The Trivia Tuesday Challenge

Graphic of a ranger silhouette with text "National Trivia Park National Park Service"

NPS / Matt Turner


As excitement grew for National Park Week, Trivia Tuesday challenged you with a weekly question about the National Park Service. How did you do?

National Park of American Samoa is the only site, unit, or related area south of the equator. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it is at -74.045 degrees latitude.

Bonus question answers:
Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska, is the northernmost NPS site. This affiliated area is located at 71.299 degrees latitude.

Heading west across the Pacific Ocean from the US, War in the Pacific National Historic Site (144.692 degrees longitude) in Guam inches out affiliated area American Memorial Park (145.723 degrees longitude) in the Northern Mariana Islands. Both sites are actually located in the eastern hemisphere.

Buck Island Reef National Monument in the US Virgin Islands is the site farthest east on the Atlantic Ocean side at -64.622 degrees longitude.
Affiliated Areas, National Heritage Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and National Trails

Affiliated Areas: The NPS has a varying degree of affiliation with these sites, usually through technical or financial assistance. Several affiliated areas are even staffed by NPS employees. When created, they were not intended to be federally owned or directly administered by the NPS.

National Heritage Areas: These are regions of natural and/or cultural resources designated by Congress to promote stewardship and economic development on a large-scale community level. Businesses, governments, non-profits, and private individuals participate in heritage areas.

National Wild and Scenic Rivers System: Created in 1968, the system preserves certain rivers throughout the country that have outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values. Some park units or sections of units are part of this system; however, the majority of rivers are located on other national, state, local government, non-profit, or private lands.

National Trails System: Also created in 1968, the system promotes the establishment of trails in rural and urban areas with scenic, historic, or recreational values. Several park units are part of this system and many of these trails run through park units. Some trails in this system that are not units have a superintendent and ranger staff. Most trails are a combination of government and private land.

A note about the two categories mentioned in the question:
Authorized Areas: Future units that have been authorized by Congress, but have not yet been established pending requirements the sites need to fulfill first. When the are authorized by Congress, the National Park System unit count does not go up until the site is fully established.
Commemorative Sites: This concept recognizes sites with historic value. There are currently only two commemorative sites designated by Congress.

Admirable Guesses
National Park Service areas can generally be distinguished as units of the National Park System (parks), related areas (above), or programs. The National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, and National Natural Landmarks are programs administered by the NPS.

Yes, you can learn even more about site designations.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is one of the 419 units of the National Park System. It crosses into 14 states from Georgia to Maine (GA,TN, NC, VA, WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, NH, ME).

Last updated: April 29, 2019