These National Parks are the Best in the Southeast

The Nice Smoky Mountains might be one of the vital well-known nationwide parks within the southeast area, however what are the others?

It’s possible you’ll be stunned to find out about an unbelievable number of parks on this a part of the nation. Some showcase spectacular pure landscapes, whereas others name consideration to essential historic landmarks.

Visiting these parks makes for a enjoyable and illuminating expertise. In some instances, they’re eye-opening classes in historical past and science.

Are you able to tour the most effective nationwide parks within the Southeast? Let’s go!

What Are the States within the Southeast?

The USA has a number of geographic areas, which may differ relying in your supply of knowledge. Most individuals listing them because the West, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast.

The Southeastern states make up the decrease territory between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Coast.

The Nationwide Park Service, which maintains our nationwide parks, lists 9 states in its Southeast area. They’re Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The park service additionally contains Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands within the Southeast area. Arkansas, however, is a part of the park service’s Intermountain area, and Virginia is within the Northeast.

How Many Nationwide Park Designations Are within the Southeast Area?

The park service has 63 officially designated national parks and 423 different protected “NPS items.” In its Southeast area, the park service has seven nationwide parks and 72 items.

Whereas they’re not full-fledged nationwide parks, these different websites are normally traditionally important or extremely scenic; and typically each.

They embody issues like nationwide monuments, nationwide parkways, nationwide seashores, nationwide battlefields, and nationwide wild and scenic rivers.

Greatest Nationwide Parks within the Southeast Area

We’ll see some magnificent locations on our curated tour of the Southeast. We’ll additionally go to park service websites shedding mild on tragic chapters in American historical past.

Let’s begin with the most-visited nationwide park, which occurs to be within the Southeast area.

Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park

Location: Spanning the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

About The Park: The federal government established this unbelievable park in 1934. It covers roughly half one million acres, with barely over half in North Carolina.

The breathtaking mountains, a part of the Appalachians, get their title from the frequent morning fog. Common sights embody Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, and Laurel Falls.

Why It’s Price A Go to: Visiting right here is nearly a ceremony of passage for outdoors-loving People, notably these within the South. Somewhat than being distant, the Smokies are handy to cities like Knoxville, Asheville, and Gatlinburg.

The park can also be a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Scenic Path.

Shenandoah Nationwide Park

Location: Alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

About The Park: Although this park is within the park service’s Northeast area, most individuals would in all probability take into account Virginia to be within the Southeast. This almost 80,000-acre park relationship to 1935, is just a few hours up the street from the Smokies.

Guests can expertise an virtually solely wilderness space of forest and wetlands. At over 4,000 ft, Hawksbill Mountain is its highest peak.

Why It’s Price A Go to: A cruise alongside Skyline Drive is a tranquil antidote to the busy Beltway space 75 miles eastward. It’s probably the greatest locations to understand the various great thing about the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Mammoth Cave Nationwide Park

Location: Within the Inexperienced River Valley of west-central Kentucky.

About The Park: Are you able to go underground? That is the location of the longest recognized cave system, extending to round 400 miles.

There’s additionally a “bottomless” pit that seems to be solely about 100 ft deep. Above floor, greater than 80 miles of climbing trails mean you can discover scenic rolling hills and strikingly picturesque valleys.

Why It’s Price A Go to: The limestone cave is a marvel, and it’s so unexpectedly monumental that it would blow your thoughts.

Kayaking or canoeing on the Inexperienced River is one other unforgettable expertise. The park additionally has three campgrounds and lots of tucked-away locations for backcountry excursions.

View of Mammoth Cave national parks in the southeast region

Everglades Nationwide Park

Location: Close to the southern tip of Florida.

About The Park: This watery wonderland covers about 1.5 million acres extending to the southernmost level in mainland Florida.

The park service calls these pristine wetlands “the biggest subtropical wilderness in america.” There are three entrances, however they don’t join by roads. Guided-tour boat rides are one of many major actions.

Why It’s Price A Go to: You would possibly assume it’s nothing however a swamp, however the Everglades is an amazingly various habitat for crops and animals.

There are alligators and crocodiles in addition to manatees, uncommon turtles, dolphins, scores of seabirds, and even Florida panthers!

View of the Everglades national parks in the southeast region

Biscayne Nationwide Park

Location: South of Miami, off Florida’s southern coast.

About The Park: Typically overshadowed by the Everglades, Biscayne is a distinct marine sanctuary model. Solely offshore, its mission is to protect the irreplaceable mangrove forests and coral reefs of the northern Florida Keys.

