Fort DeRussy Beach Park

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Fort DeRussy is a beach-front military reservation in the Waikiki area. The beach stretches between Kahanamoku Beach and the Outrigger Hotel. While it is under the jurisdiction of the US Army, most of the park, including the beach, is open to the public.

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The Army purchased this land from a Chinese billionaire in 1904. The army built defensive batteries there, but after a test of the guns shattered the windows of nearby resorts, that use was discontinued. Battery Randolph then became an R&R installation during the Vietnam War. Today it houses the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaiʻi.

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I walked the beach from Kahanamoku to the end of DeRussy each morning to watch the sun rise over Diamond Head. The DeRussy Beach is said to be the largest in Waikiki, which is made up of 6 or 7 beaches. One morning, after it drizzled on me for a bit, I saw a rainbow.

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DeRussy Park also has a large landscaped greenspace. We could see people running, walking dogs or participating in a Tai Chi class there in the mornings.

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Oahu Posts:

  • Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park
  • Green World Coffee Farm (coming soon)
  • The Dole Plantation (coming soon)
  • Anahulu River (coming soon)
  • Waimea Falls (coming soon)
  • Hau’ula Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Tropical Macadamia Farm (coming soon)
  • Byodo-In Temple (coming soon)
  • Polynesian Cultural Center (coming soon)
  • Aloha Tower (coming soon)
  • Diamond Head (coming soon)
  • Iolani Palace (coming soon)
  • King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
  • Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
  • Pearl Harbor (coming soon)

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Location: 2055 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Designation: Military Reservation

Date established/designated: circa 1904

Date of my visit: April 2019

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Home of FDR National Historic Site: Gardens at Bellefield

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Bellefield is an estate that was built in 1795 by a judge and then passed through many different hands. In the late 1800s, New York Senator Thomas Newbold bought the property and expanded the house and built a formal walled garden. Bellefield remained in the Newbold family until 1975 when the last heir donated it to the National Park Service.

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The NPS incorporated Bellefield into the neighboring Home of FDR National Historic Site. The house is used for offices now, but the formal garden is open to the public. It sits behind the Wallace Visitor Center.

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The garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand in 1911. Farrand was the only female founder of the American Society of Landscape Architects and was responsible for the landscaping of many college campuses including Princeton and Yale.

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I walked over to the garden after finishing up my tours of Springwood and the FDR library. In early October, there were still some flowers blooming and there was no one else in the garden with me…a lovely, peaceful place.

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Federal funds did not allow for proper maintenance of the garden so the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association partnered with the NPS in the 1990s to restore it. The arts and crafts style gates were restored by an Eagle Scout based on Farrand’s original plans.

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Hyde Park posts:

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Location: 4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538

Designation: National Historic Site

Date designated or established: Incorporated into FDR NHS in 1975

Date of my visit: 10/3/2018

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Kahanamoku Beach

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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There is a law in Hawaii mandating public access to its beaches which states that any land below the highest wave line is considered state property and open to the public. As a result, resorts and developments must provide free access to beaches fronting their property. Only certain federal lands are exempt from this rule.

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Kahanamoku Beach is at the western edge of Waikiki, in front of Hilton’s Hawaiian Village.

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It is named for Hawaii’s legendary surfer, Duke Kahanamoku. His family owned the land before the resort was built.

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Duke learned to swim on this beach and went on to become an Olympic Gold Medalist. He was born in 1890 and died in 1968.

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While staying in Honolulu,  we had a room at the Hawaiian Village.  Each morning, still on NYC time,  I’d walk the beach and  lagoon, catching the sunrise over Diamond Head and watching shore birds before the beach-goers arrived.

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Kahanamoku Beach is adjacent to Fort DeRussy Beach, which is a military reservation

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Oahu Posts:

  • Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Green World Coffee Farm (coming soon)
  • The Dole Plantation (coming soon)
  • Anahulu River (coming soon)
  • Waimea Falls (coming soon)
  • Hau’ula Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Tropical Macadamia Farm (coming soon)
  • Byodo-In Temple (coming soon)
  • Polynesian Cultural Center (coming soon)
  • Aloha Tower (coming soon)
  • Diamond Head (coming soon)
  • Iolani Palace (coming soon)
  • King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
  • Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
  • Pearl Harbor (coming soon)

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Location: Public access at the end of Paoa Pl, off Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Hawaii

Designation: Public Beach

Date established/designated: circa 1954

Date of my visit: April 10 2019

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Grand Canyon National Park: Yavapai Point

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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On one of our days in the Grand Canyon, we took a tour that was not the wisest investment we’ve ever made. The van was late picking us up, the guide was nice but lacked common sense, and the tour ended abruptly when an elderly participant cut a gash in his forehead necessitating a trip to the medical center.

