The seventh year of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program begins with the 2016 National Park Quarters. Coins in the program honor national monuments, forests, parks etc. with a design on their reverse. The 2016 National Park Quarters to be released are (shown in their correct order):
*Illinois – 2016 Shawnee National Forest Quarter
*Kentucky – 2016 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter
*West Virginia – 2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter
*North Dakota 2016 Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter
*South Carolina – 2016 Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter
The national sites listed above will be featured on the tails side of the quarter dollar through the year 2016. However, the designs will not be chosen late in 2015, with design candidates for the strikes issued earlier in that same year. On the head side of the quarter will be a portrait of George Washington, who has been featured on the quarter dollar since 1932.
One national site from each state, the District of Columbia and the five United States territories has been chosen to be featured in the coin program. This was authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 with a total of 56 new quarters to be released over the years 2010 and 2021 with five being released each year.
More information on the sites to be honored by the 2016 National Park Quarters to be released by the US Mint is offered below :
Shawnee National Forest Quarter – The Shawnee National Forest Quarter honors the site in Illinois where thousands of people visit each year to see cliff side vistas, million year old bluffs and vast forests. Located in southern Illinois, visitors can stop at the Garden of the Gods, Stone Face, Little Grand Canyon and many of the hiking trails offered at Shawnee National Forest.
The national forest also offers attractions like the Illinois Iron Furnace and the great Salt Springs, both of which will give tourist an insight to the past.
Shawnee National Forest is unique because unlike much of the surrounding area, it was not carved by glacial sheets millions of years ago. It is over 250,000 acres and features elevations over 1000 feet above sea level.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter – The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter honors the site that features the trail that Native Americans, animals, and pioneers followed to go westward into the wilderness of Kentucky. This park also features historical buildings from the pioneers, the Civil War, and other events that helped make this region unique.
Cumberland, established in 1940, also features many caves beneath the mountains. There are many unique formations and animals, adapted to the darkness and wetness of the caves, that are found here.
Visitors can hike many of the 85 miles of trails throughout the park, and stop at any of the scenic areas to get a glimpse of the great outdoors.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter – The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter honors the site where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park features vast sceneries, multiple museums and exhibits and other historical sites.
Visitors can do a variety of tours, presentations, participate in educational and kids programs and hike part of the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the park.
Harpers Ferry was also used as an armory and as a strategic location during the Civil War. It was overthrown a total of 8 times during that period.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter – The Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter honors the site where tourists can visit the rugged terrain of the badlands, the wildlife unique to the area, or find a cottonwood tree to lie under, and find out why Theodore Roosevelt loved this area so much.
Thanks to this area, Roosevelt garnered great success as a conservationist.
Bison, elk, prairie dogs, a variety of deer, birds and other animals make their home in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
It is also home to the badlands, an area of geological formations, much like small mountain ranges, that feature various colors and structures that will awe any visitor.
Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter – The Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter honors the site where American Revolutionary War forces successfully defended the port of Charleston, South Carolina from an attack by the British.
The date was June 28, 1776 when the British started attacking the fort, which was not yet complete. Constructed of soft Palmetto Logs, the British cannon balls failed to cause any significant damage to the structure as they reportedly even bounced off of the fort.
The fort was then named in honor of the man who commanded it at that time, William Moultrie.