Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier – at least one of these places probably belongs to your wish list. And that is normal; it is not only you on this planet that wants to visit some of the most popular and most wonderful national parks. No worries, you will probably visit them one day. However, what you should have in mind is that the world is an incredible place and sometimes nature tends to surprise us at corners we haven’t expected.
13 National Parks
If you paid attention to the headline, then you already know what we are talking about here. But honestly – why would you decide to visit a not so famous national park instead of taking a tour at the ones known as the best in the world? Well, you’ve maybe heard how people say that the journey to the undiscovered can be a marvelous experience. And that’s quite the thing with these unknown national parks – in your journey of the undiscovered you explore and can discover the magic of the world (even yourself). So, are you prepared to give these hidden gems a chance? Take a big cup of coffee, because here are some wonderful national parks you’ve probably never heard of:
Location: Italy, Europe
Truth is – if you decide to visit Italy, then you will have to face a tough choice. This charming country has a lot to offer – from nice cities with spectacular architecture and dynamic everyday life, to peaceful nature getaways. Well, here’s a place you’re probably not familiar with and is found in the north-west part of Italy. It is called Gran Paradiso National Park and it is located in the Graian Alps, between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions. Just like its name, this park is a true paradise and it has everything you need when it comes to nature. It has mountains, trees, big green grass, small glaciers, lakes, wildlife and on top of all – a place from where you can see everything and enjoy it in peace. And the best part is – you don’t necessarily have to be in Italy to be close to visit this national park. You can also do this if you are staying in France, as the location of the park is close to the border of Italy with France.
Location: Finland, Europe
This natural beauty borders another national park called Paanajärvi in Russia. Oulanka can be a magical fairytale, especially during winter time when everything is white and idyllic. The first people known to have inhabited the lands of this national park are the Sami people from Lapland. And they sure had a lovely place to live at; the Oulanka Park is rich with flora and fauna and offers a bunch of breathtaking sights. In summer Oulanka is covered with the most popular flowers of the area – the wild orchids. Even though you might not have heard of it, you must know that Oulanka is one of the most popular national parks in Finland. And what most people like doing here is hiking. There are several trekking trails, some of them open throughout the whole year.
Gates of the Arctic
Location: Alaska, USA
The Gates of the Arctic – it already sounds mysterious and desirable, right? This national park is a true wonder and is known to be the northernmost national park in the U.S. The thing with this park is that it is truly beautiful. Unfortunately, it is barely visited by tourists and the main reason for this is that the national park has no roads or trails that can make the visit of the tourists easy and available. However, hikers can still go on an adventure and enjoy the beauty of this national park, even camp there when possible. The area of the Gates of the Arctic are mainly covered in parts of the Brooks Range and six wild and scenic rivers such as: Alatna River, John River, Kobuk River and others.
Location: Sweden, Europe
Even though the country is cold, one visit to the Sarek National Park can instantly warm your heart. This is a place where you can find more than 100 glaciers and not even a single person bothering you with problems. Sarek is located in the north of Sweden, in Jokkmokk Municipality, Lapland. It was established in 1909–1910, which makes it one of the oldest national parks in Europe. The park holds several high peaks and the second highest mountain in Sweden – Sarektjåkkå. Apart from this place being a heaven for mountaineers, it is also interesting for people that would like to see reindeers in their natural surroundings.
Location: Norway, Europe
When it comes to outdoor destinations and natural wonders, then Norway is one of the best places to visit in Europe. Their landscapes are to fall in love with. Steep mountains and ice fields are characteristic for Rago, a national park really worth the visit. From the wildlife specific for this region you can come across the beavers in the deep Laksaga river valley. However be careful since you might also encounter some wolverines along your way, especially at the higher parts of the area.
Wrangell – St. Ellias
Location: Alaska, USA
Yet another national park in Alaska, this one a bit different than the one mentioned before. Even though it may not be as popular as Yellowstone, this park is known to be one of the largest in the USA. However people don’t seem to visit it that much, even though the sights that the Wrangell – St. Ellias national park offers are spectacular.
Location: North Dakota, USA
In case you were wondering, the connection between the name of the national park and the U.S. President is not a coincidence. This national park is quite a fascinating land that is divided in three parts: the South Unit, the North Unit and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. The landscape, its characteristic rock formations and rich wildlife are perfect for a day spent sightseeing. This is enabled with the 100 miles of foot and horse trails and the opportunity to discover the area Theodore Roosevelt fell in love with.
Location: Taiwan, Asia
Kenting is Taiwan’s oldest and southernmost national park and is known to be a great escape for the people of Taiwan. The scenic mountains and the lovely beach make the most of the fascinating landscape of Kenting. Even though you may not have heard of this national park, it is pretty popular, especially when it comes to the organization of the Spring Scream outdoor music festival.
National Park of American Samoa
Location: American Samoa, USA
Such an extraordinary national park is found in the American Territory of American Samoa and is distributed across the separate islands of: Tua, Tutuila and Ofu. This wonderful destination is the perfect mix of tropical rainforests, coral reefs, enchanting flora and diverse fauna. Unfortunately, this amazing national park is prone to changes as a consequence of global warming. This is why you should decide to visit this lovely territory before it is too late.
Location: Hawaii, USA
A place like no other, Haleakala is a national park located on the island of Maui, representing a wilderness area in Hawaii. The name of this national park comes from the Hawaiian phrase “house of the sun”. This is so because according to a local legend, the semi god Maui imprisoned the sun in order to make the day last longer. One of the main attractions here is the Haleakalā Crater, even though scientists have discovered that this crater is not volcanic in origin.
Location: Madagascar, Africa
Lokobe is actually a reserve, located in northwestern Madagascar. If you are an animal lover and want to discover new species, then this is the right place for you. You may encounter rare animals like the lemur and have an opportunity to go on a tour of the park with a boat.
Location: Kazakhstan, Asia
Located in the Almaty Region, this national park was established in 1996. The amazing landscape basically made from glaciers, alpine meadows, woodlands and lakes is the best part of this area. The park is also rich with over 300 species of animals and birds, like the snow leopard, Tean-Shan brown bear, golden eagle etc. If you’re visiting this part of the world, then take a look at this wonderful destination.
Location: Macedonia, Europe
A national park you’ve never heard of in a country you’ve probably also never heard of, Pelister is definitely worth your time. The woods of this national park are quite amazing, but the best part must be the view from above, looking over the two glacial lakes called the Pelister eyes. The brown trout is specific for this region, as are many other species of fauna and flora. It is a magnificent national park waiting to be discovered.
Have you discovered a national park that you have fallen in love with, yet it is not so popular among tourists? Share it with us and the world and let them know about the beauties this world holds.