Rangers lead guests on guided eco-tours, and the waters are open to almost each conceivable kind of sailing and fishing.

Why It’s Price A Go to: Exploring these salty waters is stretching a tour of the Southeast to its outer limits. Vacationers overrun many areas within the Florida Keys, however Biscayne tends to attract extra critical, nature-minded guests.

Appalachian Nationwide Scenic Path

Location: By means of 14 states, together with Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

About The Park: All of us have to begin someplace, and the Appalachian Path begins at Springer Mountain within the Chattahoochee Nationwide Forest.

With the A.T. nickname, this wooded footpath follows almost 2,200 miles of scenic mountain ridgelines northward to Maine. It takes a number of months to finish your complete size, however you possibly can simply step out and in for shorter segments.

Why It’s Price A Go to: You’ll get a style of what many individuals take into account a life-changing private problem.

Climbing the path places you intensely in contact with nature and can seemingly result in new relationships with like-minded adventurers. On the very least, you’ll see the pure grandeur of the Southeast in a primitive mild.

Wright Brothers Nationwide Memorial

Location: On Kill Satan Hills, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

About The Park: Aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright had been from Indiana however wanted a testing location with a number of very important attributes.

Regular winds had been a should, and so was a excessive level to take off from and a smooth place to land. Their historic first powered airplane flight, eight ft off the bottom for 12 seconds, occurred in 1903. 

Why It’s Price A Go to: The stone marker, a regular obelisk, isn’t so spectacular, however what the Wrights’ achievement led to will go away you impressed.

Their complete story is on show on the customer middle, together with a duplicate of their unsophisticated however groundbreaking plane.

Wright Brothers National Memorial, one of the national parks in the southeast region

Martin Luther King, Jr. Nationwide Historic Park

Location: Atlanta’s Candy Auburn District, a few mile east of downtown.

About The Park: The charismatic Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the chief of America’s civil rights motion. As proof of his ongoing affect, this historic park dedicated to his life is Atlanta’s high vacationer attraction.

The park contains his childhood house and Ebenezer Baptist Church, the place he served as pastor. The customer middle and the adjoining D.R.E.A.M. Gallery are filled with historic memorabilia and artifacts.

 Why It’s Price A Go to: The guided tour of the place he lived as a toddler provides you a glimpse into his early household life. He and his spouse, Coretta Scott King, are interred on the Middle for Nonviolent Change. It’s subsequent door to the church.

Path of Tears Nationwide Historic Path

Location: In elements of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

About The Park: Within the late 1830s, the federal government pressured Cherokees to desert their ancestral lands and make new houses on reservations in Oklahoma.

They forcibly relocated an estimated 16,000 individuals, and a few fourth died. Many traveled greater than 5,000 miles on foot, whereas others relied on horses, wagons, or boats.

Why It’s Price A Go to: Following the trail of their painful journey provides you with a brand new appreciation for its scope and what it took to outlive.

Actually, the park service’s Southwest area incorporates solely a portion of the Path of Tears. Different segments are in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

View of the Trail of Tears, one of the national parks in the southeast region

Birmingham Civil Rights Nationwide Monument

Location: A number of blocks in downtown Birmingham, Ala.

About The Park: Established in 2017, this nationwide monument contains a number of historic websites associated to the Civil Rights motion of the Nineteen Sixties.

One is the Gaston Motel, which served as a headquarters, and one other is the location of a firebombed African-American church. A statue in a small park commemorates police utilizing canine to assault protestors.

Why It’s Price A Go to: It wasn’t way back that many voters endured extreme and fixed discrimination and didn’t even have the suitable to vote. This monument is a sobering reminder of the violent battle to win basic freedoms we take pleasure in and possibly take without any consideration.

Nationwide Historical past and Pure Magnificence: The Nationwide Parks of the Southeast Area

Touring by means of the Southeast, you’ll see dozens of acquainted brown-and-white indicators with the arrowhead brand. Meaning you’re approaching one other website that the nationwide park considers essential sufficient to protect for future generations.

Some are extremely scenic, whereas others protect historic moments that helped form our nation. Visiting these unbelievable nationwide parks within the Southeast area, you’ll additionally see how various the landscapes and cultures are.

In the event you’re like us, you want you had time to cease and go to each nationwide park, but it surely’s inconceivable.

We hope our listing of the most effective nationwide parks within the Southeast area will enable you prioritize as you journey by means of this stunning area.

Which location will you go to first?

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