In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was set aside as the country’s first protected public landscape. Today, nearly 150 years later, the National Park Service manages more than 400 sites covering 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.
Each site in the National Park System has its own historical, scenic, or scientific significance that a president or Congress believed should be preserved for the benefit of future generations. The result is a network of remarkable public spaces Americans can access and enjoy year-round.
East Coast National Park RV Destinations
While the majority of these parks sit on public land in the west, East Coast residents don’t have to travel far to visit some of the most amazing national parks in the country. In fact, a family RV road trip from Florida to Maine would take you through five wonderful examples of everything the park system has to offer.
So if you’re looking for the perfect summer trip, grab the family, pack up the motorhome and tour some of these unbelievable East Coast national park destinations.
1. Biscayne National Park: Florida
Located just outside of Miami, Florida, Biscayne National Park exists almost entirely underwater. The park protects one of the world’s largest coral reef systems, extensive mangrove forests and thousands of years of human history.
Park visitors can canoe, kayak, boat and fish in its pristine waters or participate in guided eco-adventures, which highlight points of interest throughout the park’s 172,000 acres.
2. Congaree National Park: South Carolina
Seven hundred miles to the north sits Congaree National Park, which is home to the largest remaining stretch of old growth bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern United States. Park visitors can camp, fish, hike and canoe through the park’s 5,500 acres of managed land.
Every year, between mid-May and mid-June, synchronous fireflies descend on the park for their mating season. During this period, visitors can witness the insects’ synchronous flashes from a designated fireflies trail.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: North Carolina & Tennessee
On the mountainous border between North Carolina and Tennessee sits Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Covering more than 522,000 acres divided almost evenly between the two states, the park welcomes more than 11 million visitors every year, making it the most-visited national park in the country.
Nestled within some of the oldest mountains in the world, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its hiking trails as well as for wildlife diversity so rich that it’s been designated as an international biosphere reserve.
4. Shenandoah National Park: Virginia
Follow I-81 to the northeast and you’ll soon arrive at Shenandoah National Park, which sits just 75 miles outside Washington, D.C. The park covers some 200,000 acres and features more than 500 miles of trails, which take hikers on an up-close tour of the Shenandoah Valley.
If your feet get tired, hop in the RV and take the Skyline Drive for a 105 mile tour along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive features more than 70 scenic overlooks and takes about three hours to complete on a clear day.
5. Acadia National Park: Maine
Further up the coast you’ll find Acadia National Park, Maine’s only national park, and the first established east of the Mississippi. Acadia features the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States, including seven peaks above 1,000 feet. The park also includes 158 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of Carriage or “broken-stone” roads financed by industrialist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
So Much Fun for Everyone
Imagine the fun your family will have as they experience these unique destinations together. And because you’ll be traveling by RV, you’ll never be too far away from a quiet place to enjoy a good book, delicious snack, or a long catnap after a day of exploring our shared national treasures.
Of course, All-Star Coaches is here to help your East Coast national park tour go off without a hitch. From pre-trip inspections and service to fully-stocked luxury RV rentals, we have everything you’ll need for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. To learn more, you can request a quote online or call us at (866) 838-4465.
featured photo courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash