6 National Parks Every Senior Should Visit

Acadia National Park

Located on the coast of Maine, this nearly 50,000-acre park features sprawling forests, rocky coastlines, remote islands and historic lighthouses. Acadia National Park offers a wide range of senior-friendly transportation, from shuttle buses to horse-drawn carriage rides along historic carriage roads. Anglers and birdwatchers will enjoy the abundance of wildlife, and in the fall, the explosion of colors make Acadia a leaf-peeper’s paradise.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Accessible only by ferry, boat or seaplane, Dry Tortugas is one of the most remote National Parks in the country. Located in the Florida Keys, this national treasure boasts a wealth of senior-friendly activities. History buffs can tour Fort Jefferson, the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas, while anglers can cast a line and fish the day away. And with 300 known species of birds, Dry Tortugas is also a wonderful bird watching destination.

Shenandoah National Park

Want to take a national park road trip? Then Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is the place to be. If you love mountain views, but don’t love to hike, you can start up the car and head down Skyline Drive. This 105-mile road through the Blue Ridge Mountains takes about three hours to drive in one direction, so pack a picnic and your camera and stop at one of this historic road’s many scenic overlooks. This mountain road is winding, but those with vision or stamina limitations can still enjoy the ride with a friend or loved one behind the wheel.

Mammoth Cave National Park

You’ve heard of the great outdoors, but how about the great underground? Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system with over 420 miles of known passageways. Park visitors can explore the ethereal cave formations on a range of tours, including mobility-friendly cave walks led by park rangers. There’s also plenty to do above ground, from hiking the rolling Kentucky hills to fishing and boating along the Green River.

Grand Canyon National Park

There’s a reason this national park gets so much love — because people of all ages can enjoy its stunning views. The Grand Canyon is especially accessible for those with mobility issues, with plenty of paved walking and viewing areas, bus tours and accessible driving permits that allow you to visit a few mobility-friendly areas of the park that aren’t open to the rest of the public. You can even arrange an accessible mule ride into the canyon if planned in advance. 

To get the most out of your trip, stay the night at one of the Grand Canyon’s historic lodges. Just make sure to book far in advance, as these lodgings are popular.

Zion National Park

Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is known for its soaring red cliffs carved by the Virgin River. Shuttle buses are available to bring visitors to the park’s most iconic features, such as Angels Landing and the Great White Throne. You can even take a ranger-led bus tour to get a deeper dive into the canyon’s history. On Pa’rus Trail, a paved, wheelchair-friendly walkway allows for easy access to Zion Canyon and the visitor center, where you can attend free patio talks by park rangers.   

Get Inspired to Get Outside

Looking for some inspiration as you plan your national park adventure? Check out our interview with Joy Ryan, an 85-year-old grandmother and Instagram influencer who’s on a journey to visit as many national parks as she can. 


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