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Though I had a moment’s vindication when out of all twelve people on the minibus, I alone was able to dial 911 on my Samsung (leaving eleven iPhone users in the dust), we would have been better off using the park shuttles to get to the points we did see on the tour. Live and learn…but we did still spend the day in the wondrous Grand Canyon.

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One of the interesting stops on the tour was Yavapai Point. Since we were on a tour we didn’t have to worry about parking…there wasn’t much. Yavapai is the Northernmost point in this part of the South Rim, is closest to the Colorado River and has excellent panoramic views.

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Three large canyons converge on the Colorado River here. Directly opposite Yavapai Point is Bright Angel Canyon.

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We looked around the visitor center before moving on to the next stop. There is a geological museum inside which includes a topographic relief model of the canyon.

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To see my other posts on the Grand Canyon, please click the following links:

Location: Arizona

Designation: National Park

Date designation declared: 1/11/1908

Date of my visit: 8/20/2014

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At a stop on the way back, the tour guide encouraged us to stage this photo where we seem to be rescuing hubby from plunging to his death. At this angle, you can see the wide ledge behind him. He was fine. But when an elderly man hopped over the wall to try the same thing, he lost his balance and hit his head on a rock. Best not to fool around on the rim…better safe than sorry.

Battery Maritime Building – NRHP

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Visitors to Governors Island National Monument will pass through the historic Battery Maritime Building. It is located in Lower Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

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This Beaux-Arts structure was built in 1909 to serve as the Municipal Ferry Pier. Since 1956, it has served as the ferry terminal to Governors Island.

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At first used by the Army to access the military base on the island, management was assumed by the Coast Guard in 1966 when Governors Island became the largest Coast Guard base in the country.

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In 1996, the Coast Guard moved its base to another location. In 2001, 22 acres on Governors Island, including two of the historic forts were designated a National Monument managed by the NPS. The remaining 150 acres were sold to New York City to be managed by the Trust for Governors Island. The Trust now manages the ferry terminal, shuttling visitors via a $3, eight-minute trip to the island, between May and October.IMG_2861

The Battery Maritime Building is constructed of cast iron, steel, zinc and copper. It was restored to its original appearance in the early 2000s.

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To see my other Governors Island posts, please click below:

  • Battery Maritime Building
  • Soissons Landing and Castle Williams (Coming Soon)
  • Liggett Hall (Coming Soon)
  • Fort Jay and The Hills (Coming Soon)
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Guide Mario showing the group the difference between now and then: the view of the  New York City skyline from the ferry.

Location: 10 South St, New York, NY 10005

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 12/12/1976

Date of my visit: 9/11/2018

 

Aloha! An update from T…

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Aloha readers of National Parks with T! We have just returned from our Hawaii dream trip. We flew into Honolulu and spent a few nights in a hotel from which we explored the island of Oahu. Then we boarded a cruise ship which took us to adventures on Maui, Hawai’i (The Big Island). and Kauai.

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Along the way we took about 1500 photos and should have lots of new blog posts from this trip throughout 2019. Needless to say, we are still a little jet-lagged and now that we are home again we are dealing with a health crisis for my little dog, Lily. She needs surgery, so we are preoccupied with that at the moment.

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Mahalo for reading and commenting on my posts! I do read all of your comments and they make me smile, even if I can’t respond right away. I promise to catch up with all of you in the near future!

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Meanwhile, you will continue to see previously scheduled posts. Until we meet again…

 

Wild and Scenic Rogue River: Hellgate Canyon

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link

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The Rogue River in Oregon is one of the eight rivers designated a Wild and Scenic River by Congress in 1968. Parts of it are managed by the National Forest Service and the rest is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. To see my earlier post on the Natural Bridge in National Forest Service, click here.

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We explored the BLM-managed section while staying in Grants Pass with a four hour dinner tour through Hellgate Jetboat Excursions. Our excursion departed from the landing by the Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass. This bridge is named for its proximity to the Oregon Caves National Monument.

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We motored about 20 miles up river while our guide told stories and directed us to any wildlife sightings. We saw some turtles and a bald eagle.

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Every so often, the guide would warn us to stow our phones and cameras in a plastic bag and the driver would speed up, do a a spin-out and get us all wet. It was a hot summer day, so this was welcome, except for the few ladies with fancy hair and makeup who obviously hadn’t read the disclaimers (you WILL get wet) prior to signing up.

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Then we arrived at historic Hellgate Canyon with 100-foot-high cliffs on either side.  Several movies have been filmed here including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and  River Wild.

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A few minutes downriver from the canyon, we disembarked at the Hellgate River Lodge. We ate a barbecue meal on the homestead’s patio high above the Rogue River. We took a few pictures of the black-tailed deer hanging out nearby and then climbed back aboard the boat to return to Grants Pass.

Location: 966 SW 6th St, Grants Pass, OR 97526

Designation: Wild and Scenic River

Date designation declared: October 1968

Date of my visit: 8/24/2016

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