Nearly all the 58 National Parks in the United States are worth going to, with each of them having their fair share of admirers. If it is a weekend escape you are looking for, or just want to immerse yourself in the arms of mother nature for extended spells, it is all about spending quality time connecting with the outdoors.
When it comes to deciding which National Park to visit, you can easily be led to believe that the all the action is centered on the western side of the US, with the iconic Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon all striving to stake their claims as the best.
Incidentally, the reputation of the parks along the eastern coast is no less. Here also you will find a list of plenty of trail blazers and monuments, each having their own uniqueness and character, on par with some of the best of their western counterparts.
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Amazing National Parks in USA’s East Coast
Acadia National Park
The first and premier national park of the east, Acadia is today one of the most dramatic, that Maine has to offer. Cadillac Mountain for stunning views from the highest elevation on the Atlantic Coast, and Bar Harbor for whale watching are the top draws here.
Tourists can get around this park easily by car or cycle, traversing the 43 km Park Loop Road with its numerous stand out scenic points. The main attraction here is the 34 m high Otter Cliff, which is considered to be a headland tallest than any north of Rio.
Congaree National Park
Located in South Carolina, the Congaree National Park,till today is the largest hardwood forest surviving in the eastern periphery of the United States. The constant flooding here, results in a plethora of bald Cypress trees and Spanish moss, making it excellent for birds and wildlife spotting.
Set in an area of 22,000 acres, roughly, the park is a haven for alligators, otters, deer, bobcats and a huge variety of birds, with woodpeckers ruling the roost here.
The park provides excellent access for hikers along the 7 km long Western Lake Loop Trail. The second 19 km long Kingsnake Trail, is a virtual paradise for sighting birds.
Biscayne National Park
Situated just north of Miami, Florida, the park is reached by a comfortable boat ride from the city’s marina. Biscayne National Park, remains mostly underwater, and is ideal for those looking for exploration beneath the surface.
Diving in the coral reefs or snorkeling are hugely popular here, as are the views of a large number of marine life like, jellyfish, sharks, turtles and plenty and plenty of colorful fish.
The most rewarding and biggest attraction of Biscayne is the canoe trip, guided by a park ranger, into the mangroves to look for alligators and the elusive manatee.
Everglades National Park
The biggest sub – tropical piece of wilderness in the whole of the the United States, is located in this stupendous 1.5 million acres Everglades National Park.
Imagine moving around in a huge reserve consisting of sawgrass and mangroves, stretching far as the eye can possibly see, in small boats navigating deftly through narrow channels.
With walls of high grass on either side, constantly waving into your face, the trip here can be an unforgettable experience, especially if you are lucky enough to spot a manatee.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The most visited National park in the US also has the most hidden gems. The “Smokies”, as more popularly known, are said to draw far more tourists than any other park in the States.
The crowds, no doubt, can be overwhelming at most times, but the Great Smoky has so so many hidden walking trails that within minutes you would be out of earshot and fellow travelers in this forest getaway.
Harboring more than 100 different varieties of the best deciduous trees and endangered species of wildlife, the Smokies are said to be a part of the oldest mountain chains in the world.The park has since been designated as an international biosphere reserve.
Mammoth Cave National Park
If you want to explore deep below the ground, then the Mammoth Cave National Park is where you should be headed. The maximum core area of the park, not surprisingly, lies below the ground. With a cave area of nearly 600 km below, compared to the 130 km above the surface, one can understand the popularity of the place.
The park comprises one of the longest cave systems in the world, with just 10 km being thrown open to the public, since exploratory work is still in process.
One can book a wide variety of excursions in advance, from easy one hour trips to Frozen Niagara or the more challenging Wild Cave tour which lasts 6 hours, which includes having to crawl for extended periods.
The National Parks in USA East coast, though smaller and obscure, have now established a name for themselves. The wide diversity of ecosystems, which extends well into the Virgin Islands, make each of these jewels well worth a visit.