East Coast Trip in Review

East Coast Trip in Review
66 days on the road
37 nights camping
332 miles on foot
40 miles paddling
13,949 miles on the road

$3,661 total budget
$1,490 gasoline
$373 groceries
$227 restaurants
$164 campgrounds
$374 car maintenance (new brakes, new windshield, oil change)
$83 Pro Football Hall of Fame
$224 Universal Studios-Orlando
$70 National WWII Museum
$656 miscellaneous (ferries, tolls, parking, state parks, museums)
$0 NPS entry fees (saved $236 with America the Beautiful Pass)

70 NPS sites in 29 States
Badlands NP
Minuteman Missile NHS
Mississippi NRRA
Saint Croix NSR
Pictured Rocks NL
Sleeping Bear Dunes NL
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
River Raisin NBP
Women’s Rights NHP
Fort Stanwix NM
Saratoga NHP
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP
Saint-Gaudens NHS
Acadia NP
Lowell NHP
Minute Man NHP
Roger Williams NMem
Blackstone River Valley NHP
Boston NHP
Boston African-American NHS
Weir Farm NHS
Paterson Great Falls NHP
Statue of Liberty NM
Thomas Edison NHP
Delaware Water Gap NRA
First State NHP
Independence NHP
Thaddeus Kosciuszko NMem
Valley Forge NHP
Hopewell Furnace NHS
Gettysburg NMP
Antietam NB
Catoctin Mountain Park
C&O Canal NHP
Flight 93 NMem
Johnstown Flood NMem
Alleghany Portage Railroad NHS
First Ladies NHS
Cuyahoga Valley NP
Bluestone NSR
Appomattox Court House NHP
Booker T. Washington NM
Cumberland Gap NHP
Big South Fork NRRA
Manhattan Project NHP
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Blue Ridge Pkwy
Ninety Six NHS
Cowpens NB
Cape Lookout NS
Congaree NP
Fort Frederica NM
Castillo de San Marcos NM
Canaveral NS
Biscayne NP
Everglades NP
Big Cypress NPres
De Soto NMem
Fort Caroline NMem
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
Gulf Shores NS
New Orleans Jazz NHP
Jean LaFitte NHP & Pres
Big Thicket NPres
Cane River Creole NHP
Natchez NHP
Poverty Point NHP
Vicksburg NMP
Arkansas Post NMem
Chickasaw NRA

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Location: Sulphur, Oklahoma
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Bison, natural springs, reservoir
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Hard to see bison or Lincoln Bridge (on OK quarter) through trees
Description: Originally purchased by the U.S. government in 1902 and once named Platt National Park, this historic area in the middle of the Chickasaw Reservation has both fresh and mineral springs.

Arkansas Post National Memorial

Arkansas Post National Memorial
Location: Gillett, Arkansas
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Wildlife, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Bugs
Description: Located on the Arkansas River near its confluence with the Mississippi, this site was held by the French, Spanish, and Confederacy and attacked by British and Union forces during a long history that saw it as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory.

Belzoni, Mississippi

Belzoni, Mississippi
Location: Belzoni, Mississippi
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Catfish museum, sculptures
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: No catfish stuffed animals for sale
Description: Having caught several catfish in Suwannee, Tiff simply had to visit the Catfish Capital of the World as seen on the small UHaul trailers. This is a major catfish growing region. It’s actually a very efficient livestock requiring only 2 pounds of feed to grow a pound of meat.

Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg National Military Park
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: USS Cairo ironside ship, monuments, museum, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $12 per vehicle or free with America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Gates close at 5 p.m. for auto tour
Description: The USS Cairo ironside ship was rediscovered beneath the Yazoo River in 1964 then carefully moved to its current location.  The sculptures here are the prettiest of any Civil War battlefield.

 

Poverty Point National Monument

Poverty Point National Monument
Location: Pioneer, Louisiana
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Large Indian mounds, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $4 per adult or free with America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Tram tour does not stop to allow visitors to climb Mound A
Description: This NPS site was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and is fully run by Louisiana State Parks.  The impressive Mound A required 15.5-million baskets of dirt to reach its massive 70-foot height.

Natchez National Historical Park

Natchez National Historical Park
Location: Natchez, Mississippi
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Historic buildings in 300-year-old town
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Closed for lunch
Description: The beginning of the famous Natchez Trace Parkway is a small town on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. The William Johnson House is a museum telling the story of a free African-American slave owner.

Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Location: Natchitoches, Louisiana
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Historic buildings, pecan picking
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Only one tour per day
Description: The NPS is reconstructing these two plantations in central Louisiana that demonstrate the history of the Deep South from Antebellum through Reconstruction.

Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve
Location: eastern Texas
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: Wildlife, hiking, paddling rivers and bayou
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Poison-ivy, mosquitoes
Description: When most people think of Texas they don’t think of the bayou, but this unique ecosystem has been protected in several units totaling 112,000-acres. We enjoyed hiking Kirby Nature Trail and paddling Pine Island Bayou.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: Wildlife, War of 1812 battlefield
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Alligators and territorial squirrels
Description: Jean Lafitte was a local “privateer” (a.k.a. pirate) who assisted in the fight with the British during the War of 1812. The NPS offers trails and boat tours (fee) through the N’Orleans bayou.