America’s best idea is more popular than ever before according to data released by National Park Service.
The national parks, seashores, monuments and other sites under the supervision of the NPS drew a record number of visitors in 2014—an impressive 292.8 million people. That extraordinary number broke the previous visitation record of 287.1 million, which was set in 1999. These large numbers are certainly a good sign for the preserved public lands, but how exactly do the numbers break down?
Well, the Golden Gate Bridge National Recreation Area saw 15 million visitors, the Blue Ridge Parkway saw 13.9 million visitors and a certain national park was the third most visited site in the whole system with 10 million visitors. Here at The Active Times, we love national parks and all the beauty and outdoor adventure that lay within their bounds, so we decided to see how they stacked up.
We took a look at the data and highlighted the most visited U.S. national parks of 2014. From Maine to Montana and beyond, these iconic parks are some of the best in the country—if not the world. Each popular for its own reasons, the top 10 parks represent the beauty and diversity of America. These parks should be on your list and there’s no better time to see them than during National Park Week.
#10 Glacier National Park, Montana
Number of Visitors in 2014: 2,338,528
It takes a pretty spectacular park to draw in more than 2.3 million people a year and Glacier National Park doesn’t disappoint. Named for the glaciers that carved the steep rock faces and still remain in the park today, significantly smaller than they once were, the park is a wild preserve you have to see to believe. Lakes, waterfalls and wildflower meadows are made more beautiful by the mountainous backdrop and at times it seems as though everything is perfectly preserved as it once was.
#9 Acadia National Park, Maine
Number of Visitors in 2014: 2,563,129
Bike rides on quaint carriage paths, kayaking the rugged natural coastline and hiking the tallest mountain on America’s Atlantic Coast—however you enjoy spending time outside Acadia National Park has a place for you to do it. The park with a little bit of everything hosted 2.5 million people last year, making it the ninth most visited in the country.