Off the Beaten Path: America's Most Beautiful, Overlooked National Parks

By Jack Ripley | February 28, 2024

Voyageurs National Park

Welcome to our journey through America's hidden natural treasures! While names like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon often steal the spotlight, our nation is also home to a constellation of lesser-known national parks, each with its unique charm and breathtaking beauty. In this series, we'll embark on a thrilling exploration of these off-the-beaten-path gems, uncovering the enchanting landscapes, remarkable wildlife, and rich histories that make them stand out. So, grab your virtual hiking boots and join us as we venture into the heart of these hidden wonders.

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ERIK FREMSTAD/COURTESY OF EXPLORE MINNESOTA

Voyageurs National Park, a hidden gem in northern Minnesota, offers a water-centric wilderness adventure that's often off the radar for many travelers. The park is a haven for those who love to explore by boat, canoe, or kayak, as it's composed of a network of pristine lakes, islands, and waterways. With its lush forests, rocky shorelines, and abundant wildlife, Voyageurs promises a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Visitors can embark on waterborne journeys through interconnected lakes, where loons call and bald eagles soar above. Voyageurs National Park invites you to immerse yourself in a serene, water-bound wilderness, making it a unique and memorable destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Wrangell St. Elias National Park

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Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, nestled in the wilds of Alaska, is the largest national park in the United States and one of its best-kept secrets. This colossal wilderness is a sanctuary for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Within its borders lie towering peaks, immense glaciers, and pristine rivers, making it a paradise for hikers, mountaineers, and those in search of untamed beauty. The park's remote location means fewer visitors, offering a unique opportunity to experience rugged wilderness, observe diverse wildlife, and immerse yourself in the rich history of Alaskan pioneers. So, if you crave the ultimate off-the-beaten-path adventure, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park welcomes you to explore its vast, unspoiled wonders.