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7 East Coast Nationwide Parks You Must Discover + 113 Extra Nationwide Park Items

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East Coast nationwide parks are sometimes overshadowed by the Rocky Mountains and West Coast nationwide parks. Nobody can dismiss the majestic views and thrilling out of doors recreation at Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree. However on the similar time, the nationwide parks from Maine to Florida provide their very own grandeur that shouldn’t be dismissed just because they’re on the opposite aspect of the Mississippi.

Acadia Nationwide Park gives gorgeous vistas of the Atlantic Ocean from a mountain summit. Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park is surrounded by turquoise water 90 miles from Key West. And the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park boasts peaks above 6,000-feet for breathtaking mountain views.

However in between the 7 East Coast nationwide parks are a whopping 113 further Nationwide Park Service items. These items provide an opportunity to discover Revolutionary Battle and Civil Battle battlegrounds, historical past, tradition, and out of doors recreation.

Which of those nationwide parks or further items is subsequent in your journey bucket record? Go away me a remark beneath!

Sundown on the Foothills Parkway, a lesser recognized space of the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park.

What’s the “East Coast?”

I by no means thought I would want to outline the “East Coast.” However in curating this record, I noticed different writers have been together with nationwide parks in Arkansas, Ohio, and Kentucky. I can’t appear to place the phrases “Bluegrass State” and “East Coast” in the identical sentence.

My definition is a little more correct.

I feel an East Coast state ought to embrace the precise coast. That would come with Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Though a nationwide park might be tons of of miles from the coast – just like the Nice Smoky Mountains – it’s nonetheless situated inside a coastal state and earns a spot on this record.

However anything belongs on an inventory of Southeast nationwide parks or Midwest nationwide parks – one thing I’ll get round to writing sometime.

READ MORE: Full Checklist of All 423 Nationwide Park Service Items by State + Social Media and Web site Hyperlinks

Picture courtesy of NPS/Victoria Stauffenberg.

No. 01

Acadia Nationwide Park

Established in 1929, Acadia Nationwide Park was the primary nationwide park on the East Coast and stays the one one in Maine. The enduring nationwide park covers most of Mount Desert Island on the coast and attracts thousands and thousands of holiday makers yearly.

An effective way to discover Acadia Nationwide Park is the 27-mile Park Loop Street. The paved street connects the entire park’s main websites and out of doors recreation. One of many park’s most attention-grabbing options is the old style carriage roads. The primitive roads have been developed within the 1600s and immediately are solely open to pedestrians, bicyclists, and horseback riders.

Whereas visiting Acadia Nationwide Park, be sure you e book a reservation so you possibly can drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. At 1,527-feet, the summit gives a surprising panorama view of the Atlantic Ocean and Primary shoreline.

Extra Nationwide Park Items in Maine

Picture courtesy of NPS/Shaun Wolfe.

No. 02

Biscayne Nationwide Park

Some nationwide parks have sweeping landscapes and countless vistas seen from scenic overlooks and remark towers. However Biscayne Nationwide Park is completely different – 95% of the nationwide park is underwater.

Certainly one of three nationwide parks in Florida, Biscayne Nationwide Park preserves 4 ecosystems: a forest of mangrove timber, islands within the Florida Keys, the waters of Biscayne Bay, and the Florida Reef, the third-largest coral reef system on the planet.

Snorkeling is the preferred out of doors exercise at Biscayne Nationwide Park – Maritime Heritage Path leads snorkelers to shipwrecks and wildlife. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are different methods to discover this watery nationwide park.

Extra Nationwide Park Items in Florida

The Decrease Boardwalk winds by way of the outdated development bottomland forest and ginormous cypress timber.
The Decrease Boardwalk winds by way of the outdated development bottomland forest and ginormous cypress timber.

No. 03

Congaree Nationwide Park

Congaree Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the most underrated nationwide parks within the nation. Typically ignored as a result of “it’s only a swamp,” the nationwide park preserves one of many largest old-growth bottomland forests remaining in the US.

And massive cypress timber.

