Acadia National Park, Maine
The first officially designated national park in the eastern United States, Acadia's 47,000 acres boast woodlands, rocky beaches and granite peaks, among them Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast.
Adirondack Mountains, New York
From Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York State, to family-friendly Mount Jo and popular Algonquin, the Algonquin's 46 High Peaks, each at or near 4,000 feet high, provide ample opportunities for hiking and other forms of outdoor recreation.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway, the most frequently visited attraction in the National Park System, weaves and winds it way though 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to be enjoyed along this scenic route.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
This park, encompassing more than 800 square miles, boasts 150 hiking trails that cater to every interest. Whether you'd like to enjoy a waterfall, old-growth forest, or scenic views, you'll find a trail just perfect for you.
The Appalachian Trail, Maine to Georgia
Connecting 14 states from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail is the world's longest hiking-only footpath in the world, covering some 2,190 miles. In the neighborhood of 3 million people a year hike all or some portion of the trail every year.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
This lakeshore follows the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles, boasting sandstone cliffs, dunes, waterfalls, lakes and forest, in addition to beaches and sand dunes. Hiking, camping and a variety of other seasonal outdoor activities beckon travelers.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
This Texas-sized park, covering 801,163 acres, features more than 150 miles of hiking trails, with elevations ranging from 1,800 feet along the Rio Grande to 7,832 feet on Emory Peak in the Chisos Mountains. That range of elevation makes for a wide variety of plants, animals, and scenic vistas.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
This often spectacularly scenic park covers 415 square miles and boasts more than 300 miles of hiking trails. As you might expect, the park boasts a wide range of elevations, from 7,500 to over 12,000 feet.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon, a national park since 1928, is best known for its colorful limestone rock carved by nature's forces into unusual shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos." Small by National Park standards, the park covers just 56.2 square miles.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This inspiring example of nature's handiwork is 277 river miles, up to 18 miles wide, and, most important for anyone considering a hike to the bottom, a mile deep. A trip all the way down and back up takes more than a single day, but the park offers many day hikes, too.
Yosemite National Park, California
Covering nearly 1,200 square miles, Yosemite is best known for its waterfalls, but it also boasts deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias and more than 750 miles of trail to explore. First protected in 1864, Yosemite was designated a national park in 1890.
Pacific Crest Trail, California, Oregon and Washington
The first recorded proposal of a trail that would traverse Washington, Oregon and California dates to 1926, and in the decades since, many have worked to make that dream a reality. The Pacific Crest Trail, approximately 2,650 miles in length, was named a National Scenic Trail in 1968.
Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon
The Three Sisters Wilderness area covers 281,190 acres, with approximately 260 miles of hiking trails. It boasts peaks of more than 10,000 feet, alpine meadows, waterfalls, lava fields and glacial lakes.
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon
This forest's 2.3 million acres extend from the Blue Mountains and rugged Wallowa Mountains down to the canyon country of the Snake River on the Idaho border and include more than 2,700 miles of trails. In addition to hiking, activities such as camping, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding can be enjoyed.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
An active volcano, Mount Rainier rises to an elevation of 14,410 feet above sea level, and the best way to experience it is the Wonderland Trail, which celebrated its centennial last year. As park ranger superintendent Roger Toll wrote in 1920: "There is a trail that encircles the mountain. It is a trail that leads through primeval forests, close to the mighty glaciers, past waterfalls and dashing torrents, up over ridges, and down into canyons; it leads through a veritable wonderland of beauty and grandeur."
READ MORE: 7 TIPS TO GET YOUR KIDS OUTSIDE