10 underrated places to go to this summer

By Lacey Pfalz, TravelPulse

National parks are incredible places to explore, yet we frequently only take into consideration visiting the most well-liked ones: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, and just a few others. Yet the National Park Service maintains and protects a whole bunch of parks, lake and ocean shores, recreation areas, mountain climbing trails, and more, all so that you can explore and revel in.

So before you make your reservation for a crowded park this summer, take a look at this list of 10 underrated national parks to go to this summer as an alternative. While this list is actually not exhaustive, it’d spark your imagination.

Assateague Island National Sea Beach

Horse lovers will enjoy visiting the National Seashore to watch and photograph the majestic animals, which local legend has it are the descendants of shipwrecked sailors from the late seventeenth century (though they were probably delivered to the island intentionally for tax evasion purposes).

There are two herds—the Chincoteague ponies from Virginia and the Maryland herd—so regardless of which state travelers visit, they will remember to see the horses roaming freely through the scenic countryside and on the beaches.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Have you ever wondered what the Milky Way looks like? Travelers who head overnight to Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area can discover on a transparent summer night.

The area stretches across Kentucky and Tennessee and offers 125,000 scenic acres of the Cumberland Plateau and is protected by the Cumberland River. During their stay, campers can enjoy ranger-led Dark Sky programs to view the Milky Way, take photos of the world's beautiful rock formations and natural beauty, whitewater paddle on the river, climb the world's signature sandstone cliffs, and horseback ride along scenic trails.

Apostle Islands National Park

A scenic gem in far northern Wisconsin, along the shores of Lake Superior and the country's northernmost border, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is where travelers can catch glimpses of the Northern Lights and more during certain seasons (particularly winter).

Outer Island docks in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.  (NPS/TNS)
Outer Island docks within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. (NPS/TNS)

There are 21 different Apostle Islands accessible by boat or sea kayak. Travelers can easily book a water taxi ride or take an NPS-authorized Apostle Islands cruise to get essentially the most out of a visit to the islands.

Adventurers who wish to go to the islands can take a guided kayak tour, bring their very own boat and cruise around, camp on a number of of the islands, or just explore the 12 miles of seacoast on the mainland. Sea caves, historic lighthouses and delightful scenery await, in addition to the chance to learn in regards to the culture of the region's indigenous Ojibwe people.

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park is one other paradise of untouched nature. It is situated off the coast of Michigan on Lake Superior, the biggest freshwater lake on this planet, and is accessible by seaplane and diverse ferries and boats. Travelers may also visit the national park on the RANGER III.

Day trippers are welcome, but travelers who wish to immerse themselves longer (or make the most of the dark northern skies and catch a glimpse of the Milky Way and even the Northern Lights) can stay on the Rock Harbor Lodge or at a campground.

Travelers by boat or sea kayak will love sailing or paddling to the greater than 400 islands within the park, that are uninhabited gems and make for excellent photo opportunities. Hikers will especially love climbing the park's highest peak, Mount Dresor, which stands at 1,400 feet (422 meters).

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is commonly considered one in all America's most underrated national parks, and it's not hard to see why. Named after the president who championed the establishment of more national parks, the North Dakota national park offers great opportunities for mountain climbing, photography, and encountering a number of the country's coolest animals – including bison!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  (Gary Anderson/NPS/TNS)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Gary Anderson/NPS/TNS)

Visitors to the park may also enjoy fishing, canoeing, biking, horseback riding, camping and more. Additionally, the park hosts the Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival every year and is an ideal place to admire the Milky Way in all its celestial glory.

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park may challenge your idea of ​​the state of Nevada: It's not all desert! The park features ancient bristlecone pine forests, incredible night skies, scenic sagebrush-covered foothills, the stunning 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, and the mysterious Lehman Caves.

Here, travelers can participate in unique adventure activities, from exploring wild caves to collecting pine nuts. The park offers a variety of seasonal activities resembling viewing wildflowers, but in addition offers year-round activities with its many mountain climbing trails, nocturnal beauty, and birdwatching opportunities.

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Conservation Area

Have you ever wondered what it will be wish to live to tell the tale one other planet? When you visit Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, you don't even must stretch your imagination very much.

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Nature Preserve. (NPS/TNS)
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Nature Preserve. (NPS/TNS)

Located in southern Idaho, the preserve is home to the stays of ancient lava flows. The park is an ideal place to go to for just a few hours, half a day, or a whole night. Many of the largest attractions, resembling caves and mountain climbing trails, are situated along a 7-mile stretch of the Loop Road.

It can be an International Dark Sky Area, making it an ideal destination for travelers who wish to experience not only an otherworldly environment on land, but in addition the splendor of the cosmos without light pollution.

Capitol Reef National Park

Geologists will inform you that Utah's scenic Capitol Reef National Park is special due to a fold within the earth called the Waterpocket Fold, but this unique formation is just one in all the park's many attractions.

The fold stretches for nearly 100 miles, creating a novel landscape of natural cliffs, domes, bridges and gorges that hikers, horseback riders, canyoning experts and bikers like to explore. Travelers with limited mobility or those simply driving through the region to get some other place can take a one-and-a-half hour scenic drive that provides over 10 stops with a number of the park's most incredible geological wonders, resembling the out-of-this-world Moenkopi Formation.

Great Thicket National Reserve

You may forget you're in South Texas once you visit Big Thicket National Preserve. Boasting nine unique ecosystems, from pine forests to cypress-lined bayous, the preserve's 270,000 acres offer guests a really wondrous experience.

Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this 12 months, Big Thicket offers nearly 40 miles of mountain climbing trails and 6 waterway corridors, in addition to opportunities for backcountry camping, paddling, fishing, birdwatching and more.

The park offers a collection of developed areas with amenities resembling restrooms and more basic units, so each recent campers and seasoned park pros can take advantage of their visit.

Oh, and be careful for the carnivorous plants!

San Juan Island National Historical Park

Located off the coast of Washington state, San Juan Island National Historical Park is home to an incredibly beautiful natural landscape, including a beautiful rocky coastline, nearby orca pods, quiet forests, and one in all the region's last remaining pristine prairies. But it's a nationally designated historic park for one particularly strange reason: it's the location of a nearly-war between the U.S. and Britain, began over the death of a single pig.

An elephant seal on the beach at San Juan Island National Historical Park.  (NPS/TNS)
An elephant seal on the beach at San Juan Island National Historical Park. (NPS/TNS)

Travelers will love mountain climbing the gorgeous island, taking photos, collecting shells and seaweed, and exploring all of its natural riches, but they may also learn in regards to the so-called Pig War and the way a peaceful arbitration finally ended the incident and led to the creation of today's U.S.-Canada border.

Guests can access the park via the Washington State Ferry System, by plane, or by private boat. Important note: Camping is just not permitted on the island and the one food available is what you bring with you, so be prepared accordingly.

©2024 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. Visit travelpulse.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

image credit : www.mercurynews.com