States without a national park in America offer nature lovers different options when it comes to fun activities.
If you’ve been contemplating on going for a trip, you’ve probably thought about visiting a National Park.
It would be simple to believe that every state had a national park, yet there are 20 states that do not.
Additionally, all 63 U.S. National Parks are located in 30 states and two U.S. territories (Virgin Islands and American Samoa).
While the United States has 63 national parks, they are only found in slightly more than half of the states.
So, these are the states without a national park. Let’s dive into it.
States Without a National Park
States without a national park include:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York
- New Jersey
In some cases, the state of Idaho often finds its way into this list but a small portion of the Yellowstone National Park extends into the state.
The United States has 423 National Park Service units, which include national historic sites, monuments, battlefields, and seashores, among others.
However, there are just 63 national parks in the United States, and they are only found in 30 states.
Congress designates national parks based on natural phenomena or picturesque land features.
When the majority of individuals think of national parks, they automatically think of the most famous ones, such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or even Grand Teton or Zion.
What is A National Park?
Before we dive further into the states without a national park, let’s define what a national park is.
Have you ever wondered what a national park is?
Worry not because I too for a long time have been asking myself the same question.
But today, I have an answer for you.
A national park is a piece of land set aside by the government for the safeguarding of the natural environment.
A national park may be established for the goal of public recreation and pleasure, or for historical or scientific importance.
The landscapes of the national parks and surrounding plants and animals are mostly preserved in their natural state.
National parks in the United States and Canada are generally tasked with the preservation of both land and wildlife.
The management of the National Parks in the USA falls under the National Park Service.
What is the National Park Service?
The National Park Service (NPS) is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior that was established on August 25, 1916.
Yellowstone National Park was founded on March 1, 1872 making it the first National Park in the US.
Since then, the NPS has been in charge of approximately 400 national park units.
Historical places, monuments, national seashores, and trails are all included.
The primary differences between national parks and other units are how the units are established and who runs them.
The National Park Service oversees national parks, whereas other units are managed by separate authorities or entities.
All agencies work together to protect the land, historical sites, and artifacts. They also look after the plants and animals that live in national parks and other service units.
The Management Roles of NPS
A national park is an area designated by the federal government to protect unaltered natural and cultural resources.
In layman’s words, it is a big area of land that is protected by the national government due to its natural beauty, vegetation, and wildlife.
President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to establish the NPS, which was tasked with protecting the existing 35 national parks and monuments as well as others yet to be formed.
Since then, the NPS’s mandate has expanded; they now care for over 400 national park units.
Monuments, trails, national seashores, and historical places are all included.
There are, however, many nomenclature designations for natural resources under the National Park Systems and what many refer to as “parks.”
Nonetheless, even though they have diverse management duties, all of the agencies share a common mandate to preserve national territory, resources, historical sites, and artifacts.
They are also in charge of looking after the plants and animals in national parks and other service units.
Which State Has No National Park Service Designations at All?
Many national park service designations include more than just national parks.
Historical monuments, historic sites and trails, historic parks, and national battlefields are also available.
There is one state that does not have any of these and that state is Delaware.
Delaware has public beaches, wildlife refuges, and many other areas to explore, but no national parks or NPS units.
In reality, this is the only state that does not have any national parks inside its borders.
Which States Have the Most National Parks in America?
California, Alaska, Utah, and Colorado have the most national parks in the United States.
Utah is home to five national parks, including the well-known Arches, Zion, and Canyonlands.
Colorado ranks fourth with four national parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
All four of these states provide a diverse range of landscapes as well as opportunities for outdoor leisure and history learning.
Which is the Least Visited National Park?
Despite having one of the greatest acreages at 8.4 million acres, Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve receives the fewest visitors.
Visitors can explore the region at their leisure because there are no roads, paths, or organized campsites.
However, in order to gain access, you must climb or fly in.
With 7000 visitors in 2021, this national park will not be crowded.
The National Park of American Samoa in the South Pacific is the second least visited national park.
In the same year, it received little under 8,500 visits.
States Without a National Park – Are National Parks Worth Visiting?
Having explored the list of states without a national park, let’s look at whether visiting national parks is worth it.
National parks are an important part of America’s past and should be visited at least once in a lifetime by everyone.
Some parks are quite popular, some states have more than others, and there are some states without a national park, but they all provide incredible experiences.
With proper planning, you may skip the majority of the crowds and have an unforgettable visit to some of the most beautiful spots on the planet.
Have you recently visited a national park?
Benefits of Visiting a National Park
NPS has listed a number of benefits of visiting a national park. They include:
Visiting parks improves your physical activity: You are increasing your physical, mental, and brain health whether you walk, roll, run, hike, or cycle at a leisurely or heart-pounding pace when you visit a national park.
Visiting parks increases your exposure to nature: Nature has a great impact on our health when we immerse ourselves in it through our senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Every park offers unique opportunities to improve your health.
Visiting parks promotes mindfulness: It is becoming more difficult to escape the distractions of daily life. You can feel happier and less anxious by engaging in mindfulness in parks or focusing on being present.
Visiting parks provides opportunities to socialize: Spending time with relatives and close companions, as well as meeting new people, makes us feel happier and more satisfied with our lives. A visit to a park is an excellent opportunity to invite someone to accompany you on your explorations or to strike up a chat with a knowledgeable park ranger or fellow visitor.
Visiting parks inspires curiosity and life-long learning: Parks safeguard, conserve, and share some of our most valuable historical and cultural resources. Visiting a park allows you to broaden your knowledge, challenge your perspective, and gain new abilities. Continuous education even improves brain function and self-esteem.
Indeed, national parks are worth visiting as they have numerous benefits on our health.
Final Thoughts on States Without a National Park
There are 20 states without a national park in America.
They include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
While in these states, there are many sites and travel destinations that you can enjoy while taking a break from the hustles and bustles of life.
Some of these states are home to some amazing beach destinations if you’re a beach lover.
So, pack your bags and head over to one of these states without a national park and experience a holiday away from nature!