Hail to the Chief

By Tom Holland February 20, 2017

Thank you, Presidents, for preserving our favorite spots!

On this President’s Day, we tip our hats to those Presidents who have set aside the spaces that make our adventures so spectacular. As most of our trips operate on public lands in the United States, we would not be able to adventure to these extraordinary locations were it not for the forward thinking of these leaders. While the history teacher in me would love to dive into the great impacts on our trips of all our Presidents (thank you, Honest Abe for preserving parts of Yosemite), here are our favorites:

The original Rough Rider, Teddy Roosevelt, is given much deserved credit for his impact on the wild lands of the nation, but not a ton of credit is given to his distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt. While he was our longest serving President, he also set aside part of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington as a national park. Today, our Puget Sound trip for Explorers and our Pacific Northwest trip for High Trails all adventure in the wonders of Olympic National Park. With its three distinct ecosystems of temperate forest, coastline, and subalpine forest, this region is incredible for wilderness adventures. Thanks, FDR!

Contrasting the shoreline of the Pacific Northwest, we also love the desert of Utah and specifically Arches National Park. While not originally deemed a National Park by a President, it was first given a National Monument designation by Herbert Hoover. If you have never sat and wondered at the site of the Delicate Arch, you should put this on your bucket list! It is amazing, and gives you a moment to consider how time has shaped our planet. Our students have that opportunity on our Colorado Utah trip. The red arches of this national park will leave you in wonder on this classic adventure! Thank you, President Hoover!

Finally, one of the older national parks that we visit is unique because it is constantly changing before our eyes. An interesting fact about the Volcanoes National Park is that it became a national park before Hawaii became a state. It was deemed the 11th National Park in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson. Some 70 years later, we, at Wilderness Adventures, found it to be an amazing stop for our adventures. We currently operate three trips in Hawaii and all three spend time in Volcanoes. Hawaii Service, Hawaiian Islands and Hawaii Explorer all offer opportunities to get a glimpse of the hot molten lava that makes Volcanoes so unique. Nice move, President Wilson!

Being from Springfield, IL (Land of Lincoln) and a former history teacher, I love to study the presidents for many reasons. But, their impact on our public lands is one of the top reasons for me. On this President’s Day our hat is goes off to all these leaders! Thanks, Mr. President!