13 East Coast Nationwide Parks that You Want to Consult with

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Nowadays we need to discuss East Coast Nationwide Parks and why they deserve a spot to your holiday radar.

So!  Out of 423 Nationwide Park websites throughout the USA, KIND OF strictly talking, best 7 of the ones are at the East Coast.  And but, there are 13 on our listing of East Coast Nationwide Parks that you want to consult with.  How come, you may ask? 

Neatly, we KIND OF don’t do strict right here, so we’ve widened the hunt space.  Nowadays, we’re going to seek advice from the japanese a part of the United States because the ‘East Coast’.  After we say East Coast, we’re speaking about anywhere east of the state of Michigan, and shortly you’ll see why.

A few of these parks are smaller than their western opposite numbers, and additional clear of giant towns.  No, that’s without a doubt no longer a drawback!  Additional off the overwhelmed observe frequently manner fewer crowds, and less crowds imply extra pristine environments so that you can experience.

We all know that the West Coast has the celebrity Nationwide Parks, and rightly so.  They’re improbable.  However we predict this listing of our favourite East Coast parks can greater than cling their very own.  Learn directly to find a UNESCO safe website online, island clusters, a super-new Nationwide Park, and two Nationwide Beaches!

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Nationwide Park Cross for Visiting the East Coast

In case you’re fascinated with visiting some Nationwide Parks this yr, you may need to imagine buying an annual move, which is formally referred to as ‘America the Beautiful— National Parks Pass’. 

Whilst you’ll be able to get this without delay from the Nationwide Park web pages, getting it from REI saves you additional $$ for delivery as REI gives loose delivery for pieces above $50.

The usual value of $80 (there are refunds and loose choices to be had, which we element beneath) is truly just right price or even higher, it may be ‘owned’ between any two folks.  That suggests with two named move holders, you’re decreasing the associated fee even additional.

The move will give you get entry to to over 2,000 federal game websites.  You’re coated for front charges into nationwide parks and natural world refuges in addition to day use charges (amenity charges) at nationwide forests and grasslands. 

By way of ‘you’, we imply a motive force and all passengers in a non-public car (the place the realm is a consistent with car rate paying website online) or as much as 4 adults (at websites that rate consistent with particular person).  Excellent information ― youngsters elderly 15 or below are admitted loose!

In case you’re a senior elderly 62 and over, a Lifetime Senior Cross prices the similar as a normal annual move for everybody else.  You’ll purchase it on-line or through mail after you have evidence of age and United States residency. 

In some circumstances, loose passes are to be had to a couple voters or citizens. 

In case you are probably the most wonderful volunteers (thanks such a lot!) running at a game website online, it’s possible you’ll qualify for the yearly Volunteer Cross.  Some restrictions follow, so test when you qualify along with your native federal game website online. 

A Loose Get right of entry to Cross could also be to be had to voters or citizens who’re disabled, and the excellent news is that it’s a life-time move.  Evidence of residency and incapacity will likely be required, and that is any other one you’ll be able to follow for on-line or through mail. 

To honor our US army contributors (previous and provide) and their households (together with Gold Famous person members of the family), a loose annual Army Cross could also be to be had.  You’ll additionally follow for this when you or a circle of relatives member is a member of the Reserve or Nationwide Guard. 

If this sounds just right to you, the move will also be bought on-line on the hyperlink beneath.  This could also be a ‘give again’ alternative ― purchasing your card right here guarantees that 10% of your acquire will cross without delay to the Nationwide Park Basis!

View on REI

With that being mentioned, you’ll quickly see why we predict those East Coast Nationwide Parks must make your listing of ‘should see’ puts within the east of the rustic.  So, in no explicit order, let’s get began!  

13 of the Easiest East Coast Nationwide Parks

Acadia Nationwide ParkAcadia National Park

Location: Maine

Easiest Identified For: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hollow, Park Loop Highway

Welcome to the primary nationwide park at the east coast!  It truly is all right here at Acadia Nationwide Park — you’ve were given your woodland, your mountains, your coastal cliffs…and the natural world!  Frogs, toads, otters, crabs, raccoons, foxes, deer and really on occasion, moose, all name Acadia house.

Located at the coast of Maine, many of the park’s 47,000 acres are unfold over Mount Barren region Island and portions of the mainland.  This gives the lovely and sundry panorama we discussed.  And probably the most park highlights is Cadillac Mountain. 

Cadillac Mountain’s height is the perfect level at the Atlantic Coast at 1530 ft, or 466 meters.  However probably the most coolest info about this height is that from about mid-October to the beginning of March, that is the primary position to peer dawn within the continental United States.  And you’ll be able to pressure to it!

