20 Apr

Map of the Week: Between the Pines: National Parks on Earth Day

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” John Muir’s words about exploring the forests of the United States have inspired countless others to go out and do the same. The founder of the Sierra Club, Muir was a notable naturalist; and his writings would influence many of those who would follow. This week’s map looks at some of Muir’s favorite places in the Unites States: National Parks.

In honor of Earth Day – celebrated this Saturday, April 22nd – this week’s map covers not just the National Parks, but also the tree canopy in the contiguous United States. Using data from the National Parks Service and the National Land Cover Database, this map explores the density of the tree canopy, as well as the borders of the National Parks.

Included are not just the parks, but also some of the national trails the National Parks Service oversees. Most notably, the Appalachian Trail running from Georgia to Maine, along the East Coats on the map. Beyond these units, the National Parks Service oversees various reservoirs, reservations, monuments, battlefield sites, and countless more historic lands. Interested in visiting? This weekend is the second weekend of National Park Week, and all National Parks sites are free to the public on Saturday and Sunday (4/22 and 23).