I'm not sure who invented the concept of the National Recreation Area, but it was a good idea. It creates a park-like construct within an area that probably deserves National Park status but for which the political will is lacking to create a new Park. So what you get is the combining of existing recreation infrastructure into a larger unit, some of which is run by various government agencies, but all of which is under the guiding hand of the National Forest Service or the National Park Service.
One drawback is that a National Recreation Area does not have the protections of a National Park, but they do offer wonderful access to campgrounds, trails, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, etc. In my region, one of the best of these is the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. We've been visiting it for many years and I have still not come close to seeing all of the features I want to see.
|Our Casita at Grindstone Campground.|
Much to see and do!