Yearning for an adventure in the midst of nature? Whether you’re into cave hunting, hiking, scenic drives, or wildlife spotting, the east coast has got you covered with several stunning national parks.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is one of the world’s longest cave systems, and the most popular thing to do here is, logically, exploring caves! With 365 miles on five levels already mapped, it’s a fantastic spot for those who love probing into mysterious subterranean worlds. Explore huge chambers, underground passageways, and buried cathedrals.
Mammoth Cave features several cave tours that go from easy to challenging, so it is a great park for people of all ages, including children. Hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, and sliding down a zipline are available for those who prefer staying above ground.
Shenandoah National Park
Nestled in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks on the USA east coast for those who love peaceful hiking trails amidst green valleys, roaring waterfalls, and breath-taking sky-high peaks.
Popular features in this spot include hiking Shenandoah’s favorite trails such as Dark Hollow Falls or Old Rag trails, wildlife spotting, enjoying the stunning vistas along Skyline Drive, and stargazing at night.
Hosting over 50 species of mammals, animals like white-tailed deer, bobcats, coyotes, black bears, and chipmunks can be spotted roaming the park.
Acadia National Park
Set on the Maine coast, Acadia National Park is all about enjoying the great outdoors. Hiking, scenic drives, rocky coastlines, unparalleled hikes, and trail summits are just a few of the features that make Acadia National Park such a marvelous destination. During autumn, it’s one of the best national parks in the USA for enjoying postcard-looking fall foliage!
An easy hike for first-timers is Jordan Pond, a flat paved trail that goes around a 3.3-mile loop. Another great option is hiking up to Bubbles, which is a cool rock formation that gives the impression of teetering off the mountainside. A more challenging, less-trafficked hike is Acadia’s Pemetic Mountain Trail.
For car viewing, Park Loop Road, the main road, allows for quite stunning views.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its forests that rise from the mountains, more than one hundred waterfalls, and stunning treelines.
Spanning from Tennessee into North Carolina, it is obviously impossible to see it all in one visit. For first-timers, recommended musts are hiking to view Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall in the park, going up Mount Cammerer, or driving through the park to cover as many viewpoints as possible. Cades Cove and Newfound Gap Road are two great scenic drives in the park.
For some serious waterfall exploring, three good hiking trails are Abrams, Laurel, and Grotto Falls Trails.
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