Take a experience alongside the 27-mile Park Loop Highway at the east facet of Mount Barren region Island.  It connects the park’s shorelines and mountains and can get you as much as Cadillac to witness the ones first few rays of dawn. 

You’ll additionally climb one in every of Acadia’s different mountain levels (there’s 20 in general), however wait, there’s much more on be offering.  Witness (and pay attention to!) Thunder Hollow, a herbal inlet of waves crashing in opposition to the rocks, inflicting that thunderous sound!

One thing extra calming could be photographing the cliffside Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, built in 1858 and staining the entrances to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay.

A facet trail will deliver you subsequent to the lighthouse viewing space for all-encompassing perspectives of the harbor and within the distance, the islands.  What a terrific view for any willing shutterbug! 

Feeling vigorous?  You’ll hike or run probably the most 57 miles of carriage roads, most likely passing carriage rides arranged through the Customer Middle! 

There’s additionally fishing, natural world recognizing and 5 mins pressure away, town of Bar Harbour, with its many retail outlets and eateries.   It doesn’t matter what stage of power you’ve were given, you’ll to find one thing to experience in Acadia Nationwide Park.

Shenandoah Nationwide ParkShenandoah National Park-min

Location: Virginia

Easiest Identified For: Previous Rag Mountain, Skyline Power

Simplest 75 miles from Washington DC, and unfold alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah is Virginia’s first Nationwide Park.  In among its 200,000 acres you’ll to find surprising herbal landscapes of forests, waterfalls, and mountains.

Under floor, there’s the Shenandoah Caverns, that have been attracting guests since 1922.  Those formations are so unbelievable they have been featured within the Nationwide Geographic Mag, and you may as well have a look on a guided excursion.

In case you suppose you’re tricky sufficient, take a look at climbing Previous Rag Mountain.  This one is hard —  get ready for rock scrambling — and perhaps no longer for youngsters, however the 360 level perspectives on the uncovered summit are very price it. 

For a a lot more sedate enjoy, cruise the 105-mile Skyline Power for epic perspectives, and catch glimpses of park citizens equivalent to deer, black bears and songbirds.  Oh, and you’re going to completely fall in love with the flower meadows!

Nice Smokey Nationwide ParkGreat Smokey National Park

Location: Tennessee, North Carolina

Identified For: No admission charges and surprising scenic drives

That is the large one — welcome to probably the most visited park in the USA. 

Why?  As a result of over 500,000 acres you’ll to find forests, waterfalls and climbing routes that come with a part of the Appalachian Path.  There are yr spherical wildflowers and my-mind-is-blown scenic drives (Cades Loop and Roaring Forks to call however two). 

Glance out for the well-known fog that provides the park its identify along roaming natural world equivalent to black bears — it’s estimated there are roughly two consistent with sq. mile right here!

For all of those causes, Nice Smokey Nationwide Park will get crowded, and be ready to most likely coast quite than pace via the ones wonderful drives.  However when you get there early, or shuttle outdoor the crazy-busy summer time months, you’re going to be neatly rewarded at Nice Smokey Nationwide Park.

Everglades Nationwide ParkEverglades National Park

Location: Florida

Identified For: Wetlands and numerous natural world

That is the house for biodiversity.  The Everglades contains 1.5 million acres of wetlands — it’s just about all water right here people! — and it’s the one position ON EARTH the place alligators and crocodiles are living in combination.

The natural world this is staggering and we don’t simply imply the animals.  The oldest Mahogany bushes in the USA are living right here, with wildflowers, orchids and plenty of different plant types for corporate.  

You don’t simply must hit the water to enjoy the Everglades.  It’s possible you’ll like to take it simple on a tram excursion from Shark Valley.  There’s additionally the choice of strolling probably the most boardwalk trails or overseeing the entirety from the Commentary Deck! 

Our most sensible tip for a extra at ease commute: repellant!  Except for some reprieve all the way through December to March, you’re going to 100% get bitten within the Everglades.  Convey repellent for the mosquitoes and imagine dressed in lengthy sleeved shirts and lengthy pants for the biting flies.  

Congaree Nationwide ParkCongaree National Park-min

Location:  South Carolina

Identified For: Cedar Creek Canoe Path

K, we get it, it’s a swamp and it’s were given quite a lot of insects in it.  That’s the not-so-great section.  The completely tremendous section is: the entirety else!  

Do you like bushes?  What about truly, truly giant bushes?  In case you love to get your tree hug on, you’ll be in just right corporate at Congaree Nationwide Park.  That is the house of champion bushes.  That means, the most important dwelling tree of its species — and plenty of of them are proper right here. 

