National Parks Part 1: Eastern Part of the U.S.
The United States is loaded with amazing National Parks, 58 to be exact. Since there are so many, we’ve decided to discuss the parks in three parts and the east is up first. From Maine all the way down to Florida, here are nine National Parks in the eastern part of the U.S that you won’t want to miss!
Acadia National Park: Maine
Acadia National Park is located approximately six hours from Boston on the coast of the Down East region of Maine. Home to the tallest mountain on the U.S atlantic coast, this park covers more than 47,000 acres, most of which are located on Mount Desert Island. Visitors get to hike granite peaks, bike historic roads and relax while taking in the stunning high ocean views and stone bridges throughout the park.
Isles Royale National Park: Michigan
Comprised of small islands in northwest Lake Superior, Isles Royale NP acts firstly as a wilderness preserve, secondly as a sanctuary for those seeking it, and lastly as a travel destination. Due to the importance of wilderness preservation, some trails and lakes are restricted to visitors. This park receives fewer visitors in a year than most parks see in a day – a major appeal to those seeking complete solitude amongst nature. There are over 156 miles of groomed trails and abundant fishing.
Cuyahoga National Park: Ohio
Cuyahoga is Ohio’s only National Park and encompasses about 33,000 acres spanning from areas of Cleveland and Akron into the Allegheny mountains. The winding Cuyahoga river, after which the park is named, unfolds into rolling floodplains, steep valley walls and ravines. Hiking any of the 186 miles of trails, visitors encounter amazing flora and fauna, sandstone ledges, and 70 waterfalls – Brandywine Falls being the most notable.
Shenandoah National Park: Virginia
This sprawling park is located only 75 miles from Washington D.C. and includes 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It includes an amazing 20,000 acres of protected lands and 500 miles of hiking trails, 100 of which are part of the Appalachian Trail – a premier destination for hikers. Another amazing aspect of this park is the scenic Skyline Drive. Hop on this National Scenic Byway, which runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, for some of the most beautiful and mesmerizing mountain views. This road is particularly stunning in the fall and spring months.
Mammoth Cave National Park: Kentucky
Mammoth Cave is home to the world’s longest known cave systems which covers 400 miles of underworld wonder. It is part of the Green River valley and hill country in south central Kentucky and works to preserve the amazing cave systems. Visitors have the opportunity to explore these caves under the guide of a ranger. Reservations are recommended in the summer months.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: North Carolina
This wonderful and majestic park includes some of the oldest mountains in the world dating back to 200-300 million years ago. Within the park is over 520,000 acres of mountains, valleys, forests, meadows and rivers providing the perfect habitat for diverse plant and animal life. Due to it’s unique array of natural resources, Great Smoky Mountains NP has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve. It is also holds the title for America’s most visited National Park.
Everglades National Park: Florida
Located in the southern part of Florida, Everglades National Park protects more than 1.5 million acres of wetlands which is home to a vast amount of plants and animals, including the American Crocodile and manatee. Visitors should plan their trip around the wet season, June through October, as there may be restricted hours or closings.
Dry Tortugas National Park: Florida
Located 70 miles west of Key West, this 100 square mile park includes open water and seven small islands. To access the vibrant blue waters, live coral reef and incredible marine life of Dry Tortugas, visitors must take a boat or seaplane.
Biscayne National Park: Florida
Although Biscayne National Park can be seen from downtown Miami, it is worlds away. It’s the largest marine park in the U.S. and contains emerald isles, coral reefs and white sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy boating, snorkeling or simply relaxing and enjoying the breeze.
Stay tuned for National Parks Part 2: The U.S Mid-West