What States Have No National Parks?

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National parks are popular destinations for outdoorsmen and adventurers, but there’s only 63 in the U.S. Because of this, many states don’t have one. Don’t let this stop you from trying to find great hikes in these states! We put together this list of what states have no national parks to help get the wheels turning on hiking ideas. It all starts with the only state that doesn’t have any national sites: Delaware.

Delaware

Cape Henlopen State Park

Delaware is the only state in the union that doesn’t have a single national park service designation (national park, national preserve, national monument, national memorial, national historic site, national seashore, national battlefield park, etc.). Don’t let this discourage you from visiting the state and enjoying some hiking. Despite the lack of national sites, there are a lot of other great state parks and trails to enjoy. These include:

  • Cape Henlopen State Park (pictured above)
  • Lums Pond State Park
  • Brandywine Creek State Park
  • Middle Run Valley Park
  • And so many more…

If you’re planning a trip to the northeast, Delaware is worth checking out. I know it doesn’t have the national resume many hikers want, but you’ll definitely find some good trails along the way.

The Other 19

So, I know I just said Delaware is the only state without a national site, but there are in fact 19 more that don’t have a “national park” designation on the list of 63 parks we generally think about. They do, however, have numerous national sites and trails that are worth exploring. Check out each one below and the sites within each state. Some of these places are cooler and more historic than what you’ll find in the national parks.

There’s also some massive trails included in these states that every hiker should venture at some point in their life. To name a few, there’s:

  • Appalachian Trail
  • Trail of Tears
  • New England Trail

Without further delay, here’s the Other 19.

Alabama

Little River Canyon National Preserve

Visitors To National Sites: 1.2 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, Horseshoe Bend National Battlefield Park, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Natchez Trace National Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Russell Cave National Monument, Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail, Trail Of Tears, National Historic Trail, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

Connecticut

Weir Farm

Visitors To National Sites: 25,400

Other National Sites To Explore: Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Coltsville National Historic Park, New England National Scenic Trail, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, Weir Farm National Historic Park

Georgia

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Visitors To National Sites: 6.7 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Andersonville National Historic Site, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Fort Frederica National Monument, For Pulaski National Monument, Jimmy Carter National Historical Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, Ocmulgee Mounds, Trail Of Tears

Illinois

Lincoln's Home

Visitors To National Sites: 27,700

Other National Sites To Explore: Lewis & Clark National Trail, Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Mormon Pioneer National Trail, Pullman Park, Trail of Tears

Iowa

Effigy Mounds

Visitors To National Sites: 74,400

Other National Sites To Explore: Effigy Mounds, Herbert Hoover National Site, Lewis & Clark National Trail, Mormon Pioneer National Trail

Kansas

Tallgrass Prairie

Visitors To National Sites: 69,800

Other National Sites To Explore: Brown v. Board of Education Park, California National Trail, Fort Larned, Fort Scott, Lewis & Clark National Trail, Nicodemus National Site, Oregon Trail, Pony Express National Trail, Santa Fe National Trail, Tallgrass Prairie

Louisiana

Jean Lafitte Preserve

Visitors To National Sites: 219,600

Other National Sites To Explore: Cane River Creole Park, El Camino Real de los Tejas National Trail, Jean Lafitte Preserve, New Orleans Jazz Park, Poverty Point, Vicksburg

Maryland

Horses on Assateague Island

Visitors To National Sites: 5.9 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Antietam, Appalachian National Trail, Assateague Island, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Trail, Catoctin Mountain, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Park, Chesapeake Bay, Civil War Defenses of Washington, Clara Barton National Site, Fort Foote, Fort McHenry, Fort Washington, George Washington Parkway, Glen Echo Park, Greenbelt Park, Hampton National Site, Harmony Hall, Harpers Ferry, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Park, Monocacy, Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm, Piscataway Park, Potomac Heritage National Trail, Star-Spangled Banner National Trail, Thomas Stone National Site, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

Massachusetts

Trail in the Cape Cod National Seashore

Visitors To National Sites: 5.8 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Adams Park, Appalachian National Trail, Blackstone River Valley, Boston Park, Boston African American National Site, Boston Harbor Islands, Cape Cod National Seashore, Frederick Law Olmstead National Site, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Site, Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters, Lowell Park, Minute Man Park, New Bedford Whaling Park, New England National Trail, Salem Maritime National Site, Saugus Iron Works, Springfield Armory, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

Mississippi

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Visitors To National Sites: 6 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Brices Cross Roads, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home, Natchez Park, Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace National Trail, Shiloh Park, Tupelo National Battlefield, Vicksburg Park

Nebraska

Niobrara National Scenic River

Visitors To National Sites: 334,000

Other National Sites To Explore: Agate Fossil Beds, California National Trail, Homestead Park, Lewis & Clark National Trail, Missouri National Recreational River, Mormon Pioneer National Trail, Niobrara National Scenic River, Oregon Trail, Pony Express National Trail, Scotts Bluff

