12 Oldest Public Parks in the US [Update 2024]

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Oldest Public Parks in the US

Public parks can serve as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, a short retreat during the weekend, or a vital component of a vibrant neighborhood. Public parks, whether situated in the downtown area or the suburban areas, encourage locals to unwind, take a break from their busy schedules, and breathe in some fresh, clean air.

Although there are thousands and thousands of public parks in the US, only a small portion of them have history attached to them. However, some of them are so old it’s hard to date back their origin, or they are older than the country.

Here’s a list of the oldest public parks in the US.

1. Boston Common – 1634

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Boston Common, the oldest US public park, is situated in the center of Boston and dates back to 1634. This park continues to be one of Boston’s most popular tourist destinations and its most visited outdoor space. It is managed by Boston’s City of Boston Parks & Recreation.

Boston Common served as the location with most public activities early during the city’s existence, including amusement, gatherings, hangings and brutal beatings.

2. Military Park – 1667

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The Military Park, which is situated in the old city of Newark, was built in 1667. It is a historic landmark and a jewel in the community because of its importance in American history, notably during the Revolutionary War.

The park not only functioned as a military base during the French and Indian War, but it also housed Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War. The Military Park is not only one of the oldest public parks in the US, but also an iconic historical site.

3. Washington Park – N/A

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About 100 years before the US even became a nation, Washington Park already existed. This park was originally used by the earliest European settlers as a gathering spot.

Washington Park has remained a significant feature of Newark, which in 1978 recognized this park and the area around it as the Historic James St. Commons.

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4. Franklin Square – 1682

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Franklin Square is tucked away in the center of Philadelphia, often known as the “birthplace of the United States,” a famous city, and is one of the nation’s oldest public parks.

Franklin Square, which was created in 1682 and is located in Center City, was among William Penn’s initial 5 parks when he laid out the settlement during the late 1600s. It now has a lovely spinning wheel, a waterfall for the summer, mini golf and much more.

5. Yellowstone National Park – 1872

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Yosemite was first safeguarded as a state park during the 1800s, which set up for traditionalists to shield Yellowstone from settlement through 1864’s Yosemite Act. Yellowstone’s 3,500-square-mile park ranges across three states and is generally acclaimed for its spouting fountains.

The most renowned, Old Faithful, found in the Upper Geyser Basin, is only one of around 500, yet procured its moniker by steadfastly throwing up water at regular intervals.

Although it one of the oldest sites in the United States, the park itself was established during the 1800s.

6. Sequoia National Park – 1890

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Not a long way from Yosemite, this turned into the subsequent public park in the United States when it was set up only days before Yosemite on September 25, 1890. Deforestation and mining were compromising the region’s antiquated sequoia trees that had lived on the land for a huge number of years, so Muir and Sierra Club individuals called to Congress to ensure the characteristic fortunes.

At the point when the recreation center was set up, it turned into the main devoted to securing a living creature. During the 1940s, FDR fused extra land north of Sequoia and named it Kings Canyon National Park. This land retained Grant National Park, set up seven days after Sequoia to ensure the trees in General Grant Grove, so some contend Kings Canyon is as old as Sequoia.

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7. Yosemite National Park – 1890

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One of the oldest public parks in the US was set up not exactly seven days after Congress affirmed the second. On October 1, 1890, Yosemite was made after fiery campaigning from John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson. The two journalists were eminent for their adoration for the outside, with Muir setting up the Sierra Club in the last part of the 1800s. As the “Father of the National Parks,” Muir was instrumental in Yosemite’s creation.

Prestigious for its monster sequoia trees, transcending cascades and enormous stone monuments inside the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the recreation center is one of the main 10 most visited. Not exclusively did Muir and Johnson go gaga for Yosemite, yet different specialists have made the recreation center their dream.

8. Crater Lake National Park – 1902

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At the point when Mount Mazama went insane almost 8,000 years prior, it left a volcanic melancholy at the highest point of the 12,000-foot spring of gushing lava that loaded up with icy water to give up a dazzling lake. Some portion of the Cascade Range, the recreation center enveloping the caldera was the fifth set up under the National Park System, despite the fact that the region was first found by voyagers during the 1800s.

The lake is 1,949 feet down, making it the most profound in the United States. It is additionally one of the oldest public parks in the US. To arrive at the lone spot where swimming is permitted, guests follow the recreation center’s Cleetwood Cove Trail to the shoreline.

9. Wind Cave National Park – 1903

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The Lakota Indians who called this region home accept the caverns are the wellspring of their creation. Obviously, when revealed, excavators took to the caverns, yet they have not discovered anything of significant worth and concluded they should be saved. Fortunately, in 1903, that is actually what occurred.

The natural life supervisor for Wind Cave National Park during the 1930s endeavored to bring back the American buffalo that had been almost decreased to elimination. By eliminating the fencing that settled the creatures and adding more land for them to meander.

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10. Mesa Verde National Park – 1906

Long before President Theodore Roosevelt declared Mesa Verde a national park in 1906, the area had been inhabited by indigenous peoples. The Ancestral Puebloans, who lived in cliff dwellings, established a permanent presence there as early as 600 AD. Some 5,000 archeological sites, including some of the best in the United States, can be found at Mesa Verde National Park.

11. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park – 1916

In 1916, the area that is now known as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was designated as part of the broader Hawaii National Park. The park was divided in 1961, with much of the territory going to create Haleakal National Park. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to two active volcanoes: Klauea and Mauna Loa.

12. Haleakala National Park – 1961

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While thought about probably the most seasoned park, Haleakala today is really more youthful than most on this rundown. That is on the grounds that it was initially gotten together with what is currently Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a feature of what was then called Hawaii National Park.

The two volcanic parks weren’t isolated until 1961. Found on the island of Maui, Haleakala signifies “place of the sun,” and local people and guests the same take to the mountain before sunrise to watch the main looks at the sun ascend over the Hawaiian islands from in excess of 10,000 feet high. One of the world’s biggest torpid volcanoes, Haleakala covers in excess of 34,000 sections of land.

These are some of the oldest public parks in the US to take a look at and visit whenever you are around.

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