To truly discover those swamplands, clutch a kayak or canoe and do your intellect a choose.  Paddle slowly down the 15 mile Cedar Creek Canoe Path, surrounded through (much more!) bushes to your watery direction. 

And the ones insects we discussed previous?  Get ready to switch your intellect as a result of between Might and June, an tournament takes position at Congaree that best occurs in a make a choice few places round all the international with the ones exact same insects.  

The ones few weeks play host to mating season for the fireflies, and all the way through this time, they illuminate concurrently giving a wide ranging lightshow such as you’ve by no means noticed.  All we will be able to say to this is — thanks, insects!

Biscayne Nationwide ParkBiscayne National Park

Location: Florida

Identified For: Being 95% water 

The object about Biscayne Nationwide Park is that it’s tougher to get entry to than maximum different parks.  There’s no highway to pressure on as a result of, neatly, it’s nearly all water!  

To truly get a style of Biscayne, be expecting to be water-borne.  Choices come with boating, canoeing and kayaking, scuba diving and sure, you’ll be able to even fish.  You’ll be rewarded with island clusters and coral reefs, and coastline mango woodland with Miami perspectives within the distance. 

There’s proof in Biscayne Nationwide of 10,000 years of human process so come for a dip and be part of historical past!

Mammoth Cave Nationwide ParkMammoth Cave National Park

Location: Kentucky

Identified For: The longest identified cave machine on this planet, a UNESCO International Heritage Website 

Issues are other at Mammoth Cave Nationwide Park.  Whilst we might know its dimension above floor (80 sq. miles) we in reality haven’t labored out the underground section but!  We simply don’t but understand how a ways its underground cave construction in reality runs for. 

We’re nonetheless exploring Mammoth — and if you wish to sign up for in, the one strategy to get entry to this UNESCO safe website online is with a information. 

There’s about 16 miles of caves to be had to discover and you’ll be able to take it more straightforward on a shorter (1 hour) tour or cross all out and take the Wild Cave excursion for six hours.  There are child-friendly choices to be had and people with restricted mobility are looked after too. 

Above floor, there are many choices for climbing, fishing, boating and tenting.    

Take a look at the Customer Middle (up the hill from the Historical Front) for lets in, excursion tickets and details about this really distinctive East Coast Nationwide Park. 

Cape Cod Nationwide BeachCape Cod National Seashore

Location: Massachusetts

Identified For: Miles of safe sand dune and pristine seashores 

The Cape Cod Nationwide Beach is one in every of our not-so-obvious East Coast Nationwide Park claims.  K, so park-wise it’s in reality 40 miles of (impressive) sandy seaside safe through the Nationwide Park Carrier, however allow us to make our case! 

The Cape Cod Nationwide Beach used to be created through President John F. Kennedy in 1961, when he signed a invoice to create it.  His undertaking used to be transparent — preserve the realm, however nonetheless permit folks to make use of it for game. And who’re we to argue with a president? 

There are six stunning swimming seashores controlled through the Cape Cod Nationwide Beach.  Resting on what seems like a curved arm stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean, they’re a safe haven from the noise and substantial building frequently discovered within the space. 

With a customer middle at each and every finish, sightseers can stroll, motorcycle, experience horses and participate in the entirety water-based.  In case you’re within the biodiversity discovered within the marshes and dunes, you’ll be able to sign up for a ranger communicate within the evenings and be informed from the masters. 

Convey a digital camera and seize ancient lighthouses at Chatham and Truro or when you’re fortunate, whales — sure whales! — at Race Level Seaside from June to September.  It’s humpback season however you may also catch the Atlantic white-sided dolphin too.  

We’re fortunate that President Kennedy had the foresight to offer protection to this space in 1961.  That call supplies us with a possibility to enjoy seaside lifestyles at its maximum herbal. 

Dry Tortugas Nationwide ParkDry Tortugas National Park

Location: Florida

Identified For: Citadel Jefferson and 5 varieties of turtle population 

On our East Coast Nationwide Park voyage of discovery, we received’t get to shuttle a lot additional south than Dry Tortugas.  Positioned within the Gulf of Mexico, 70 miles west of Key West, this park is 100 sq. miles of most commonly open water. 

Comprising seven islands and all that water, the one manner to achieve this park is through chartered boat, ferry, or seaplane.  At Dry Tortugas, that is the place solitude and quiet reign.  

There’s only one (more or less) constructed construction right here.  At 16 million bricks, the incomplete Citadel Jefferson is the most important brick construction within the western hemisphere.  It’s merely massive!  And we predict it’s price taking a excursion of. 

