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July is Parks and Recreation Month

The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) designates each July as Parks and Recreation Month. With July 2010 marking the 25th year the nation is celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month, has put together its list of Top National Parks featuring parks in the US and around the world.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park is Americana in the most picturesque sense. Sprawling through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it’s most known for its famous hot spring, Old Faithful, and its vast subalpine forests. Travelers can enjoy the warm seasons here by hiking, camping, boating and fishing.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: This is one place for which words do no justice, but we’re writing about it anyway. One of the world’s most studied geological landscapes, the Grand Canyon is an enormous archeological site with artifacts dating back 12,000 years to the Paleo-Indian period. Caves, rivers, streams, forests, prairies and natural springs are just a few of the reasons that attract campers and hikers from far and wide as well as the incomparable views of both the North and South Rims.

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada: Grizzly bears hang out here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Discovered in 1885, Banff National Park is a 656-square mile area where snow-capped mountains and deep valleys coexist among cobalt blue lakes and rushing rivers. In the summer, hike among the lush poppy gardens; in the winter, ski down soaring peaks with ultimate views of Peyto Lake and sulfurous hot springs.

The’s list of Top National Parks also includes:

  • Fiordland National Park, New Zealand;
  • Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya;
  • Great Barrier Reef, Australia;
  • Swiss National Park, Switzerland;
  • Yellow Dragon Scenic Area, Huanglong China;
  • Galapagos National Park, Ecuador and
  • Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, Peru.