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Acadia is the northernmost national park on the East Coast with various ecosystems and terrains. With more than 150 miles of hiking trails, the park offers many ways to experience nature. From mountains to shore, lakes, streams, wetlands, forests, and meadows in between, all contribute to a diversity of plants and animals. The summit of Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the Atlantic coast. Its legendary view is the first place in the US to greet the sunrise. Laced throughout this landscape is a historic carriage road system financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. In total, the park encompasses 49,075 acres, wildlife abounds throughout the park. Acadia is one of the most popular destinations in the national park system, and can be crowded during summer. Whether you are hiking one of the park's many trails, kayaking on one of its lakes, or simply enjoying a picnic lunch surrounded by stunning views, Acadia National Park is sure to offer an unforgettable experience.
- New York
Adirondack Park spans over six million acres, making it the largest state park in the U.S. Unlike most state parks, about 52 percent of the land is privately owned inholdings. This breathtaking expanse boasts more than 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, an estimated 200,000 acres of old-growth forests, and rugged mountains, including the iconic Adirondack High Peaks. The area is the historic home of the the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, which consisted of several Native American nations, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the park offers endless opportunities for hiking, camping, boating, and wildlife observation. Part of New York’s Forest Preserve, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the park also has a rich cultural heritage, with charming Adirondack-style architecture and small towns dotting the landscape.
Agate Fossil Beds
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument offers a captivating blend of paleontological treasures and Native American history. Renowned for its extensive collection of ancient Miocene-era fossils, the park provides a glimpse into prehistoric life and contains the remains of rhinoceroses, horses, calicotheres, camels, entelodonts and beardogs. . Rich in mammal remains and featuring unique "Devil's Corkscrews," the site is a haven for science enthusiasts. Additionally, it pays homage to the Native American Lakota Sioux, emphasizing the cultural significance of the region. Visitors can explore the past, appreciate nature, and delve into a tapestry of Earth's history at Agate Fossil Beds.
Alagnak Wild River
A river that runs wild in more than one way. Known locally as the "Branch River" due to the many branches than can confuse boaters, Alagnak Wild River is an extraordinary destination for grizzly and black bears, moose, beaver, foxes, otter and other wildlife. Humans first arrived here 14,000 years ago, during the retreat of the last Ice Age. The area has a rich history of indigenous peoples, primarily the Yup'ik and Dena'ina Athabascan. Hunting and fishing are still allowed here, unlike in nearby Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Alibates Flint Quarries
For 12,000 years or more, the Alibates Flint Quarries were worked by Indians living in the Panhandle area of Texas, particularly the Southern Plains Apache. From these quarries came the multicolored flint arrowheads and tools which were both used by the inhabitants of the locality and traded by them for goods supplied from far-distant sources. Flints from these quarries have been found as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin, as far west as Colorado and Utah, and as far south as Mexico. The early hunters of megafauna such as mammoths and mastodons probably obtained their flint tips from these same quarries. Consequently, the Alibates Flint Quarries hold a significant place in the prehistory of North America.
Allegheny National Forest
Allegheny National Forest celebrated its 100th birthday in 2023, and most of the trees are the same age. Decades of European settlers cleared away the old-growth hemlock and beech trees for lumber and paper, wiping out local deer populations and their predators. Once the National Forest Service took over in 1923, a different forest emerged, with black cherry, red maple and sugar maple dominating. Today, Allegheny is Pennsylvania's only national forest, a wonderland of over 500,000 acres for camping, hiking and water activities. There are also over 100 miles of ATV and OHV trails with a permit.
- American Samoa
The National Park of American Samoa ranges across three of Samoa's stunning islands: Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū. The park not only preserves and protects coral reefs, tropical rainforests, fruit bats and the Samoan culture, but it also allows visitors to experience Samoa in all its glory. Popular activities include hiking and snorkeling, and the Homestay program lets you stay with a Samoan family to truly get an immersive experience. Samoa is also home to amazing views of Pago Pago Harbor and Rainmaker Mountain.
Amistad National Recreation Area is a federally protected recreation area located in southwest Texas. The centerpiece of the park is Amistad Reservoir, which was created by the construction of Amistad Dam in 1969. The reservoir is situated at the confluence of the Rio Grande, the Devils River and the Pecos River, and it provides a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors, including fishing, boating, and swimming. In addition to the reservoir, the park also includes several hiking trails, camping sites and picnicking areas. Amistad National Recreation Area is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it receives more than 1 million visitors each year.
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is one of the least-visited places in the National Park System. Located on the Aleutian Range of southwestern Alaska, it is extraordinarily remote. But those who make the journey are rewarded with a unique and beautiful landscape. The monument consists of the region around the Aniakchak volcano, mostly barren volcanic terrain of an active caldera. The weather is notoriously difficult, but this only adds to the sense of adventure. For those looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is definitely worth a visit.
An extraordinary slot canyon in Northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon is located on private Navajo Nation land, so it is only accessible through guided tour. Waving sandstone walls sweep up to 120 feet as you hike through the Upper Antelope Canyon tour, a spectacular sight. The canyon is one of the most photographed places in the Southwest.
Located in Bayfield, Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a U.S. national lakeshore consisting of 21 islands and shoreline encompassing 69,372 acres on the shore of Lake Superior. It is known for its collection of historic lighthouses, sandstone sea caves, a few old-growth remnant forests, and natural animal habitats.
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- New York
- West Virginia
This epic, nearly 2,200-mile trail spans no less than 14 states, passing through an extraordinary range of territory. Begun in 1921 and completed in 1937, it was built by private citizens and is now managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy, as well as state agencies. A once-in-a-lifetime journey for intrepid hikers.