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New England's Top Parks

The Most Visited National Parks in New England

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Cape Cod National Seashore Photo

The Cape Cod National Seashore is one of New England's most visited national parks.

© 2000 Kim Knox Beckius
Acadia National Park Otter Cliffs

New England's first national park, Acadia in Maine, remains one of the most popular destinations in the region.

© 2011 Kim Knox Beckius
Updated: 03/04/14

New England's 18 National Parks operated by the National Park Service draw millions of travelers to the region each year. Which parks are the perennial annual favorites, drawing the largest numbers of visitors? Here's a quick look at the way the Top 10 Parks sort out according to 2013 attendance figures.

1. Cape Cod National Seashore
2013 Visitors: 4,501,898
Location: Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Hotels: Compare Rates and Reviews for Hotels Near the Cape Cod National Seashore

New England travelers love the beach! The total number of 2013 visitors to the Cape Cod National Seashore was nearly double the attendance at the next most visited National Park in the region. This park features 44,600 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, plus lighthouses and other historic structures, numerous Cape Cod-style houses, six beaches for swimming, 11 self-guiding nature trails for walking and hiking, and a variety of picnic and scenic overlook areas.

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2. Acadia National Park
2013 Visitors: 2,254,922
Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
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Acadia was the first National Park established east of the Mississippi River. Each year, millions of people flock to this preserved paradise that boasts ocean, mountains, forests and lakes within its confines. Popular activities include driving the 27-mile Park Loop Road to view dazzling scenery; walking, hiking and biking on 45 miles of carriage roads; hiking 125 miles of trails rated from easy to strenuous; fishing; boating; horse-drawn carriage rides; cross-country skiing; snowshoeing and Ranger-led bird walks and other programs.

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3. Boston National Historical Park
2013 Visitors: 2,245,875
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Hotels: Boston Hotels Guide

Boston National Historical Park is actually a collection of eight historic sites, seven of which are connected by the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile (4-km) walking tour of a total of 16 sites and structures of historic importance in downtown Boston and Charlestown. The eight sites are the Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown Navy Yard and Dorchester Heights. A visit to these sites provides an in-depth look at the roots of the American struggle for freedom.

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4. Minute Man National Historical Park
2013 Visitors: 947,894
Location: Concord, Massachusetts
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Since 1959, visitors to Minute Man National Historical Park have been able to roam the battlefields that served as the opening arena for the American Revolution. Minute Man consists of more than 900 acres of land that wind along original segments of the Battle Road for April 19, 1775. As an added attraction, the park also preserves and interprets the 19th-century literary revolution through The Wayside, former home of three New England writers: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Sidney.

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5. Lowell National Historical Park
2013 Visitors: 517,763
Location: Lowell, Massachusetts
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The Industrial Revolution looms large at this park that features guided tours of textile mills, worker housing, 5.6 miles of canals and 19th-century commercial buildings. Boat tours are offered seasonally. Learning about the typical day of a "mill girl" may just make you appreciate your job! All in all, the park covers 141 acres of land.

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