New Hampshire

Section of Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire

Visitors To National Sites: 13,200

Other National Sites To Explore: Appalachian National Trail, Saint-Gaudens Park

New Jersey

Pinelands

Visitors To National Sites: 5.5 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Appalachian National Trail, Delaware Water Gap, Ellis Island, Gateway Recreational Area, Great Egg Harbor River, Lower Delaware Scenic River, Morristown Park, New Jersey Pinelands, Paterson Great Falls Park, Thomas Edison Park, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

New York

Fire Island Seashore

Visitors To National Sites: 8.6 million

Other National Sites To Explore: African Burial Ground Monument, Appalachian Trail, Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail, Castle Clinton, Chesapeake Bay, Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site, Ellis Island, Federal Hall, Fire Island Seashore, Fort Stanwix, Gateway Recreation Area, General Grant Memorial, Govenors Island, Hamilton Grange Memorial, Harriet Tubman Park, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Martin Van Buren Historic Site, National Parks of New York Harbor, North Country Trail, Sagamore Hill, St. Paul’s Church, Saratoga Park, Statue of Liberty, Stonewall Monument, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Site, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Thomas Cole Historic Site, Upper Delaware River, Vanderbilt Mansion, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail, Women’s Rights Park

Oklahoma

Bridge in Chickasaw Recreation Area

Visitors To National Sites: 1.3 million

Other National Sites To Explore: Chickasaw Recreation Area, Fort Smith, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Santa Fe National Trail, Trail of Tears, Washita Battlefield Site

Pennsylvania

Forest near Fort Necessity

Visitors To National Sites: 5.5 million

Other National Sites To Explore:Allegheny Portage Railroad, Appalachian Trail, Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Water Gap, Edgar Allen Poe Historic Site, Eisenhower Historic Site, First State Park, Flight 93 Memorial, Fort Necessity, Friendship Hill, Gettysburg, Gloria Dei Church, Hopewell Furnace, Independence Park, Johnstown Flood Memorial, Lewis & Clark Trail, Lower Delaware River, North Country Trail, Potomac Heritage Trail, Steamtown, Thaddeus Kosciuszko Memorial, Upper Delaware River, Valley Forge, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

Rhode Island

Roger Williams Memorial

Visitors To National Sites: 13,900

Other National Sites To Explore: Blackstone River Valley Park, Roger Williams Memorial, Touro Synagogue Site, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

Vermont

Section of Appalachian Trail in Vermont

Visitors To National Sites: 23,500

Other National Sites To Explore: Appalachian National Trail, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park, North Country National Trail

Wisconsin

Caves at Apostle Islands Lakeshore

Visitors To National Sites: 618,000

Other National Sites To Explore: Apostle Islands Lakeshore, Ice Age Scenic Trail, North Country Scenic Trail, St. Croix Scenic Riverway

National Park vs. Other National Sites

A national park is what we all generally think of when talking about the parks service (the list of 63 below). What people sometimes forget is the National Parks Service (NPS) actually manages over 400 national sites. Many of us want to visit the parks because they have the most to do amd see. However, these other sites carry significance in our country’s history as well as its preservation.

According to the NPS, a national park covers large areas of land and water to protect a variety of resources for present and future visitors.

The other sites all have different goals as well, for example, a national monument is designated to “protect one specific resource that lacks the same diversity as a park”. Whereas a national lakeshore is meant to “protect the shoreline while providing water-oriented recreation to visitors.”

These sites will also protect historically significant areas, such as national battlefields or national memorials to commemorate people or an event.

It’s important to note these differences because even though some states don’t have a national park, they still have very important national sites with significance. These sites have also provided us with some great hikes over the years.

List Of Every U.S. National Park (Alphabetically)

Acadia National Park

Arches National Park

Badlands National Park

Big Bend National Park

Biscayne National Park

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Congaree National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Denali National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Everglades National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Gates Of The Arctic National Park

Gateway Arch National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier Bay National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Great Basin National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Haleakala National Park

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hot Springs National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

Isle Royale National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Katmai National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park

Lake Clark National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

National Park Of American Samoa

New River Gorge National Park

North Cascades National Park

Olympic National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Pinnacles National Park

Redwood National Park

Saguaro National Park

Sequoia National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

Voyageurs National Park

White Sands National Park

Wind Cave National Park

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park

Zion National Park

National Parks FAQs

How many national parks are in the U.S?

There are 63 national parks in the U.S.

How many national park service sites are there in the U.S.?

There are 424 national park sites in the U.S.

What state has the most national parks?

California has the most with nine national parks.

What’s the most visited national park?

Great Smoky Mountains is the busiest park with 14 million visitors in 2022.

What’s the least visited national park?

National Park of American Samoa had the least number of visitors in 2022 with 1,887. Gates of the Arctic was second with 9,457.

What’s the largest national park?

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest at 8.3 million acres, 13.2 million (20,625 square miles) including all of the land within the park and preserve.

What is the first national park?

Yellowstone is the first national park, established in 1872. Check out the order of creation for all national parks.

Final Thoughts

National parks have some of the best hikes in the United States; however, there’s many states that don’t have one. Don’t let this stop you from visiting these states and experiencing different types of hikes. Some of my best adventures have been in these states listed and on trails that don’t fall within a national park boundary. I urge you to explore these sites, you’ll either find some great hikes or historically significant places. Stay tuned for guides on some of them!