(STACKER) — Approximately 237 million people visited American national parks in 2020, representing a 28% year-over-year decrease attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Many parks were forced to close to combat the spread of the virus, but that’s not the whole story—when the parks were open, many of them saw record crowds as throngs of people desperate to safely enjoy nature descended onto parks when they reopened.

President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed the act creating the National Park Service to leave natural and historic phenomenons “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Since then, our national parks have welcomed visitors from around the world to experience some of the best the country has to offer and showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Today, the country’s 63 national parks contain at least 247 species of endangered or threatened plants and animals, more than 75,000 archaeological sites, and 18,000 miles of trails.

Stacker compiled a list of the closest national parks to Albany. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metro Area and each national park. Estimated driving times are from Here and are only available within the lower 48 states. All featured distances and driving times are estimated using representative locations from the center of each metro and national park—for some places within the metro area, the actual distance may be slightly shorter or longer to reach the closest entryway to a park.

Be sure to check with individual parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions on the National Park Service website.

1. Acadia National Park (Maine)

– Distance: 307 miles
– Driving time: 7.6 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 49,076.63 acres

2. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

– Distance: 374 miles
– Driving time: 8.2 hours
– Date founded: December 26, 1935
– 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 199,223.77 acres

3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

– Distance: 406 miles
– Driving time: 7.5 hours
– Date founded: October 11, 2000
– 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 32,571.88 acres

4. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

– Distance: 497 miles
– Driving time: 10.3 hours
– Date founded: December 27, 2020
– 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 7,021 acres

5. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

– Distance: 676 miles
– Driving time: 12.1 hours
– Date founded: February 15, 2019
– 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 15,349.08 acres

6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

– Distance: 710 miles
– Driving time: 13.5 hours
– Date founded: June 15, 1934
– 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 522,426.88 acres

7. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

– Distance: 723 miles
– Driving time: 14.5 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 2003
– 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 26,476.47 acres

8. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

– Distance: 751 miles
– Driving time: 14.0 hours
– Date founded: July 1, 1941
– 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 54,011.91 acres

9. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

– Distance: 797 miles
– Driving time: 19.5 hours
– Date founded: April 3, 1940
– 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 571,790.30 acres

10. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

– Distance: 898 miles
– Driving time: 15.6 hours
– Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
– 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 192.83 acres

11. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

– Distance: 995 miles
– Driving time: 22.4 hours
– Date founded: April 8, 1975
– 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 218,222.35 acres

12. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

– Distance: 1,177 miles
– Driving time: 21.1 hours
– Date founded: March 4, 1921
– 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 5,554.15 acres

13. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 1,232 miles
– Driving time: 22.4 hours
– Date founded: June 28, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 172,971.11 acres

14. Everglades National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 1,268 miles
– Driving time: 23.5 hours
– Date founded: May 30, 1934
– 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres

15. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

– Distance: 1,351 miles
– Driving time: 25.3 hours
– Date founded: October 26, 1992
– 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 64,701.22 acres

16. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

– Distance: 1,435 miles
– Driving time: 25.2 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 1978
– 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 242,755.94 acres

17. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

– Distance: 1,468 miles
– Driving time: 27.2 hours
– Date founded: November 10, 1978
– 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 70,446.89 acres

18. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

– Distance: 1,485 miles
– Driving time: 26.6 hours
– Date founded: January 9, 1903
– 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 33,970.84 acres

19. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,638 miles
– Driving time: 27.5 hours
– Date founded: January 26, 1915
– 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 265,807.25 acres

20. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,694 miles
– Driving time: 30.2 hours
– Date founded: September 24, 2004
– 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 107,341.87 acres

21. Virgin Islands National Park (U.S. Virgin Islands)

– Distance: 1,769 miles
– Date founded: August 2, 1956
– 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 15,052.53 acres

22. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,786 miles
– Driving time: 31.4 hours
– Date founded: October 21, 1999
– 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 30,779.83 acres

23. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

– Distance: 1,816 miles
– Driving time: 31.1 hours
– Date founded: May 14, 1930
– 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 46,766.45 acres

24. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

– Distance: 1,820 miles
– Driving time: 33.2 hours
– Date founded: March 1, 1872
– 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres

25. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

– Distance: 1,845 miles
– Driving time: 32.6 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1929
– 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 310,044.36 acres

26. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

– Distance: 1,847 miles
– Driving time: 32.2 hours
– Date founded: October 15, 1966
– 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 86,367.10 acres

27. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

– Distance: 1,860 miles
– Driving time: 33.8 hours
– Date founded: June 29, 1906
– 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 52,485.17 acres

28. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

– Distance: 1,874 miles
– Driving time: 34.0 hours
– Date founded: June 12, 1944
– 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 801,163.21 acres

29. Arches National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,877 miles
– Driving time: 32.1 hours
– Date founded: November 12, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 76,678.98 acres

30. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

– Distance: 1,880 miles
– Driving time: 31.9 hours
– Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
– 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 146,344.31 acres

31. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,907 miles
– Driving time: 37.8 hours
– Date founded: September 12, 1964
– 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 337,597.83 acres

32. Glacier National Park (Montana)

– Distance: 1,955 miles
– Date founded: May 11, 1910
– 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres

33. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 1,970 miles
– Driving time: 33.6 hours
– Date founded: December 18, 1971
– 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 241,904.50 acres

34. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 1,987 miles
– Driving time: 33.5 hours
– Date founded: December 9, 1962
– 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 221,390.21 acres

35. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 2,037 miles
– Driving time: 35.6 hours
– Date founded: February 25, 1928
– 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 35,835.08 acres

36. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 2,077 miles
– Driving time: 37.0 hours
– Date founded: February 26, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres

37. Zion National Park (Utah)

– Distance: 2,089 miles
– Driving time: 36.2 hours
– Date founded: November 19, 1919
– 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 147,242.66 acres

38. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

– Distance: 2,110 miles
– Driving time: 36.1 hours
– Date founded: October 27, 1986
– 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 77,180.00 acres

39. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

– Distance: 2,116 miles
– Driving time: 37.3 hours
– Date founded: October 14, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 92,867.42 acres

40. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 2,283 miles
– Driving time: 44.6 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 504,780.94 acres

41. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

– Distance: 2,310 miles
– Driving time: 39.4 hours
– Date founded: October 31, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres

42. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 2,330 miles
– Driving time: 42.7 hours
– Date founded: March 2, 1899
– 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 236,381.64 acres

43. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,338 miles
– Driving time: 40.7 hours
– Date founded: October 31, 1994
– 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 795,155.85 acres

44. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,381 miles
– Driving time: 47.3 hours
– Date founded: March 4, 1940
– 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 461,901.20 acres

45. Olympic National Park (Washington)

– Distance: 2,396 miles
– Driving time: 45.1 hours
– Date founded: June 29, 1938
– 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 922,649.41 acres

46. Sequoia National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,398 miles
– Driving time: 46.1 hours
– Date founded: September 25, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 404,062.63 acres

47. Yosemite National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,401 miles
– Driving time: 45.6 hours
– Date founded: October 1, 1890
– 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 761,747.50 acres

48. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

– Distance: 2,411 miles
– Driving time: 43.4 hours
– Date founded: May 22, 1902
– 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 183,224.05 acres

49. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,435 miles
– Driving time: 42.1 hours
– Date founded: August 9, 1916
– 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 106,589.02 acres

50. Channel Islands National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,510 miles
– Date founded: March 5, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 249,561.00 acres

51. Pinnacles National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,523 miles
– Driving time: 44.6 hours
– Date founded: January 10, 2013
– 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 26,685.73 acres

52. Redwood National Park (California)

– Distance: 2,539 miles
– Driving time: 46.9 hours
– Date founded: October 2, 1968
– 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 138,999.37 acres

53. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 2,851 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres

54. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,004 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 16,655 (#57 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 8,323,146.48 acres

55. Denali National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,248 miles
– Date founded: February 26, 1917
– 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres

56. Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,266 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres

57. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,275 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 669,650.05 acres

58. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,380 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres

59. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,424 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres

60. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

– Distance: 3,485 miles
– Date founded: December 2, 1980
– 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres

61. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

– Distance: 4,881 miles
– Date founded: July 1, 1961
– 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 33,264.62 acres

62. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

– Distance: 4,892 miles
– Date founded: August 1, 1916
– 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 325,605.28 acres

63. National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa)

– Distance: 7,220 miles
– Date founded: October 31, 1988
– 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
– Park area: 8,256.67 acres