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Reader Participation Day: Which Is The Most Overlooked, Or Under Appreciated, Unit Of The National Park System?


Is the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial the most overlooked unit of the National Park System? Photo of Kosciuszko's bedroom by NPS.

There are nearly 400 units in the National Park System, and not all are loved the same. Which, in your opinion, is the most overlooked or under appreciated unit of all?

Might it be Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Arizona? Or Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site in North Dakota? Or perhaps it is Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park in Hawaii, or maybe Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia.

Let us know and we'll try to share some love with the most undervalued unit.


As I've thought about this one this morning, I can't name any particularly outstanding unit that is overlooked, but I do kinda figure Americans in general have a tendency to under appreciate all of them.

I had a customer tell me about Great Basin National Park. At the time I had never heard of it but they peaked my interest to check it out next time I am in Nevada.

In the future Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will be more appreciated for its many spectacular canyons and for its wild roadless areas, which extend miles beyond the park boundary onto BLM-managed lands. Some day it will be Glen Canyon National Park.

Here are a few standouts for me that don't seem to get too much attention:

The North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt NP

The backcountry of Wind Cave NP

Hot Springs NP

David, when you finally find a chance to get to Great Basin, you are in of one whale of a treat!

Over on Traveler's Facebook page, someone mentioned Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota. Gotta admit I don't recall coming across that unit. Sounds like it would be interesting to visit, though, just as Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site surprised me last summer.

Perhaps this is going somewhere not necessarily intended, but I think the most underappreciated places are our federal recreation areas that aren't under NPS control. Far too often there are potential visitors who see the magic name "National Park Service" as some sort of imprimatur that sets a standard for how important or grand a site will be. The most underappreciated places to me are many federal lands under the control of the Forest Service and BLM. Fortunately for many, this means that their visitation levels are low enough that one can enjoy them without excessive crowds.

I second that, Lee.

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