Dedicated to protecting our nation’s most stunning regions, the U.S. National Parks Service celebrated 100 years of service last August, marking the milestone with events around the country and a commitment to a new century of excellence.
As a new century begins, you can join the journey by visiting and supporting our nation’s parks! Read on to learn about a few of our national parks and how you can enjoy them.
Home to some of the nation’s most magnificent environments, the American West contains a variety of parks for you to visit. Pinnacles National Park is a craggy landscape formed by volcanoes of millennia past. Towering rock spires and expansive cave systems offer adventures above and below ground, as well as a habitat for surrounding wildlife. Bobcats, deer, and rare California condors call Pinnacles home, giving wildlife watchers plenty to look for. Take a trip to this rugged wilderness, conveniently located just an hour north of Vines RV Resort and Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles.
Head east towards Fresno and explore the vast range of ecosystems in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Soaring sequoia groves will inspire awe, while the sweeping ranges of the Sierra Nevada Mountains present an exhilarating challenge for hikers. A few hours north of these stunning vistas is Yosemite National Park, a treasure trove of cliffs and waterfalls with spectacular views. This American monument is a must-see and is located less than two hours from 49er Village RV Resort, a premier vacation destination near the Sierra foothills
Adventure is always in season at Joshua Tree National Park. Close to Palm Springs, California, this vast wilderness is comprised of the Mojave and Colorado Desert ecosystems, serving as a home for fascinating wildlife like coyotes, bighorn sheep, and mule deer, as well as the rare Mojave Desert tortoise, which you might just catch a glimpse of! While you’re spotting the wildlife, take note of the park’s namesake. The prickly Joshua tree dots the landscape, providing vital food and shelter for birds, lizards, and rodents that reside in the Mojave Desert. Though it may look like a cartoon drawing, this distinct desert is well worth visiting and is located less than an hour away from Indian Wells RV Resort and the Santa Rosa mountains of Indio, California.
Nestled in the American Southwest, Arizona houses some of the world’s most remarkable desert wildlife. Hiking and backpacking opportunities abound at Saguaro National Park, named for the distinct cacti scattered throughout. Miles of trails wind through the Sonoran Desert, where a wealth of plants and animals have adapted to the rugged environment. The natural and cultural history of this park is located in the outskirts of Tucson, just an hour away from Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort.
For travelers in search of an expedition, these two national parks offer expansive adventure. To the east of Flagstaff is Petrified Forest National Park, an impressive territory of rock formations and scenic vistas. To the north, America’s most breathtaking natural landmark resides at Grand Canyon National Park. Hiking, trail rides, and whitewater rafting are just a few of the many activities available. With all of their adventure and grandeur, these national parks offer spectacular experiences less than four hours from Blue Star RV Resort, located between Phoenix and Tucson in sunny Casa Grande.
Home to forests, meadows, and lakes, the Midwest is a pleasant climate that shines its brightest during the summer and early autumn months. Before the cold winter months return, take a short trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a rustic oasis just outside of Cleveland. Outdoorsmen can roam along extensive hiking trails, and kayakers and canoers will enjoy 100 miles of paddling opportunities along the Cuyahoga River. Spend a day at the park and head back to the shores of Lake Erie at Indian Creek RV & Camping Resort, conveniently located in the vacation town of Geneva-on-the-Lake.
In the northern reaches of Michigan sits Isle Royale, a primitive island untouched by human civilization. This remote solitude sits miles from land, surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Superior, near Michigan’s border with Canada. Visitors to the island can experience a true escape from civilization and a chance to glimpse some of the north’s most distinctive creatures, such as the moose and gray wolf. The surrounding waters also provide opportunities for boating, kayaking, canoeing, and even scuba diving. Guests at Westward Ho RV Resort & Campground in Wisconsin can take a scenic trip north through 300 miles of the region’s most stunning countryside to reach Copper Harbor, where they can catch the ferry to Isle Royale. Though it’s a bit of a trek, you won’t regret making the trip to experience this astonishing natural refuge. While you’re in the area, try exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for an added dose of Great Lakes beauty.
There’s nothing more refreshing than the brisk, Atlantic breeze. America’s East Coast is home to miles of beautiful shoreline and visitors to Acadia National Park can explore the best of New England. Granite mountaintops descend into rolling pine forests that end in Maine’s craggy coastline. With its versatile landscape and stunning sunrises and sunsets, Acadia presents an opportunity for some of the best Atlantic photography. This memorable island park is located just three hours north of Saco and Old Orchard Beach, offering a scenic coastal trip for guests of Saco/Old Orchard Beach KOA, Wagon Wheel RV Resort & Campground, and Wild Acres RV Resort & Campground.
Heading south to the Mid-Atlantic region, Shenandoah National Park is a hiker’s paradise in the mountains of Virginia. This Appalachian expanse is home to more than 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail. Venture into the forests, discover scenic waterfalls and make your way to landmarks like Humpback Rocks for impressive panoramic views. This rustic retreat is located three hours from the coast, offering a mountain getaway for guests of Gwynn’s Island RV Resort & Campground and New Point RV Resort, situated on the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County. While there, visit the city of Charlottesville, a cultural hub with shopping, dining, and entertainment in its vibrant Downtown Mall.
A tropical bliss, Florida boasts an array of state and national parks. One of those is Biscayne National Park, where a string of islands off the coast of Miami are home to some of South Florida’s best outdoor experiences. Visitors can take tours, fish, and explore Biscayne Bay by boat, watching for coastal wildlife. For those willing to get wet, Biscayne National Park offers sublime snorkeling and diving, with coral reefs and captivating shipwrecks dotting the ocean floor. This southern jewel is worth a visit and is just ten miles away from Goldcoaster RV Resort, situated in tropical Homestead.
Close to Naples and Fort Myers, Everglades National Park provides a haven for rare and endangered species. Visitors to this subtropical wilderness should keep an eye out for manatees, American crocodiles, and even Florida panthers. The possibilities are endless, with extensive hiking and biking trails, kayaking opportunities, and the option of taking an airboat tour, an experience you won’t soon forget. To enjoy all that the park has to offer, guests at Goldcoaster can drive fifteen minutes to arrive at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, situated on the eastern edge of the park. Plenty of tours also begin at Everglades City, a western entrance that’s closer to guests of Groves RV Resort, Indian Creek RV Resort, and Siesta Bay RV Resort.
Whether you’re exploring the southwest desert or hiking the rugged cliffs of Maine, America’s national parks have an opportunity for you. Let’s this make this next century even better than the last as we explore the natural wonders around our nation!