How to choose your next National Heritage Area to visit!
How to choose your next National Heritage Area to visit
National Heritage Areas are the lastest versions of "National Parks" - but, they are created by the people who live in the area under the guidance of the National Park Service. Each is a collection of local sites, attractions and locations in relatively close proximity that shares a meaningful heritage story. This article is intended to be an introduction the the National Heritage Area (NHA) concept and a sampling of them. Subsequent article will be built around individual NHAs across the USA.
Photo is from along Hwy 24 in Mormon Pioneer NHA, Utah.
The only complete guide to Capitol Reef National Park whether on foot or from the road.
Finally, the total experience of enjoying Capitol Reef National Park has been captured in one comprehensive volume.
National Heritage Area information from the National Park Service - Thinking of creating a local NHA? This is the place to start!
Note the three tabs on this site:
1) What is an NHA?
2) Becoming an NHA
3) NHA Resources
This is where you learn all the details of how and why National Heritage Areas exist and why they will continue to grow.
See videos, links and other useful NHA information.
- National Heritage Areas at the National Park Service
This site is part of the National Park Service website. It also has an interactive map to view to choose your National Heritage Area of interest.
A quick reference guide for National Heritage Areas
Leave a comment, after you take a peak the the NHA map!
This image and link are adapted from part of the Alliance of National Heritage Area website and I thank them for their work. I offer it here as an easy way to visualize the sites - and quickly get to a favorite one, but, I hope you will come back here and continue to read. THANKS! ;-)
- Link to the Alliance of National Heritage Areas website
The Alliance of National Heritage Areas is a membership organization of the Congressionally designated National Heritage Areas committed to raising awareness among the Administration, Congress, its partners, and the public of the benefits of National
An introduction to the Alliance of National Heritage Areas - A fine group working for the mutual benefit of all the NHAs
From the Mission Statement of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas:
To create and enhance strategic links among the Congressionally designated National Heritage Areas, emerging heritage areas, and private, non-profit and governmental organizations associated with heritage development.
My favorite NHA sites (just to get things started) - This list may change from time to time
These are the National Heritage Areas I have worked with, visited, or live nearest. They are newer than those in the eastern third of the USA.
- Looking for LIncoln
Scattered throughout the central Illinois landscape are countless places where Lincoln traveled and lived. These places are the real thing and they make up the experience that we call "Looking for Lincoln."
- Silos and Smokestacks
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Through the development of a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA's mission
- Freedom's Frontier
Events that happened in the 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri counties of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area led to the Civil War and an enduring struggle for freedom. Conflict over slavery and other issues drew those on both sides int
- Mormon Pioneer
The Utah Heritage Highways five heritage areas are Little Denmark, Sevier Valley, Headwaters, Under the Rim and the Boulder Mountain Loop. This travel guide will help you design a heritage adventure to fit your own unique tastes. Wherever you choose
Which would you visit first?
Which of these National Heritage Areas would you like to visit next?
Mormon Pioneer Area Books available on Amazon - These are some of my favorites. Check them out carefully.
Beginning with an Olympic ski race in northern Utah, this heartfelt book from award-winning writer and photographer Stephen Trimble takes a penetrating look at the battles raging over the land--and the soul--of the American West. Bargaining for Eden investigates the high-profile story of a reclusive billionaire who worked relentlessly to acquire public land for his ski resort and to host the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. In a gripping, character-driven narrative, based on extensive interviews, Trimble tells of the land exchange deal that ensued, one of the largest and most controversial in U.S. history, as he deftly explores the inner conflicts, paradoxes, and greed at the heart of land-use disputes from the back rooms of Washington to the grassroots efforts of passionate citizens. Into this mix, Trimble weaves the personal story of how he, a lifelong environmentalist, ironically became a landowner and developer himself, and began to explore the ethics of ownership anew. We travel with Trimble in a fascinating journey that becomes, in the end, a hopeful credo to guide citizens and communities seeking to reinvent their relationship with the beloved American landscape.
Five new Western National Heritage Areas - Have you visited any of these, recently? Share in Comments
These are some of the most recently added of the 49 NHAs across the country; these are in CO, NM, and AZ.
- South Park National Heritage Area
While mining in the area began in 1859, ranching was underway by the early 1860s, and tourism was only a few steps behind. In 1868, a large party of dignitaries and their wives toured the South Park and surrounding mountains accompanied by a guard of
- Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area
Spanning more than 3,000 square miles,the SdCNHA includes the counties of Conejos, Costilla, and Alamosa, the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge and the Great Sand Dunes Natio
- Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area
The Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area encompasses a mosaic of cultures, including the Jicarilla Apache, 8 Indian Pueblos and the descendants of Spanish colonists who settled in the area beginning in 1598, a generation before the Mayflower la
- Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
One important function of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is to work with partners to preserve and protect these valuable resources. Many original structures on Yuma's Main Street were destroyed in flooding. These concrete structures were b
The National Heritage Area concept seems to new/foreign to a lot of good folks. With this lens I hope to in some small way change that. Your viewpoints will be appreciated. Some, very few, active oppose the National Heritage Area concept. If you are one of those, feel free to say so, but please, be nice. Mutual respect is in the common good.
Highway 12 is undoubtedly one of not only America's but the world's most scenic highways. From its intersection on the west with Highway 89 south of Panguitch, Utah, it runs up through Red Canyon onto the Paunsagunt Plateau and across Bryce Canyon National Park. It then drops into the Paria River Valley, passes through several tiny villages, crosses some extraordinary (for anywhere but this region) badlands, and descends the Escalante River into Potato Valley. While a driver may justifiably feel she has seen some scenery by that point, the highway is just getting started, for in the next stretch, it crosses a labyrinth of multicolored sandstone humps and corridors, climaxed by a narrow hogback with steep slickrock drops to each side, all within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Reaching the oasis of Boulder within this desert of rock, the road then climbs across the flank of the Aquarius Plateau, providing spectacular vistas and terminating at the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park. Along the way side roads and trails access the vast wilderness of the Paria and Escalante Rivers and the high plateaus they drain. Congress acknowledged the unequaled splendor of Highway 12 by designating it one of a handful of All-American Roads.
To travel with Christian Probasco this road and its spurs, which lead deep into some of the wildest, most broken-up and stunning landscapes anywhere, can put a unique twist on an already singular experience. He knows the region as well as anyone and brings an original, edgy, youthful view to it. His opinions and his language may challenge you. His approaches to and perspectives on the land may sometimes surprise you. His understanding of the area's history and its people will likely teach you a thing or two.