Did you know the United States has almost 85 million acres of land in our national park systems, that go throughout 49 of our 50 states? There are a variety of different environments to experience, from volcanoes to valleys. Most National Parks have information on their website on the levels of accessibility throughout the different areas. Below are 7 parks which have accessible trails, perfect for your next outdoor adventure.
- Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range that reaches into the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. This range has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most visited National Park, pulling in over 11 million people per year! The 800-plus miles of trails offers a variety of different options to explore.
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
This park holds two of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been labeled both a World Heritage site and an international biosphere by the United Nations. The tallest of the volcanoes is even taller than Mount Everest, when measured from its base that sits far below the water.
- Sequoia National Park
One of 28 National Parks in California, the Sequoia National Park is well known for having over 8,000 colossal sequoia trees, more than half of the world’s supply. It is also home to the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, as well as the tallest mountain in the United States outside of Alaska, Mt. Whitney.
- Kenai Fjords National Park
The Fjords are located in Alaska on the southern peninsula near the Alaskan Bay. It was designated on December 1st, 1978 by Jimmy Carter, and has steadily increased in popularity for tourists over the last thirty years. One popular tourist activity which would be fun to experience includes whale watching, which accessible cruises offer.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located in Ohio between the cities of Cleveland and Akron. This relatively new park was only designated in the year 2000, and is made up of 51 square miles. There is also an accessible train that offers rides during the warmer seasons of the year.
As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone offers a lot of different things to see and do. There are many accessible trails which offer different views of the hot springs and geysers, including the infamous Old Faithful. There’s even an app to download which offers up to date accessibility information and alternative text for images.
Another of California’s National Parks, Yosemite is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The park has over 800 miles of trails, many of which are paved enough for travel by wheelchair. It also offers accessible shuttle busses, lodging options, visitors center, and picnic areas.
If you are looking for someplace new to explore, our National Parks system offers incredible views across the country. There is also an option called the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Access Pass, which allows you free entry into every park.