Since 1985, July has been the nation’s Park and Recreation Month—an occasion that summer is perfect for celebrating.
Yes, it’s Park and Recreation Month. No, we’re not talking about the hit TV show. We’re talking about the great outdoors; the beautiful countryside; the vast American landscape; the natural forests, mountains, and bodies of water that stretch from sea to shining sea.
Thanks to research done by the Daily Green, we can share a reference guide of the top ten most-visited parks in the U.S. with you. We’ve also listed where they’re located and which park visitors will enjoy them most. The top ten parks in the U.S. are:
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Location: North Carolina and Tennessee.
Best for: Almost everyone. Chances to merely take the scenic route to see the landscapes or wildlife abound, as do more active options like hiking and fishing.
2. Grand Canyon National Park.
Best for: Those who appreciate beautiful landscapes and aren’t afraid of heights. Not all viewpoints have guardrails, so it’s better to take older children along for this trip.
3. Yosemite National Park.
Location: Rhode Island. Just kidding! California, but the park is about the size of Rhode Island.
Best for: Rock climbers will have a field day at Yosemite, but the waterfalls and sequoia forests are grade-A beauty for any adventurer.
4. Yellowstone National Park.
Location: Mainly Wyoming, but its edges extend into Montana and Idaho.
Best for: Visiting the Old Faithful Geyser, the most predictable geographical feature on earth. It erupts almost every 91 minutes! Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing this national landmark.
5. Olympic National Park.
6. Rocky Mountain National Park.
Best for: Camping (both newbies and advanced pros), horseback riding, and taking in the wildlife.
7. Zion National Park.
Best for: Hikers, bicyclers, photographers, equestrians, you name it. This park is lesser known, but just as stunning as some of the more popular parks. You probably won’t experience as many problems with crowd control ruining your experience with nature, either.
8. Grand Teton National Park.
Location: Wyoming. Are we sensing a trend? Wyoming has two national parks in the top ten.
Best for: Those wishing to run the gamut of outdoor activities. Fishing, swimming, boating, climbing, and more are all permitted. (As with any park, some special activities require permits, so double-check with the national park you visit before you bring along an extra boatload of bait and tackle.)
9. Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Best for: Those wanting the national park experience in the Midwest. The park features beautiful waterfalls, recreation areas, and even an interesting beaver habitat to visit.
10. Acadia National Park.
Best for: Nature-lovers who also fancy history. Acadia National Park boasts a traditional teahouse, island history tours, and a horse-drawn carriage tour, among other historical activities of interest.
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of these beautiful and historical locations in the U.S. As with any outdoor adventure, make sure you brush up on your outdoor safety knowledge before lacing up your hiking boots and stepping on the trails.
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