Last year was a record-breaking one in terms of visits to the national parks, the country’s “best idea.” There were 331 million recreation stays—a third consecutive all-time attendance record for the National Park Service (NPS).
Half of all national park visits was recorded in 26 parks, but it grew more than 10 percent in parks that see more modest annual visitation. The National Park Services’ centennial, celebrated in 2016, is one factor that helped drive the record numbers.
This summer more people are expected to go and explore. To make it easy for people to sightsee paths beyond popular parks and trails, TomTom and the National Park Foundation have curated maps to go “Off the Beaten Path.”
Don’t be discouraged by the numbers. Go ahead and plan an adventurous trip in the wilderness. You can make the most of your visit by avoiding the crowds during the peak summer months. Enjoying solitude and getting in touch with nature, as opposed to annoying tourists, during your vacation is possible.