April is when spring begins to make her arrival in Michigan. I welcome it with open arms after the long cold winter. When the first seedlings make their appearance I get so excited. Even though there is usually still snow on the ground, I know what is just around the corner… FLOWERS GALORE. So before winter hits this year, I want to decide which are the best national parks for a spring adventure! It would be so enchanting to experience the flowers blooming while hiking in some of our national parks.
The Best National Parks for a Spring Adventure
1. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
In spring Shenandoah National Park blooms wildflowers that cover the forests, delivering a beautiful display throughout the season. At just 75 miles away from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah is an easy adventure away from the bustling city.
In Spring, Shenandoah National Park Is Ablaze With Colorful Wildflowers
The party begins in early spring (late March) as the hepatica, and bloodroot starts growing through the forest leaf litter. As the days get warmer, purple and yellow violets (my favorite!), the large-flowered trillium, pink lady’s slippers, and wild geraniums emerge throughout the forest. Gushing waterfalls provide the forest with water and incredible views for hikers.
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If it’s raining, escape to Luray Caverns, located just outside the park boundaries, for a cave adventure filled with towering stalagmite formations and giant caverns.
Where to Stay in Shenandoah National Park
2. Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, North Carolina
Each spring, the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park bloom. The park is a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity—over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants call the park home, that’s more than any other North American national park. Keep an eye out for spring flowers such as orchids, violets, bleeding hearts, showy orchis, fire pink, columbine, and other native flora.
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Wildflower enthusiasts enjoy the flower show during the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. A week-long festival of programs and guided hikes and walks that explore the diversity of the park. Later in spring, synchronous fireflies light up the woodland hollows.
Where to Stay in Smoky Mountains National Park
The Best National Parks to Visit in Spring
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, a family trip, or even a solo trip the best national parks for a spring adventure will help you reconnect and relax. And as an added bonus, April also brings the annual National Park Week, a celebration that offers free admission to all of the parks!
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3. Everglades National Park
It is important to know that the Everglades have two very distinct seasons: dry season and wet season. Spring in the Everglades is during the dry season and the best time to spot wildlife (along with fewer mosquitos). When we visited in April we saw alligators, egrets, herons, and wood storks to name a few.
Bird watchers will especially enjoy Everglades National Park. as more than 360 different species of birds have been sighted. If you’re lucky, you might spot a Manatee bobbing up and down, grazing on seagrass.
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Where to Stay in Everglades National Park
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
As the first national park in the country, Yellowstone National Park is a perfect place for getting away from it all. Springtime at Yellowstone National Park means milder temperatures, wildflowers, uncrowded hot springs, and plenty of wildlife. Bears emerge from hibernation between March and April, migrating birds arrive just before May. And of course, Yellowstone National Park is always a great place to view wildflowers. The appearance of spring beauties, glacier lilies, and steer’s head announce spring in the park.
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Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park
5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
In the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula lies Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Stretch your legs on the expansive sandy beach after a long winter, and climb the bluffs that tower 450′ above Lake Michigan.
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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has plenty of water recreation activities. In the springtime, cherry blossoms transform the surrounding Leelanau Peninsula.
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Where to Stay Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore