There is no mistaking the beauty of the National Parks in the United States. Since the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916, transient travelers across the nation have been drawn to the various regions year after year. Following the recent details of the 2015 Annual Park Ranking Report by the National Park Service on the most visited parks, parkways, and significant State monuments by recreational visitors, we highlight some features of the most visited parks and attractions of the NPS Park Ranking Report.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
More than 15,054,603 recreation visitors (and more than 30,000 RV campers) motored their way through the Blue Ridge Park Way, ranking this area as the most visited site in the country. Although Blue Ridge is not a National Park, it is part of the National Park system. It stretches more than 450 miles and connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It offers some of the most breathtaking and scenic drives anywhere with many RV parks, services and amenities. To find a campground during your travels visit www.campgroundreviews.com
- The concept of the parkway was first devised during the Great Depression and completed in 1987. It is considered the longest road planned as a single unit in the U.S.
- Traveling through this area means passing 17 North Carolina and 12 Virginia counties.
- Enjoy birding, fishing, and wildlife viewing? The area has a variety of species including 99 fish, 70 mammals, and 225 birds.
2.Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The recreational opportunities are nearly endless in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and during 2015, 14,888,537 visitors came to see and enjoy everything it offers. Considered one of the largest urban parks in the world, Golden Gate National Recreation Area doesn’t resemble most national parks as it is comprised of various areas across several counties. Stroll along mighty Redwoods in Muir Woods, enjoy a day at Stinson Beach and Crissy Field, or take a visit to Alcatraz. For accommodations that are nearby to major attractions, check out Marin RV Park, San Francisco RV Resort, Candlestick RV Park, and Treasure Island RV Park.
- The park consists of a series of regions that stretch from San Mateo County to Marin County and areas of San Francisco.
- It’s home of the Nike Missile Site SF-88L, the only fully restored Nike missile site in the country.
- The Presidio is a former military base on the San Francisco Peninsula and is home to one of the most acclaimed collections of military architecture in the country.
3.Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a natural wonderland and very RV-friendly. The park was established in 1934 and has evolved into the most visited national park in the United States with a recorded 10,712,674 recreation visitors in 2015. With its acclaimed plant and animal life, the scenic mountains, historic buildings, and vast display of seasonal wildflowers, there is always something to see and do. With 384 miles of roads, take any one of the four Auto Tours in your RV, or enjoy some of the many of the activities. There are approximately ten campgrounds in the park and we suggest you navigate here to find one that suits your needs.
- The first Europeans settled in the area between 1818 and 1821.
- The park habitats 412 different wildlife species and there`s more than 700 miles of streams.
- One of the popular attractions is Cades Cove, offering the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park.
4. Lincoln Memorial
Of the many sites in The Nation’s Capital, Lincoln Memorial is perhaps one of the most significant. While not a National Park, the Lincoln Memorial is a National Monument and administered by the National Park Service. Lincoln Memorial is located on the west end of The National Mall, directly adjacent to the Washington Monument. Built to commemorate the 16th President’s many historical accomplishments, The Lincoln Memorial is just as commemorative now as it was when it was dedicated in 1922. It’s also ranked as the fourth most popular attraction of the National Park Service as it attracted nearly $8 million visitors in 2015. As RV Parks are not available in the immediate D.C area, there are parks nearby to all the attractions in the surrounding States of Maryland and Virginia. We suggest Greenbelt Park, Greenbelt, MD, Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA, and Cherry Hill Park, College Park, MD.
- Construction began in 1914, which was completed and dedicated in 1922.
- Henry Beacon designed the building, Daniel French sculpted the Statue and Jules Guerin painted the two murals.
- The north and south side chambers feature carved inscriptions of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address.
5.Lake Mead National Recreation Area
While many communities and attractions are often over shadowed by the glitter and glam of Las Vegas in Nevada, Lake Mead Recreation Area is an outdoor-enthusiast’s jackpot as it attracted 7,298,465 recreational visitors in 2015 (with more than 135,000 being RV campers). Located in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, Lake Mead is operated by the National Park Service and spans approximately 1.5 million acres, which is approximately twice the size of Rhode Island. Several full service campgrounds are available and there are many opportunities to enjoy kayaking, fishing, hunting, boating, and more. RV parks also surround the lake. Visit www.campgroundreviews.com to find a handful of RV parks to stay at during your visit.
- Lake Mead is 16th largest man-made lake in the world and one of the largest man-made lakes in the Western Hemisphere.
- The lake was formed by the Hoover Dam along the Colorado River and the National Park Service established Lake Mead as a national recreation area in 1964.
- It is also surrounded by red sandstone, black lava rock and some of the lava hills are approximately six million years old.