National Parks and Forests

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"The Civilian Conservation Corp, at work on the terracing of the Mountain Theater on Mount Tamalpais," 1936. Courtesy of the Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin Free County Library via California Digital Library.

Thanks to the efforts of the CCC, recreation in state and national parks became more attractive to tourists. In 1935, the National Park Service oversaw the activities of 600 CCC camps that worked on developing both state and national parks. Small dams created lakes near campgrounds. The CCC built picnic areas, fireplaces, new park entrance stations, and new roads and trails that made the national parks more accessible.

The CCC men also built many basic tourist cabins as well as ranger stations and signage for the parks. In addition to developing the infrastructure for the parks, CCC park support activities also included cultivating plant nurseries and seed collection for revegetation. Hiking trails that are still in use today were originally cut by CCC men, including extensive work cutting granite blocks and laying trails in Acadia National Park in Maine.

The CCC completed the Colorado River trail in the Grand Canyon, along with many other structural improvements that are still in use today. These are just a few examples of the extensive work done in the national and state park system by the men of the CCC.