Additionally price having a look out for are the ones turtles!  Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park is house to 5 species — Inexperienced, Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, Hawksbill, and Leatherback.  In truth, that is the best nesting space within the Florida Keys area for some turtles.

As getting this is an journey in itself, Dry Tortugas isn’t overrun with guests.  There are not any facilities so deliver what you want for the day or for tenting on Lawn Key Island.  

While you get right here, be expecting white, powdered sand and seclusion as you swim, snorkel, surf or kayak and truly escape from all of it. 

New River Gorge Nationwide ParkNew River Gorge National Park

Location: West Virginia

Identified For: Being a Novice! 

Say hi to the newborn of the crowd — New River best changed into a Nationwide Park in December 2020. 

Ironically, New River could be the oldest river at the continent, clocking in at a mind-boggling 360 million years of age.  In contrast to many rivers, it flows south to north and rafting is among the hottest actions right here, with spring being the most productive time to participate. 

In case you’re thinking about staying on land, the Never-ending Wall Path winds via woodland and will give you cliff-side perspectives of the river and New River Gorge Bridge.  The once a year Bridge Day Pageant takes position within the fall and it’s the one day you’ll be able to legally stroll throughout it! 

Rock climbers will likely be more than happy too, with hundreds of established routes throughout 60 miles of sandstone.  The sandstone is filled with cracks, slabs, overhangings and roofs.  There’s drilled bolts and tool placement spots for extra safety too.    

So whether or not you need to get sopping wet, stay heat on land or hold off a sandstone cliff, New River Gorge Nationwide Park is an excessively great addition to this selective membership! 

Canaveral Nationwide BeachCanaveral National Seashore-min

Location: Florida

Identified For: Pristine Nature and Rocket Rumblings 

On 58,000 acres of land, you’ll to find 24 miles of seaside that may glance quiet, however are in reality house to a number of animals together with reptiles, birds and mammals, and a few safe species, just like the marine turtles who nest right here. 

Welcome to Canaveral Nationwide Beach, which protects Timucua Local American burial mounds and turtles alike, and the place within sight, you may pay attention rockets commencing into house!  That’s the within sight Kennedy Area Middle we’re speaking about, which you’ll be able to take a guided excursion of.  

Typically, this nationwide park is a spot that’s untouched, wild and quiet.  So when you’re coming right here, you gotta get ready.  Convey numerous meals and water, as there are not any eating places or dealer stalls.  There are drink machines at Apollo and Playalinda Seaside, however that’s it. 

Tenting may be very fundamental on the Mosquito Lagoon islands, and you’re going to want a move and allow to head additional backcountry.  Those should be bought on-line or through the usage of the Sport.gov app.

The rewards are there despite the fact that — this can be a position to really escape from the short tempo of town dwelling.  Hikers will love the paths among the barren region, and fishers will recognize the consistent provide of redfish and ‘gator’ trout.  

There’s boating and swimming too, but additionally the extra enjoyable choice of taking a seat (deliver one with you!) to look at a rocket release at Apollo Seaside.

Whichever outside journey you pursue, experience it as nature supposed at Canaveral Nationwide Beach. 

Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide ParkCuyahoga Valley National Park-min

Location: Ohio

Identified For: Trailheads and waterfalls 

True truth: The Environmental Coverage Company (EPA) exists as a result of the Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park.  After many years of poisonous waste dumping, the ‘Crooked River’ (its Mohawk identify) stuck hearth in 1969.  

The degrees of air pollution brought about outrage and the EPA used to be born out of a necessity to offer protection to our surroundings.  Nowadays, the 33,000 acres right here had been a chosen Nationwide Park since 2000 and that river is healthier identified for its canoeing, kayaking and fishing choices. 

Secluded woodland trails will pleasure hikers right here, the place you’re going to be surrounded through wonderful fauna, waterfalls (there are over 100 within the valley!) and sandstone cliffs.  There’s additionally cycling via trails as soon as utilized by mules who towed boats alongside the outdated canal trails! 

Do you know freight trains ran right here within the 1800s?  Nowadays, the Cuyahoga Scenic Valley Railroad makes use of those self same tracks to hold guests throughout the valley and through the river with alternatives to identify natural world alongside the best way.  Very best when you’re touring with children! 

Positioned simply half-hour from Cleveland, that is journey and nature at its maximum available.  

Isle Royal Nationwide ParkIsle Royal National Park

Location: Michigan

Identified For: Whole seclusion 

With reference to the Canadian border and located in Lake Awesome, you’ll to find Isle Royal Nationwide Park, which is in reality a cluster of islands within the north-west of the lake. 

