RVers have long known that there are no true “fly-over states,” and instead choose to drive their way across the United States’ beautiful, diverse land. To all RVers making their way through the Midwest, stop at these gorgeous national parks and take a peek at what too many people choose to pass over.
Minnesota’s only national park sits right next to the Canadian border, and is known for its many lakes and lush forests. You may even catch a glimpse of the Northern lights!
Located in the prairies of South Dakota, Wind Cave National Park is known for the complicated cave system that “breathes” from underground winds, rare cave structures, and the Lakota Emergence Story. This beautiful national park is great for learning about Native American Culture, as well as cave exploration that is fun for the whole family.
South Dakota’s second national park is known for its gorgeous layered rock formations, canyons, and spires. Like Wind Cave, Badlands is also rich in Native American history, and has a stunning array of artifacts and fossils.
North Dakota’s national park honors not only the beautiful landscape, but the man who helped establish the national park system and spread conservationism across the United States. Theodore Roosevelt once said that he would not have become President if not for his time in North Dakota, and this park honors him and his mission.
Michigan’s Isle Royale is a cluster of islands in Lake Superior, near the border of Canada. This national park may be car-free, but it is certainly an outstanding place for any RVer to visit. Visit the Rock Harbor Lighthouse, try boating or kayaking the lake, or even check out the shipwreck dive sites.
Indiana Dunes is, of course, in Indiana. Designated a national park in 2019, this stretch of shore along Lake Michigan is one of the country’s newest. Home to a beautiful, diverse range scenery, the park is made up of “15,000 acres of dunes, oak savannas, swamps, bogs, marshes, prairies, rivers, and forests.”
If you’ve ever wondered where the name Hot Springs National Park came from, wonder no longer. This Arkansas park is famous for its hot springs, which have long been touted for its medicinal properties. Stop here not only for the sites and history, but also to take a dip in naturally hot water that soothes the joints and alleviates arthritis.
This urban national park in Missouri isn’t known for nature and geography, like so many of the other parks on this list, but rather the giant arch monument. The Gateway Arch was made to represent westward expansion, and is located near the start of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Riding to the top of the arch in its elevator provides unforgettable sights, and a full view of St. Louis.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is known for having around 100 waterfalls to visit, and is said to have been home to humans for over 12,000 years. A hike to the Brandywine Falls will take your breath away, and not just from exertion. No drive through Ohio would be complete without stopping at Ohio’s only national park.