National Parks in Your Backyard

Our national parks are some of this nation’s greatest treasures. From the spires of the Grand Tetons to the wetlands of the Everglades to the the snowy slopes of Denali—America’s national parks have some thing for everyone. Probably many things for everyone!

There are over 400 parks and units in the National Park Service system, but only 63 are designated as national parks (as in Acadia National Park or Yellowstone National Park).

In the Mid-Atlantic region, there are not many national parks, but there are plenty of other National Park Service sites—including national recreation areas, national historical sites and parks, and national memorials and monuments (among others).

In the Eastern US

Several of the more recent national parks are in the broader east coast region. Cuyahoga Valley is in eastern Ohio, Conagree is South Carolina, and New River Gorge is in West Virginia. The most-visited national park in 2023 was Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. The most-visited National Park Service unit in 2023 was the Blue Ridge Parkway, in Virginia and North Carolina.

In Our Region

The closest National Park Service sites are Gettysburg National Military Park (as well as Eisenhower National Historic Site) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The closest national park is Shenandoah National Park—a mere 2-3 hour drive away!

The Zimmerman Center for Heritage (near Wrightsville) is one of the primary visitor centers for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. It’s one of 21 national historic trails as well as one of two water trails.

Learn More at the Library

If you need some guides to, and other information about our wonderful National Park System, you need to look no further than your local library!

At the Dillsburg Area Public Library, we have the following available for check out:

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, 2009

The National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes by Ted Alvarez, 2016

USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks by Becky Lomax, 2018 (note – there are now 63 parks)

Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks by Mark Wood, 2016

Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes by Leonard Adkins, 2018

Bicycling Gettysburg National Military Park by Sue Thibodeau, 2019

A Field Guide to Gettysburg by Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, 2017

Hiking Shenandoah National Park by Bert Gildart and Jane Gildart, 2023

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip by Jason Frye, 2023

Hope this helps you find your park…