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National Parks in the United States is great for getting outdoors and learning more about a specific part of the country. Popular parks such as Glacier, Joshua Tree, and Bryce Canyon are up in attendance over the last few years. This is great for the National Parks system; but did you know that many national parks across the U.S. aren’t well known? Exploring these lesser known locations gives you the opportunity to take in the beautiful sights without a crowd of people surrounding you.

Dry Tortugas – Nestled in the Florida Keys, these seven small islands offer a variety of activities. One of the biggest attractions of this national park is Fort Jefferson, a stronghold built in the 1800s to protect shipping lanes crossing the surrounding waters. The only way to access this national park is by boat or seaplane, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting. You can explore this gem by camping on the beaches, going for a snorkel, or swimming around the islands.

National Park of American Samoa – This destination is perfect for anyone who wants to take in the beautiful jungles and surrounding waters in peace. According to Lonely Planet, “More people visit Yellowstone in a week than visit the National Park of American Samoa in a year.” Explore the south pacific by learning more about the American Samoa people and the land they live on. You can hike in the surrounding jungle, lounge on the beach, or take in the beautiful wildlife.

Isle Royale National Park – Located in Michigan, this rugged island is surrounded by Lake Superior and offers scenic, but secluded views. Hikers love this spot because of the 36 campgrounds 165 miles of trails. There’s no formal lodging on the island, cars, or roads so you’ll have to get creative with how you choose to spend your time here. Make sure to plan your trip as well; the island is closed from November 1st to April 15th annually.  

Congaree National Park – This beautiful national park has the largest old growth of bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern United States. There’s plenty for the entire family to do throughout the park. Explore the amazing biodiversity by hiking, fishing, camping, or kayaking. One of the coolest times to visit the park is during the synchronous fireflies season. You’ll be mesmerized by the twinkling of the fireflies!

The list above is only the start! Look out for part two of this blog coming next month.