The National Park System encompasses 428 national park sites in the United States.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) says, "They span across more than 84 million acres, with parks in each state and extending into the territories, including parks in Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam."

NPF says, "Within the system, there are 63 sites that include 'National Park' as part of their proper names such as Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone."

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There are also 20 national park types that "fall under the protection of the National Park Service to preserve, unimpaired, for this and future generations." They include National Battlefields, National Historical Parks, National Memorials, National Monuments, National Seashores, National Scenic Trails and others.

There are 16 National Parks, National Historic Parks, National Historic Sites, National Scenic Trails, National Seashores and others in Massachusetts, including the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Massachusetts Has A New National Park
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Now the New England Scenic Trail in Western Massachusetts has been declared a National Park. says, "The New England Scenic Trail has been in existence for over 50 years but has recently been given National Park status."

The National Park Service (NPS) says, "From the Sound to the summits: The New England Trail covers 235 miles from Long Island Sound to across long ridges to scenic mountain summits in Connecticut and Massachusetts."

According to the Park Service, "The trail offers panoramic vistas and close-ups of New England's natural and cultural landscape: traprock ridges, historic village centers, farmlands, unfragmented forests, quiet streams, steep river valleys, and waterfalls."

Sounds like a plan when the warmer summer weather finally gets here.

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang