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Why you should get a National Parks Passport for this motorcycle season

Added June 30, 2016

National Parks passport—document your road trips!

As a motorcycle rider, exploring all the natural beauty and historical sites America has to offer is one of our greatest joys. These two-wheeled adventures fill our memories with cherished experiences. The average rider likely takes hundreds of pictures each year to document these experiences. But how many of us keep a journal or other record of our travels? While we are free to travel this vast land without needing a passport, you may want a special one as a keepsake to record your adventures. A National Parks Passport is the perfect traveling companion to record your visits to our national treasures.

2016 is the National Park Service Centennial

President Woodrow Wilson signed the “National Park Service Organic Act” on August 25, 1916. With that stroke of his pen the National Park Service (NPS) as an agency of the United States Department of the Interior was born. The concept of preserving some of the amazing natural wonders of America was not a new idea then. Yellowstone National Park was the first to be established on March 1, 1872—it’s also the world’s first national park. This year, the National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. The number of parks and other national treasures they manage has grown to 410 sites in 28 different official designations. This list provides a sense of just how many places the NPS administers: 

 128 historical parks or sites
 81 national monuments
 59 national parks
 25 battlefields or military parks
 19 preserves
 18 recreation areas
 10 seashores
 4 parkways
 4 lakeshores
 2 reserves 

National parks passports

The National Parks Passport Program has created a wonderful system to help you explore and document your travels. At the heart is a passport that you can get canceled with dated stamps at NPS sites, just like your U.S. Passport gets visa stamps during foreign travel. There are several different National Parks Passports available, starting with a motorcycle friendly sized pocket “Passport to your National Parks” edition with 45 regionally organized destinations and room for dozens more cancelation stamps. They also offer larger collector and explorer editions along with a wide range of stamps, guides, and information products to enhance your park experience. All are available online at the official online store of America’s national parks or at 155 NPS parks and sites. Since 1947, the sale of these products has generated $107 million in donations to help enhance the park visitor experience.

Till next time, see America first and ride safe!