Of course, we recommend adventuring all year long, but March is honestly one of the top months for visiting national parks (most of them, anyway).
Far fewer crowds, mostly great weather, abundant wildlife, and the opportunity to explore the parks in unique ways — sign us up!
Whether you crave the heat and sunshine of the beach or you’d rather be skiing down a mountainside, spring is an ideal time to do it.
Including both warm and cold destinations, here are seven of the best national parks to visit in March!
7 National Parks to Visit in March
Everglades National Park, Florida
Experience March in the marshes at the Florida Everglades. The dry season ushers in fewer pesky bugs and more opportunities to see the wildlife since the water is at its lowest levels. Temperatures tend to reach the high 70s, yet can dip as low as the 30s.
You’re free to trek around on foot, but one of the best ways to experience the Everglades is by airboat. Let a trained guide fly you around the water while you catch glimpses of the gators and other aquatic creatures that call the swamp their humble abode.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Canyonlands takes the crown for being one of the best national parks to visit in March. This month sees more availability for the permits required to camp at this park, and most of the trails remain open throughout the winter.
Canyonlands is an excellent choice for experienced hikers and campers to get their fill of the true rugged outdoors since visitor services aren’t as robust. This time of year, Canyonlands won’t be nearly as crowded as its nearby sister park, Arches, so you can really experience the desert in all its undisturbed splendor.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Those iconic New England rocky beaches and towering pines draw thousands to Acadia National Park in Maine every year.
Temperatures in March tend to stay above freezing, so you’re safe to whip off those gloves and grab your camera for some truly National Geographic-worthy shots of the Atlantic.
The eastern side of Mount Desert Island sees the most action since it runs along the Park Loop Road system. The western side of the island is far less busy, but still serves up plenty of opportunities to interact with the elements. Meanwhile, Isle au Haut is your best bet if you want to go truly off the Acadia grid.
Redwoods National Park, California
You’ll never feel smaller than when you stand among the taller-than-the-Statue-of-Liberty redwoods at Redwood National Park in California. The centuries-old trees are no doubt a large part of the reason why this park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temperatures tend to reach a respectable mid-50s during this time, so it’s one of the great national parks to visit in March if you’re looking for cooler weather. But keep in mind the shade from the gigantic trees will take off a few degrees. Just like the redwoods, this national park is so large that it spans over 50 miles of California’s northern coast and consists of dozens of trails that envelope you in trees, prairies, and beaches.
Photo credit: Reddit
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Virginia is for lovers of Shenandoah National Park! Whether you’re looking to escape Washington D.C. or a nearby state such as Tennessee or North Carolina, this park is the perfect weekend road trip.
Shenandoah National Park is home to incredible biodiversity, and the park’s range is in full display in the winter. Fewer visitors means the wildlife aren’t as shy and you’ll have a much clearer view without the foliage. Skyline Drive, a 105-mile long road running along the Blue Ridge Mountains, is still open during the winter season, although extra caution is advised in inclement weather.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Contrary to the name, it’s all good here at The Badlands National Park, especially in the spring. This is when natives like the bison and prairie dogs love to roam free and soak up the returning warmth.
Travel by car around the south unit to get a clear view of the massive rock formations that augment the land. Or, head out on foot to hike through the desert to catch either a sunrise, sunset, or both.
Little kids can attend the Junior Ranger Program and visitors of all ages can stop by the Fossil Preparation Lab to see how The Badlands’ ancient history is preserved.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Cuyahoga Valley National Park isn’t far from two major cities, but you’ll be so mesmerized by the dense forests and endless trails, that you’ll forget all about the hustle and bustle the park rests between. The lush greens spring back to life and if it’s warm enough, you can even dip your toes (or maybe a little more!) in the Cuyahoga River.
The Towpath Trail is the park’s premier path for walking or riding along the river. It’s open 24/7, and the spring weather makes it a pleasant excursion. And no worries if your legs get tired, because you can always hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.