National Parks and State Parks
Part 1 a
North America is the third largest country in the world. Because of its size it has a lot of different landscapes and climates. Many landscapes are unique and must be protected.
For this reason, there are large natural areas where touristic access is regulated. They are called national parks and state parks.
Criteria for a national park can include: natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems and opportunities to enjoy nature. State parks are usually smaller and of less important touristic interests than national parks.
The most visited National parks in the United States are:
– Great Smoky Mountains (North Carolina and Tennessee):
The big mountain range with old forests is a UNESCO World Heritage. The park has an important black bear population. It got its name because of the fog that often hangs over the mountains.
Part 1 b
– Grand Canyon (Arizona):
The Colorado River started to shape the canyon about 17 million years ago through erosion. Different tribes of native people have lived in the area for thousands of years.
– Yosemite (California):
This park is famous for its spectacular granite cliffs and dramatic waterfalls. You can also find sequoia trees and a beautiful wilderness. The bears in this park often cause problems, because they are used to the tourists’ food and sometimes become aggressive. There are strict rules for campers e.g. how to store their food.
– Yellowstone (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho):
The main reason this park was established in 1872 as America’s first National Park was that you can find the majority of the world’s geysers and hot springs here. It is home of the grizzly bear, wolves and herds of bisons.