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Reader Participation Day: Are You Heading To A New Park This Year? Which One, And Why?


Is anyone planning to head to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore this year for the very first time? Photo of Miner's Castle at Pictured Rocks by Craig Rademacher.

Many of us go to the same national park, or parks, year after year after year. Do you fall into that category, or are you someone who looks to a new park every year, or every few years? If you're planning to visit a park for the first time this year, which one, and why?


We like to go to new parks each year. This year we'll be driving an RV from Iowa to Alaska. So while we won't see any new parks in the US, we will be seeing eight National Parks in Canada! Does that count?

Acadia and Shenandoah. We live in Texas and love our Western parks, but this year we're going to see kids/grandkids in the East so we want to see what those areas have to offer.

Having moved recently into the Pacific Northwest, I'll be exploring the parks in that area eagerly.

Although not specifically national parks, I hope to visit several of the Civil War sites under the NPS banner -- in particular, Ft. Sumter in April and several of the Virginia battlefields and sites this summer.

We have traveled in 49 states (all but Alaska) over the years and have enjoyed the spendor, wonder, and educational values of visiting many of the magnificent national parks, monuments, historical sites and museums,forests, nature preserves, etc.. We have never been disappointed in any we have visited! This month we will finally be going to the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, places that have been on our "to see" list for a long time. We appreciate all the treasures that have been preserved for the enjoyment of everyone!

I always have my old standbys closer to home such as Yosemite NP, Muir Woods NM, and Golden Gate NRA.

There are a few NPS sites near home that I haven't visited yet, including Eugene O'Neill NHS and Port Chicago Naval Magazine Memorial. However - those sites both require reservations (which is probably why I haven't visited them yet) and the latter is within an active military reservation only open to US citizens or permanent residents. I don't know of any other NPS sites where foreign visitors wouldn't be allowed to visit. I also haven't been to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, although I've walked by that part of Fishermans Wharf many times.

However - the one place I'd really like to visit that would be new to me is Redwood NP. Muir Woods is very much accessible and a good experience even though the trees are relatively small as far as mature redwoods go. However - what I would like to feel is the presence of the tallest trees on earth, in a setting that's less impacted by people, and where off-trail travel is OK to some degree. I had that kind of experience at Redwood Mountain Grove in Kings Canyon NP.

We're going to Rainier and have never been--have wanted to see the Paradise Inn--how can anyone resist a place with that name!
Circle trip end summer to Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Grand Canyon--we've been to Bryce and the south rim but we'll spend our 30th anniv hiking some new places!


The inn will live up to your expectations. It's a great structure. I stayed there before the renovations, and would love to get back there.


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