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Part One: Northeast
By Anastasia Iliou

Summer has always been a season of travel. Kids are off from school, the weather is promising, and everybody is in a good mood. Unfortunately, Disney World can end up costing your family thousands! A great alternative for us all to enjoy is a visit to any of our country’s beautiful National Parks. This month, which also happens to be National Trails month, we’ll focus on the Northeast for five hotspots where we can promise a safe and cheap vacation (and you’ll avoid the crowds)!

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, MaineAcadia
This gem is actually the first official national park in the eastern U.S – and this year is its 100th birthday, as the National Park Service has been operating for 100 years this year. Events are happening here all year long in celebration, but if you’re planning on heading as far north as Maine, you better go in the summer! All season long, you and your family can participate in a scavenger hunt, visit the Abbe museum, enjoy a narrated ferry ride, and so much more! The hiking trails are lined with granite mountains and all 45,000 acres are coated with meadows, marshes, forests and valleys. It is a truly unique park and a wonderful way to visit Maine.
Marsh Billings

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Vermont

Marsh Billings
Vermont probably makes you think of skiing and maple syrup, and it is probably the last state you would think of for Civil War-related activities. Marsh Billings park actually has a great Civil War walking tour, the Woodstock Tour. It includes the home of Senator Jacob Collamer, the Woodstock First Congregational Church, General Peter Washburn’s office, and the River Street Cemetery. You can also step inside the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion! If the history itinerary doesn’t suit you, maybe the poetry one will. Robert Frost actually wrote a lot of his poems in Vermont, and you can trek through all of the inspired areas, including a path for “The Road Not Taken.”
Delaware Water Gap

Delaware Water Gap, PADelaware Water Gap
The town is located about 26 miles east of Camelback Mountain and the Poconos, and about 85 miles west of NYC. Its proximity to New York is what makes the Deer Head Inn a fabulous place to go listen to brilliant jazz musicians after a day of exploring the many waterfalls and ever-forming mountains of Pennsylvania. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can travel through 28 miles of the Appalachian trail. The National Park Service has listed five historic sites to visit in the Delaware Water Gap and 15 stops for a scenic drive. There are also several opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting and swimming.
Patterson Great Falls

Patterson Great Falls, NJ Patterson Great Falls
Niagra Falls is cold, wet, crowded, and half of it is in Canada. Patterson Great Falls is smaller, but still beautiful and in an adorable, historic New Jersey neighborhood. Just a half-hour drive away, you’ll find Thomas Edison’s National Historic Park, where you can have all your questions about Edison’s personal and professional lives answered. Just five miles south of that is the 2,110 acre South Mountain Reservation that features the Rahway River and a dog park, as well as “Washington Rock,” a Revolutionary War memorial.
Harpers Ferry Park

Harpers Ferry Park, WVHarpers Ferry Park
What is there to do in West Virginia, you ask? Nature, nature, nature. The state is loaded with beautiful parks and landmarks. Cooper’s Rock State Forest is full of scenic overlooks and features eleven rustic structures that were built from chestnut trees between 1936 and 1942 (which almost wiped out the species). If you’re looking for a good hike, Harper’s Ferry Park is where you need to go. On June 25th, Harper’s Ferry is hosting the 15th Annual Don Redman Jazz Heritage Awards & Concert in a picnic style event, and the Charles Washington Symphony Orchestra will play there on July 9th. Get out your calendars and find a picnic blanket! You can also sign up to have a picnic in 1860-style on July 2nd ($30). There’s something for everyone.

That’s the thing about National Parks – there’s always something for everyone. Whether it’s physical activity, history, or peering out the car window at nature’s beauty, you can find it and love it in one of America’s great National Parks. Try it this summer! / Issue 183 - September 1884
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