There are a massive 17 National Parks to include in your Great Lakes travel plans, and here are just a few to visit during the year.

The Great Lakes USA is the largest expanse of freshwater in the world with a unique and diverse landscape. This region which is the size of continental Europe includes the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Here are the most stunning national parks to factor into your Great Lakes travel plans.

Pictured Rocks, Michigan

Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor adventures can all be achieved. The lakeshore hugs Lake Superior for more than 40 miles in the north of Michigan.

The state of Michigan has an additional four National Parks; Isle Royale, Keweenaw, Sleeping Bear Dunes and River Raisin.

Fun Fact: Pictured Rocks was the first officially designated National Lakeshore in the United States.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore national parks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo: Ren Keyport via Flickr

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Along windswept beaches and cliffs, visitors experience where water meets land and past meets present. The 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland are home to a unique blend of cultural and natural resources. Lighthouses shine over Lake Superior and the new wilderness areas. You can hike, paddle, sail, or cruise to experience these Jewels of Lake Superior.

Wisconsin is also home to Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Fun Fact: One of the islands, Long Island, is currently an island in name only. It has been connected to the mainland as part of a peninsula for more than 30 years.

Voyageurs, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park lies within the heart of the North American Continent. Here you can see and touch rocks half as old as the world, experience the life of a voyageur, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a boreal forest, view the dark skies, or ply the interconnected water routes.

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs. Photo: Ed Lombard via Wikimedia Commons

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio

Three exceptional men from Dayton, Ohio, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar, found their creative outlet here through accomplishments and failures, and finally success. However, these men offered the world something far greater, they offered the world hope, and the ability to take a dream and make it a reality.

Ohio is home to a further 7 National Parks; Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, First Ladies National Historic Site, James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, William Howard Taft National Historic Site, Hopewell Culture and Cuyahoga Valley.

Fun Fact: The Wright Memorial in Dayton, Ohio, a stone obelisk of pink granite from North Carolina, was erected by Daytonians in 1940 to honour the Wright brothers’ achievements.

Make your Great Lakes travel richer by including these gorgeous national parks in your itinerary.

Find out more on their official website.

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