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The Green Life: Lonely National Parks Seek Visitors

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October 15, 2009

Lonely National Parks Seek Visitors

Swam.traill Meet Congaree National Park. It's a peaceful marshland in South Carolina boasting old-growth floodplain forests, tranquil fishing spots, and a 50-mile paddling trail for canoeists and kayakers. 

But as of August, Congaree had only gotten about 63,000 visitors in 2009. Compare that to the 3.5 million Yosemite gets each year and we're left thinking: where's the love?

Don’t get us wrong – we adore the heavy hitters on our national park lineup. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and others of the in-crowd have rightfully earned our affection. But there's a whole realm of overlooked parks packed with prime hiking, camping, and paddling opportunities. Visit them, and you can expect fewer gift shops and more chances to connect with nature.

That's why we were delighted when the Los Angeles Times ran a photo essay about Congaree and more of our least-visited national parks. It has us itching for our tents and hiking boots.

-- Année Tousseau

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