It is a geological wonderland whose features seem to change based on the season and time of day. Erosion of its rocks has give it some of the most unique formations in the world. Some refer to it as a forest of stone others as a roofless cave. Highlighted by red, orange, yellow and white rocks, photographers come from all over to capture the images of this park. While it is called a canyon, geologists say the main feature of this park is actually a series of natural amphitheaters. One of Utah’s five national parks, this national park still manages to stand out against the varied and beautiful natural landscapes that the state has to offer. Bryce Canyon National Parks has astounded ancient native tribes, early Mormon settlers, and conservationists and continues to draw visitors to see its grandeur and beauty.
Bryce was a haven for early Native Americans and Mormons who were seeking religious liberty and avoiding persecution. As word spread about the beautiful scenery, more tourists came to see the canyon and conservationists suddenly became alarmed at how the area’s natural wonder was slowly being destroyed. It took only five years for Bryce to go from a national monument to a national park. Since then, visitors have come in to explore the canyon during the daytime and at night, from sunrise to sunset in hopes of seeing each aspect of the area’s natural wonders and become a part of the million-year history that is Bryce Canyon National Park.
This park in Virginia’s Piedmont Region contains parts of the Appalachian Trail, Civil War battlefields and the former homes built by loggers, miners and farmers who attempted to eke out a living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Running from Swift Run Gap in the South to Front Royal in the north, the park’s iconic Skyline Drive is not only part of the much larger Blue Ridge Parkway but also more than 115 miles of scenic highway between Waynesboro and Front Royal. It is easy to spend days in Shenandoah and still feel like you have barely scraped the surface of what the park has to offer. While some of the controversy about how this national park was created still simmers, it is hard for anyone to disagree that Shenandoah has some of the most beautiful land America has to offer.
The wonders of Hot Springs are both natural and man-made. The geothermal waters have created unique water formations and the mineral content of these waters have long baffled researchers trying to find what healing elements can be gleaned from them. Visitors to the park not only marvel at these natural wonders but at the beautiful hotels and bathhouses constructed during the Gilded Age, constructed to accommodate the many famous and wealth visitors to the area. Hot Springs was a popular vacation destination for baseball teams in spring training during the late 1800s as well as supreme court justices, gangsters, gamblers, World War I and II veterans, and robber barons. Today, bathing in the waters is still allowed for a price, but there is much more than healing waters to this national park.
Whether one is in the state’s wild woodlands, mountainous coal region, rolling lowlands or along its coastal plains, there are areas that Marylanders have left behind as their state has moved forward. Abandoned towns still lie in the hills and woods while major cities are now located atop what were once ancient and colonial settlements. The change in the state’s economy forced the end of some communities whose residents left for other areas as their main sources of income no longer became viable. The changes from wagons to steamships to railroads and highway systems contributed to the decline of other communities, literally taking them off the map.
Applegarth - Oyster Town
As the makeup and landscape of the state has changed, so too have the towns and cities that Maine’s residents call home. Lost into the past of the Pine Tree State are former colonial forts, a small community inundated by a local lake, a city settled by former slaves, and a wildlife reserve that was once the state’s largest shipbuilding community. The rise and fall the state’s of industry, culture and societies can be charged through the cities lost in the wilds of Maine.
Askwith - On Misery Knob
While many communities have survived the state’s tumultuous history, not all have been so lucky. As Louisiana’s lands changed hands, so did the culture and center of its population. Cities rose and fell based on who was in power, some disappearing completely off the map when their residents were forced elsewhere. Changes in nature ranging from the flowing waters of mighty rivers to the merciless winds of hurricanes destroyed others while some fell victim to more man-made disasters. The story of Louisiana’s lost cities are the story of the state itself, showing changes in society, economics and even the very nature of the Bayou State.
Alberta - The Sawmill City
Dedicated to all things travel, places I have been and places I want to go.