Over 850 sq. miles, get ready to ditch the automobile, meet (tame!) wolves and moose, and try some truly cool lighthouses — there are 4 right here as a result of those waters have traditionally been primary delivery lanes. 

Get right of entry to to this distinctive Nationwide Park is best through boat or flow aircraft.  Don’t let that put you off — you’re going to be rewarded with miles of climbing trails, 36 campgrounds with water resources and restrooms (get your lets in first) and a large number of welcome silence. 

In case you’re skilled and licensed, you may need to scuba dive and consider probably the most many shipwrecks underneath the darkish waters of Lake Awesome.  Test permissions for this on the customer centres at the northeast and southwest ends of the park. 

In case you don’t meet the factors, don’t concern, as a result of you’ll be able to sign up for a shipwreck excursion on a glass-bottomed boat!  Or canoe via probably the most many waterways and bays.  If you’re making it to Hidden Lake Dock, stow the canoe and hike upwards for 1km to Lookout Louise for magnificent perspectives. 

Humorous truth: Isle Royal Nationwide Park will get fewer guests all yr than Yellowstone will get in a yr.  What an advantage for individuals who make the commute! 

Of all of the Nationwide Parks in the entire of the USA, we are hoping we’ve made a just right case so that you can consult with this small however wonderful staff alongside the East Coast.  From breath-taking scenic drives to scrambling over rocky climbs and proper again to the fundamentals of nature, you’re positive to seek out one this is good to your holiday.  Cross East Coast!

Trip Should: On the chance of sounding like your oldsters, make sure to get shuttle insurance coverage earlier than hitting the street. Believe us, it’s a kind of stuff you don’t need to go away house with out. We advise both World Nomads or Safety Wing, relying on the kind of traveler you’re.

FAQ on East Coast Nationwide Parks

What number of nationwide parks are there in the USA?

Lately, there are 423 nationwide park websites in the USA, however best 63 of them are known as ‘Nationwide Parks’ through identify.  The remaining fall into quite a lot of designated classes however the Nationwide Parks Carrier refers to they all as ‘parks’.

What number of nationwide parks are at the East Coast?

There are 7 Nationwide Parks at the east coast of the USA.  They all are incorporated in our listing above, however we’ve driven the envelope reasonably through highlighting our favorites at the japanese facet of the USA.

What’s one of the simplest ways to peer the East Coast Nationwide Parks? 

We’ve discussed that we’ve bumped up the quantity a little bit on our listing of the East Coast Nationwide Parks that it’s important to consult with.  Or even nonetheless, that could be a small and unique listing, unfold proper around the east of the rustic.  

As a result of the distances between them, we propose using as one of the simplest ways to get round this a part of the rustic’s Nationwide Parks.  Imagine flying into one space as your base and renting a automobile for the commute.

What a few flight into Ronald Reagan Washington Nationwide Airport in Arlington, Virginia, and using to Shenandoah, Nice Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave?

Or take any alternative to visit Miami, taking in Biscayne, the Everglades and Dry Tortugas in Florida.  

Having a look at east vs west, there could be extra making plans inquisitive about an East Coast Nationwide Park commute. Out west there are such a large amount of that when you are in a single space, in case you have get entry to to a number of parks within sight which you’ll be able to consult with over a shorter time period. 

However for one thing other, perhaps it’s a just right factor to spend extra time in fewer puts.  Certain, you won’t get to consult with all of those parks unexpectedly, however we predict that’s a part of the enchantment.  It leaves extra to be explored subsequent time! 

Bonus Tip: Get a Nationwide Park Passport or Scratch Map

In case you’re into collectibles and are on the lookout for a strategy to stay observe of the other parks you’ve visited, the National Park Passport is a booklet that acts as your individual private shuttle file and reminiscence keeper.  

How does it paintings?  Neatly, each and every time you consult with a Nationwide Park, you’ll be able to gather an ink cancellation on the customer middle stamp station (sure, you get to stamp your individual passport!), or purchase a decal assortment to additionally position on a web page.    

There are 3 varieties of passports to choose between, or even a Junior Ranger model.  It’s no longer an access move however it is going to provide you with a heat comfortable feeling to seem via after your holiday. 

On the other hand you’ll be able to additionally take a look at our article on the most productive National Park Scratch Maps for without equal a laugh process that can assist you stay observe of your Nationwide Park interests!


On the lookout for nationwide park shuttle inspiration? Take a look at those articles:

Impressed? Pin it!East Coast National Parks | Planning to visit some of the national parks? Here’s our complete list of the best national parks on the east coast.

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