As the National Park Service gears up for its centennial in 2016, it's re-branding to attract a broader audience. So far, the only major change has been to the logo, which trades the busy nature scene sketch for a single white arrowhead. Park Service representative Kathy Kupper said more changes will come, but they'll mostly take place in 2015 and won't affect the parks themselves.
"Baby boomers grew up with parks, but 50 years ago or so, distractions like Disneyland and theme parks began to pop up," Kupper said. "Now, with the internet age, we began to worry that they could be forgotten. So we're revamping a little."
While a new look is welcome, longtime park patrons known that what makes parks significant isn't the packaging, but what's inside their borders. Still, the more popular parks get crowded – Yellowstone gets an average of 26,500 visitors every day in July – so it's wise to seek out new territory. In that spirit, we rounded up 23 of the most scenic national parks and their best attractions, from the quiet lighthouses at Michigan's Isle Royale to glaciers only viewed by seaplane in Wrangell-St. Elias.
Biscayne National Park is the largest in the country – although most of it is underwater. Located in south Florida, Biscayne has some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the country. The park was originally proposed to be included in Everglades National Park but wasn't designated a national monument until 1968, after locals protested further development on the land. Twelve years later, the area was re-established as a national park and today, is mostly accessible only by boat.
Don't Miss: In the early 1900s, Elliott Key, the park's largest island, was inhabited by a community of pineapple farmers. These days, the seven-mile land mass is a hub for camping, fishing, swimming, and the park’s only hiking trail. There are grills, restrooms and picnic tables scattered around the grounds, but the Park Service suggests you bring your own water.
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