Note: This is an excerpt from an article on Say Insurance by Melissa Hart, posted November 24, 2020. Excerpt was posted with permission.
Magnificent geysers cascade up out of the ground. Waterfalls tumble into sparkling rivers. Miles of hiking trails wind through forests, circle the borders of impossibly blue lakes, and offer views of towering rock formations. If you need a vacation, a national park trip can provide a spectacular change of scenery.
The national park system includes 419 national park sites protected for their natural and cultural heritage. The sites attract more than 300 million visitorsa year. These federally protected spaces offer something for everyone, including programs for kids, guided tours, scenic roadways, backcountry camping, and four-star historic lodges. To ensure your vacation is picture perfect, we’ve compiled tips for choosing and exploring your favorite national park.
Pick the Perfect Park
You’ve heard of Yosemite, Zion, and Yellowstone. But what about Wind Cavein South Dakota, Voyageurs in Minnesota, or Kobuk Valley in Arkansas? Crowds flock to the most popular national parks. But you may be able to avoid packed trails and roads by visiting a lesser-known park such as one of these.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Sandboard or sled down the tallest dunes in North America in this Colorado park and preserve 170 miles north of Santa Fe. Hike through aspen and conifer forests, and explore grasslands and wetlands on horseback. Swim and fish in alpine lakes, and scope out sandhill cranes on their spring or fall migration. Navigate the sand on a fat bike or borrow a dunes wheelchair. And if you visit during May or early June, bring your swimsuits so you can wade and play in shallow Medano Creek, which has a mysterious surge flow that creates ocean-like waves.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park
This urban park in Atlanta, Georgia, invites visitors to walk through the civil rights leader’s birthplace and Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King served as co-pastor with his father. Also, tour the King Center, which includes Dr. and Coretta Scott King’s crypt and exhibits on both the couple and Mahatma Gandhi, King’s hero.
Isle Royale National Park
Visitors to this Michigan archipelago must travel across Lake Superior. There, you can kayak or canoe in a multitude of bays and coves; fish; and scuba dive down to several shipwrecks. Explore the Rock Harbor Lighthouse, and look for moose and wolves as you hike or backpack through birch, spruce, and aspen. Take a wheel-chair-accessible boat tour, and spend the night stargazing at one of the park’s numerous campgrounds.
Read the full article here.