National Parks Week was established to celebrate the over 400 national parks we have here in the United States. We’ve rounded up a quick list of national parks near our Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts that guests can enjoy.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, North Carolina: 76 miles to our Green Mountain Park

Experience the majesty of the blue mountains of Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in North Carolina. These are among the oldest mountains on earth and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is one of the nation’s oldest national parks in the US. Yes, the mountains really do look blue! This place is home to the Cherokee tribe who continue to keep their cultural traditions alive and also where over 4,000 artists keep Appalachian cultural traditions alive through music and craft-making.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

 

 

Dry Tortugas National Park, FL: 39 Miles to Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina

The Dry Tortugas are a group of small islands in the Florida Keys where Fort Jefferson, a giant abandoned coastal fortress, sits. The park is teeming with sea life  and in April, this place is a birdwatcher’s paradise – dozens of species of migratory birds can pass through this area in a single day! You’ll see colorful coral reefs and hear the legends of sunken ships and hidden treasures. It will take a little bit more planning on your part if you want to visit this unique park since it is only accessible by boat or plane, but it will be worth it.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

 

 

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, WI: 36 miles from Blackhawk Camping Resort 

Do you know how much we love trails? We’re willing to bet that you do by now, but hey, we can’t help ourselves. The National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin is over 1,200 miles long and was once home to woolly mammoth, saber tooth cats, and cave lions during the Ice Age. Though you may feel like the Ice Age trails provide you with that traditional “off-roading” experience, some of these trails purposely lead to the main streets of some Wisconsin communities. The trails are designed to “connect people and communities,” according to the website run by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Whether you’re interested in a day trip or an overnight backpacking adventure, the Ice Age Trail has an abundance of trails for everyone.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

 

 

Big Thicket National Preserve, TX: 68 miles from our Lake Conroe RV Resort 

Located about 68 miles east of the Thousand Trails Lake Conroe RV Resort, is the extremely dense Big Thicket National Preserve. This is the largest forest in Texas and has been described as one of the most biodiverse areas out of the tropics. With approximately 40 miles of hiking trails with distances ranging from 0.3 to 15 miles, visiting the Big Thicket is one of those bucket list items. Though there’s no definitive fencing or lines to mark the Thicket’s area, the park was established in 1974 to preserve the thicket’s rich and diverse wildlife. Primitive camping, canoeing, kayaking, and hunting are popular activities for visitors of the Big Thicket and there is enough to discover here you may find yourself spending a few days here!

Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve

 

 

Crater Lake National Park, OR: 73 miles from our Bend RV Campground 

Crater Lake National Park, the fifth oldest national park in the United States and the only national park in Oregon, was formed about 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama, a stratovolcano in the Oregon area of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, erupted. Crater Lakes is the second deepest crater lake in North America and it is the ninth deepest in the world. Visitors can bike, hike, fish and enjoy a plethora of other outdoor activities in Crater Lake National park. Come see a natural wonder whose story scientists have been trying to unravel for over 100 years.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

 

 

If you purchase a Zone Camping Pass during National Parks Week (April 18-26), youll also receive anAmerica the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, valued at $80. This pass covers entrance fees at National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, plus standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.