NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — From the mystical Appalachian Trail which runs through the east to the natural phenomenon that is Mississippi’s Petrified Forest, and the esteemed Grand Canyon, the U.S. has volumes to offer when it comes to exploring natural sites and landmarks.

According to Aqua Expeditions, they polled Americans on which local natural landmarks they would most like to visit. From that, they compiled a list of the top 250 results.

It was revealed that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which lies on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, is the natural landmark most people would like to tick off their bucket list.

Unsurprisingly, this destination is the most visited national park in America, having attracted more than 14.1 million visitors in 2021 alone.

It’s no wonder so many others aspire to join the visitor’s book and witness the sprawling natural landscape, along with its year-round wildflower blooms, abundant rivers, waterfalls, and forests.

In second place, Niagara Falls emerged as one of the most popular natural landmarks, which is located on the Niagara River. At the Observation Tower at Prospect Point in the Niagara Falls State Park, visitors can behold a natural spectacle: a view of all three waterfalls.

Located in Belleview, Missouri, Elephant Rocks State Park is a geologic reserve and recreation area, and it emerged in third place. It’s named for a row of large granite boulders, resembling a train of elephants.

In 40th position came North Dakota’s very own Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s actually the state’s only formal National Park, and its most popular attraction.

Honoring U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, it’s the only American national park named directly after a single person.

The area offers visitors dramatic scenery and recreational opportunities.

Let’s take a closer look at the figures for our great state.

North Dakota’s natural landmarks voted in the 250 most popular list include:

#40 Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park lies in western North Dakota, where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. A habitat for bison, elk, and prairie dogs, the sprawling park has three sections linked by the Little Missouri River. The park is known for the South Unit’s colorful Painted Canyon and the Maltese Cross Cabin, where President Roosevelt once lived. The Scenic Loop Drive winds past several overlooks and trails. 

#85 Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a North Dakota state park located seven miles south of Mandan. The park is home to the replica Mandan On-A-Slant Indian Village and reconstructed military buildings including the Custer House.

#118 Crow Flies High State Recreation Area

Crow Flies High State Recreation Area is a scenic overlook located two miles west of New Town in Mountrail County, North Dakota. The site provides scenic views of Lake Sakakawea. Signs describe the location’s role in local history, including its significance in the explorations of Lewis and Clark.

#168 Cross Ranch State Park

Cross Ranch State Park is a public recreation area covering 569 acres on the west bank of the Missouri River nine miles south of Washburn in Oliver County, North Dakota.

#181 Wildwood Hiking Trail

Wildwood Park is a very old public park near Columbus with several trails to hike or bike. It has a community fire pit and is expanding trails every year. It is popular with birders as well.