorized as Cowpens National Battlefield Site, 1929. Redesignated Cowpens National Battlefield, 1972.

    Crater Lake National Park Oregon May 22, 1902

    Craters of the Moon National Monument Idaho May 2, 1924 - Additional lands established August 21, 2002

    Cumberland Gap National Historic Park Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee June 11, 1940

    Cumberland Island National Seashore Georgia October 23, 1972

    Curecanti National Recreation Area Colorado February 2, 1965

    Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio December 27, 1974


History Photo Bomb

Crater Lake

Castle Pinckney National Monument, South Carolina established October 15, 1924, and abolished in 1956. Atlanta Campaign National Historic Site, Georgia established October 13, 1944, and abolished in 1950. Constitution Gardens established August 1, 1974. Some additional changes post 2003 have not yet been added to the list.

  • Other Park Notes