READ MORE: 5 Sensational Native Locations for Brunch in Columbia, SC

Protecting 26,000 acres about an hour south of Columbia, it’s the one nationwide park in South Carolina. 10 mountain climbing trails sprawl throughout the panorama. One of the crucial fashionable is the Boardwalk Loop Path – a 2.4-mile hike on a picket boardwalk by way of the dense forest and primitive path to return to the Harry Hampton Customer Middle.

The 15-mile Cedar Creek Canoe Path is one other solution to discover the nationwide park. Ranger-led excursions meander the slender waterway by way of the park previous massive cypress timber and nests of owls.

Extra Nationwide Park Items in South Carolina

Picture courtesy of the Nationwide Park Service.

No. 04

Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park

The second of three nationwide parks in Florida, Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park preserves Fort Jefferson and the encircling ecosystem. The fort was began within the 1800s as a part of the Coastal Fortification System however was by no means accomplished.

Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the most distant nationwide parks within the nation. It’s situated 70 miles west of Key West – the one solution to attain the park is by ferry, seaplane, or constitution boat. Guests can take excursions of Fort Jefferson and snorkel the shallow water surrounding the fort.

Probably the most attention-grabbing solution to expertise Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park is to spend just a few nights. However you gained’t discover an Airbnb or VRBO rental on the islands – you’ll must camp on the primitive seaside.

Extra Nationwide Park Items in Florida

Picture courtesy of NPS/Jane Gamble.

No. 05

Everglades Nationwide Park

Humanity may have the ability to study one thing from the wildlife at Everglades Nationwide Park – it’s the one place on the planet the place alligators and crocodiles dwell collectively.

One of many three nationwide parks in Florida, Everglades Nationwide Park covers 1.5 million acres of wetland. Like Biscayne Nationwide Park, the preferred actions must do with the water within the park. Kayaking, canoeing, boating, and snorkeling are the very best methods to see the wildlife of the nationwide park.

Lower than an hour from Miami, the park options three important areas to discover: the Gulf Coast, Shark Valley, and the flamingo space.

Extra Nationwide Park Items in Florida

The Morton Overlook is without doubt one of the finest scenic overlooks within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park.
The Morton Overlook is without doubt one of the finest scenic overlooks within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park.

No. 06

Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park

Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park stays the most-visited nationwide park within the nation – and for a very good purpose.

Established within the Thirties, the nationwide park preserves mountain climbing trails, auto touring routes, and out of doors recreation within the Nice Smoky Mountains. It’s a large park – it takes about three hours to drive from Cades Cove to Cataloochee Valley. Probably the greatest drives within the park is Newfound Hole Street connecting Gatlinburg and Cherokee; a detour results in Clingmans Dome, the very best level in Tennessee.

Mountaineering is the preferred exercise within the nationwide park however removed from the one possibility. Scenic drives, backpacking, and horseback driving are just a few different actions to take pleasure in.

READ MORE: Day Journey on the Cades Cove Loop Street within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park

Extra Nationwide Park Items in North Carolina

Hazeltop Ridge Overlook alongside the Skyline Drive gives a view of the close by panorama at Shenandoah Nationwide Park.
Hazeltop Ridge Overlook alongside the Skyline Drive gives a view of the close by panorama at Shenandoah Nationwide Park.

No. 07

Shenandoah Nationwide Park

Shenandoah Nationwide Park is Virginia’s solely nationwide park, established similtaneously the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park.

The 105-mile Skyline Drive is the one street by way of the nationwide park. Constructed just like the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive is a two-lane street with scenic overlooks, entry to mountain climbing trails, and connecting sights by way of the park.

100 miles of the Appalachian Path go by way of the nationwide park, often crossing or operating parallel to the Skyline Drive. Day journeys are straightforward on the path within the park, however there are many nice backpacking spots for an in a single day keep. The 9.2-mile hike to Outdated Rag is without doubt one of the hottest hikes within the park, resulting in a surprising overlook excessive above the Shenandoah Valley.

READ MORE: The Final Street Journey on the Skyline Drive Via Shenandoah Nationwide Park

Extra Nationwide Park Items in Virginia

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