National Parks in the Southeastern United States
Many of the national parks in the Southeast are dedicated to historic events such as the Civil War. But did you know some of the Southeast's national parks are home to some of the of the country's oldest artifacts? At many of these locations, demonstrations and dwellings help educate kids (and parents too) about the rich history of the Southeast and the people who came before them.
Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama
This amazing monument marks the place where prehistoric people lived for more than 10,000 years. Located in Bridgeport, Alabama, visitors to Russell Cave can see both real artifacts and replicas from the cave, view photos, and read about the early North American cave dwellers who lived there from 6500 b.c. to a.d. 1650.
Tools and weapons were an important part of early human life — they were used for defense and to obtain food. At Russell Cave, you can watch demonstrations that feature the kinds of tools and weapons the Russell cave dwellers used, including spears and materials they used to make fire. Kids can see how hard it was to exist many years ago by taking a turn at a pump drill and corn grinder. The North Alabama Birding and Nature Trail are popular with families who love to experience nature, and the trail is perfect for hiking and seeing flora and fauna. Be aware that the terrain is somewhat steep and only partially paved.
The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, encompasses all the story of the Civil War including emancipation and the Reconstruction, a story that includes national battlefields, homes of historic significance, museums, burial grounds, religious buildings, and even towns that are linked to Tennessee's Civil War heritage. Tennessee has four Civil War national battlefield parks and was the state President Andrew Johnson called home.