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National Park Quiz 1: Are You Centered?


This monument marks the geographic center of the coterminous 48 states. Photo by dcmarkie via flickr.

Do you know where the national parks are located? This little quiz will test the accuracy of your National Park System “mental map.” The answers are at the end. No peeking!

1. The geographical center of the 48-state U.S. is just outside Lebanon, Kansas. Which of the following national parks is closest to this spot?
a. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
b. Rocky Mountain National Park
c. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
d. Big Bend National Park

2. The geographical center of the entire U.S. is in west-central South Dakota. All of the following national parks are within 100 miles or so of this point EXCEPT...
a. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
b. Devils Tower National Monument
c. Badlands National Park
d. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

3. A marker in the center of the intersection of Bank and Sixth Streets in Wallace, Idaho, proclaims this spot to be the exact Center of the Universe. Which is the closest national park?
a. North Cascades National Park
b. Glacier National Park
c. Rocky Mountain National Park
d. Yellowstone National Park

4. A boulder just outside North Fork, California, bears a plaque saying that it sits at the exact geographical center of the Golden State. Which of the following national parks is closest?
a. Yosemite National Park
b. Lassen Volcanic National Park
c. Joshua Tree National Park
d. Death Valley National Park

5. Which of these states has the most national parks within 150 miles of its geographical center?
a. Texas
b. Arizona
c. Montana
d. Wyoming

6. Thanks to a Boy Scout’s Eagle badge project, a USGS marker has been placed at Utah’s geographical center about 5 miles west of Ephraim. Which of the following parks is closest?
a. Grand Canyon National Park
b. Mesa Verde National Park
c. Capitol Reef National Park
d. Zion National Park

7. Congaree National Park is almost exactly in the geographical center of...
a. Georgia
b. Florida
c. Arkansas
d. South Carolina

8. Which of the following has a state border running through its center?
a. the upper section of the Buffalo National River
b. the lower section of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
c. New River Gorge National River
d. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

9. Which of the following parks has visitor centers in both Tennessee and North Carolina?
a. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
b. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
c. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
d. Blue Ridge National Parkway

10. A man driving on a park road looks out the window and says to his wife: “Hey, there’s Milepost 52. We must be very close to the center of this park.” From this you may reasonably infer he is driving...
a. on the Natchez Trace Parkway
b. on the George Washington Memorial Parkway
c. in Isle Royale National Park
d. in Shenandoah National Park

Answers: (1) c (2) d (3) b (4) a (5) b (6) c (7) d (8) b (9) a (10) d

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passably fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


9 out of 10. :-)

Never heard of St. Croix National River. :-P


My travels through the National Park System:

Nice job, Barky; I'm impressed. Maybe you should be writing these quizzes instead of me? The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (not River; I've corrected the typo) was one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers. The lower part of the park/riverway, the St. Croix River, forms the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This lower section of the riverway is heavily used (picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking), since Interstate 94 crosses there and the Minneapolis/ St. Paul metro area is just to the west.

Got 9 out of 10 myself... I had to flip a coin between Glacier and Yellowstone, since I've never been to Wallace, ID and figured that since Yellowstone National Park is actually *in* Idaho, that was the better bet...


I got stuck on the exact same question. A lousy 9 for 10.

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