The protected areas in America cover 27.08% of some of the most beautiful land in the United States. These lands and waters are managed at the federal, state, and local level. Some of the country's greatest treasures are protected in National Parks. The National Park Service, in addition to managing national parks, also operates national monuments, national recreation areas, national preserves, national rivers, and many other protected designated areas. The US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, along with other federal agencies, also protects other land and water areas, many in very remote places, others next door to cities. States also operate state parks, which can be tiny and others larger than some national parks. 

Not all protected areas are nature alone. There are also national memorials, national battlefields, national parkways, national cemeteries, national historic sites, and national heritage areas, among other stuff. These areas protect national treasures such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, important Civil War battle sites, and other precious treasures. 

Read about these places right in this section. We have full profiles of all the National Parks, as well as fact boxes and lists of many other designated areas.