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America's Best Idea

The National Parks of the United States have been called "America's Best Idea". Each park represents and preserves areas that are unique in geography, geology, biology, and culture. The American system of national parks was the first of its kind in the world, and provides a living model for other nations wishing to establish and manage their own protected areas.

United States map showing national park service regions

To coincide with the PBS miniseries by Ken Burns, Kanawha County Public Library offers information and materials for you to research when deciding where to go and what to see. The information included here spotlights some of the lesser known sites near the larger, more famous neighbors that are operated by the National Park Service. More information on them can be obtained through our library's materials and online at the National Park Service website.

You'll also find material on West Virginia's state parks. You don't have to drive or fly across the country to discover unique scenery or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. In the Mountain State, you'll discover spots for skiing, mineral springs, and sites of historical importance, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond.

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