National Park Quiz 101 challenged you to identify the “ringer park” in at least eight out of ten sets of parks. Ringer parks are underlined below, with accompanying explanations. This is not a complete tally of possible ringer park choices, just the most obvious ones.
1. Fort Point National Historic Site, Fort Sumter National Memorial, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Fort Laramie preserves the remains of a western frontier fort that was built without a protective wall or palisade. The other three parks preserve harbor forts constructed with thick brick masonry walls. Fort Laramie is also the only park in the set that preserves a commercial site (fur trading post, 1834-1849) that was later converted to military use.
2. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Golden Spike National Historic Site
Great Smoky Mts. does not preserve sites closely associated with western expansion, settlement and resource exploitation. Unlike Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (DC/MD/WV), Klondike Gold Rush (WA/AK), and Great Smoky Mountains (NC/TN), Golden Spike lies wholly within a single state (Utah).
3. Stones River National Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
Horseshoe Bend is the only one that does not preserve a Civil War battlefield. It preserves a battlefield of the Creek War (aka Red Stick War) fought in1813-1814. Gettysburg NMP commemorates a battle fought in a northern state; the others do not.
4. Devils Tower National Monument, River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Mount Rainier National Park
Devils Tower was created by presidential proclamation, but the others were created by Congress. River Raisin National Battlefield Park was recently established (2010), whereas Mt. Rainier (1899), Mesa Verde (1906) and Devils Tower (1906) were all created more than a century ago. River Raisin is also the only park in this set that is located east of the Mississippi River and is not named for a rock structure.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Big Bend National Park, Glacier National Park, Voyageurs National Park
Grand Canyon is the only one that is not an international border park. Voyageurs is the only park in this set located in the eastern half of the United States. It also has terrain that is less diversified and much less rugged than the other parks in the set.
6. James A. Garfield National Historic Site, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Lincoln Memorial
All except Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial commemorate presidents assassinated in office.
7. Gates of the Arctic National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Gates of the Arctic is the only one that lacks an ocean shoreline and has no tidewater glaciers. Kenai Fjords is the only park in this set that is not paired with an adjoining National Preserve. Glacier Bay (estab. 1925) is the only park in the set that was not created by Congress via the the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980; the others all have the same birthday (December 2, 1980).
8. Redwood National and State Parks, Yosemite National Park, Congaree National Park, Shenandoah National Park
All of the parks in this set except Shenandoah have large tracts of old-growth forest containing trees of gigantic size. Redwood is the only coastal park in this set.
9. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Amistad National Recreation Area
Santa Monica Mountains is the only park in the set that is not reservoir-based.
10. Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Saint-Gaudens, a park that honors one of America’s greatest sculptors, is the only one that does not commemorate a person of color.
Congratulations to the Traveler readers who figured this one out: viewmtn, celbert, Eric, Anon 11:36, Caprice Kutz, Eric Nelson, Sierra Sharon, richp39, stwbirder, deskbound parky, tomp2, David Crowl, and jchappell740. All but Anon 11:36 (no ID) have qualified for our monthly prize drawing and a chance to win a signed copy of Stephen R. Brown's beautiful photo book, the Jewel of the Mall: The World War II Memorial.