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100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do

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Filled with helpful travel tips and beautiful National Geographic photography, this expert guide showcases the best experiences in the top national, state, and city parks throughout North America.

In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States’ and Canada’s most pristine–and adventure-filled–national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation. Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades’ Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York’s Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit–and make it a memorable one.

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100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas

By any definition, the parks of the United States and Canada have had a profound effect on billions of people. In 2017 alone, the U.S. National Park Service recorded more than 330 million visitors, and Parks Canada drew an additional 25 million. Add all of the people who visit city parks, state and provincial parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests, and the numbers are staggering—easily the best tourist attraction in North America and possibly the world.


Acadia National Park

Named after the French settlers who were expelled from Atlantic Canada by the British, Acadia is the nation’s easternmost national park and one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise each day.One of the nation’s most beloved parks, Acadia protects a patch of coastal Maine where the north woods tumble down to meet the wild Atlantic. The first national park east of the Mississippi River sprawls across half of Mount Desert Island and all of several smaller landfalls. For generations, it’s been the place where New Englanders escape into nature and learn to cherish the wild side of Down East.

White Mountains, New Hampshire



Zealand Falls

Zealand Falls

Mount Washington Cog

Mount Washington Cog

Mount Washington

Mount Washington

Autumn colors take over the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

A hiker crosses a wooden walkway along the Zealand Falls Trail to an Appalachian Mountain Club hut in the White Mountains.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway, constructed in 1869, is the oldest in the country.

The snow-covered view at the 6,288-foot (1,916.6 m) summit of Mount Washington


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