National Park of American Samoa
One of the best things to do while in the territory is to visit the National Park of American Samoa. The National Parks Service has a presence on island and they manage the only rainforest in America!
The good news is right from the website of the National Parks Service,
“There is no fee to enter the National Park of American Samoa. Enjoy your visit!”
When coming to the Park, the first stop should be the Park office which is in the big building across from the Pago Way Service Station in Pago Pago. This is where you can get the latest updates, maps, information and talk with the Park Rangers. The office is open regular business hours.
My National Park of American Samoa experience
I was living on island so one day, some locals took to the park and we went for a hike in the rain forest. American Samoa is one of the wettest places on the planet so it really does mean RAINforest. Luckily, it was not much of a mudbath for us though. That is always a good thing.
It was pretty rough and if someone is not at moderate health, they might not enjoy it too much. I was quite wiped out by the time we came back to be honest. It was alot of climbing.
However, the scenery in the park is downright amazing. It is unlike anything you will see in American Samoa. It made all that hiking worth it just to see how amazing the sunset can look on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean.
The Parks helps the locals
The park is very helpful to the people of American Samoa, both directly and indirectly.
The National Park Service has set aside over $600,000 a year to work with the villages inside the park to make them have a better place to live. This is a direct benefit from the National Park of American Samoa.
There is over 13,000 visitors to the park every year or 35 per day. Not knowing how many of them are locals vs tourist, it will still provide opportunity for the locals to engage people of other backgrounds for personal enrichment. In the end, everyone wins.