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.
One million people visit the Everglades every year to observe its precious ecosystem of tropical wading birds, Florida panthers, crocodiles, and manatees. In the continental United States, it is the third largest park next to Yellowstone and Death Valley at 1.5 million acres and is the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi River. The best way to take it all in is to bike along the seven-mile Long Pine Key Nature Trail where you can see everything from wild turkeys to black bears.
Don't Miss: The Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile maze frequented by canoers, kayakers, and powerboaters that takes at least eight days to complete by paddle. But the accommodations are worth it. Sleep at beachfront campsites if you can find them or in chickees – wooden platforms built by the National Park Service – that sit above alligators lurking in the swamps below.
Credit: Robert Holland / Getty Images