Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top 10 national parks from Outdoor Afro

Seems like everyone loves a "Top Ten" list of great places to hit the out-of-doors. Rue Mapp, who founded Outdoor Afro has published her own list of some of America's finer places to RV.

Judithsweet on flickr.com
1. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

If wild horses couldn't drag you away from your favorite spot, here's one that will provide the wild horses for the test. A barrier island that shelters the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, this national seashore is 37 miles of wonder.

Public domain image, wikimedia commons
2. Yosemite National Park, California

With plenty of faithful followers, perhaps that explains why this treasure boasts 13 campgrounds. There's lots to explore here, don't miss an inch of the 1,200 square miles.



NPS on wikimedia commons
3. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

An archeologist's delight, geologic deposits here are some of the world's richest fossil-bearing strata in the world. Look out for bison, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and little guys -- ferrets. Two "open year-around" campgrounds will put you up.

Sanjay Archarya on wikipedia.org
4.  Arches National Park, Utah

Rock formations and sunsets. Contrasts of colors and textures. Stone arches, literally by the thousands. Bring your hiking boots for the trails. The campground here is way too popular; during high travel season sites are almost always reserved in advance, but there are camping ops outside the park, and the park's website will point you in the right direction.


vebfilm on flickr.com
5. Big Bend National Park, Texas

A birder's paradise, or a place where you can really see how dark dark can be as you gaze at the night sky. A West Texas special.


R&T De Maris
6. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

An undisputed national favorite, 90 percent of the five million annual visitors see the South Rim of this great park, but miss the grandeur of the North Rim. There's plenty of beauty in both sections, but if you have the chance, take the time to explore the less-traveled North Rim.

Ken Lund on flickr.com
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

What makes this the "most visited" park in the system? Maybe its the diverse plant and animal life. Perhaps the beauty of the ridgelines that seem to go on endlessly. Maybe its the Appalachian mountain culture. Whatever it is, folks stream here every year to soak up the Great Smokies.

Nine front-country campgrounds accommodate RVs of various lengths.

 werner22brigeiite on pixabay.com
8. Acadia National Park, Maine

Recently voted America's "favorite spot," this island park boasts the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic Coast. Hike, bike, or just relax here.






NPS on wikimedia commons
9. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Less than two-hours from the nation's capitol, the difference is night and day. Quiet woods, soothing waterfalls, you may sight deer, listen to songbirds, or just relax away from the distractions of government. Beware, no camping here in wintertime.

NPS on wikimedia commons
10. Olympic National Park, Washington

Hike lush rainforests. Comb surf-roaring beaches looking for treasures. Peer into snow-filled glaciers. A rare Pacific Northwest gem is home to three widely divergent ecosystems. Weather plays a big role in choosing your visit and campsite location.

Editor's note: Original story listed 11 parks in The Root


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