Homestead National Monument of America, a unit of the National Park System, commemorates passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any qualified person to claim up to 160 acres (0.65 km2) of federally owned land in exchange for five years of residence and the cultivation and improvement of the property. The Act eventually transferred 270,000,000 acres (1,100,000 km2) from public to private ownership.
The national monument is four miles west of Beatrice, Gage County, Nebraska on a site that includes some of the first acres successfully claimed under the Homestead Act. The national monument was first included in the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
The park includes 100 acres (0.40 km2) of tallgrass prairie restored to approximate the ecosystem that once covered the central plains of the United States—and that was nearly plowed into extinction by the homesteaders. This restoration, which necessitates regular mowing, haying, and prescribed burns, has been managed by the National Park Service for more than 60 years and is the oldest in the National Park System.The park maintains about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) of hiking trails through the prairie and woodland surrounding Cub Creek, accessible via all-terrain wheelchair.