Little-Known Facts About America's National Parks (PHOTOS)

04/26/2012 12:19 pm ET

National Park Week is underway, and free entrance to nearly 400 parks continues through this Sunday.

In celebration of the festivities, the National Park Foundation, the non-profit behind the fee-free week, shared with HuffPost Travel some surprising statistics about what Ken Burns calls "America's Best Idea."

America's national parks, by the numbers:

  • 84 million: The total acreage of the parks, an area roughly the size of Germany.
  • 281 million: The average number of people that visit a park every year.
  • 18,000: Miles of trails traverse the parks.
  • 45,000: People who volunteer at America's national parks.
  • 13.2 million: The acreage of the largest park, Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska. (It covers an area larger than Costa Rica.)
  • .02: The acreage of the smallest, Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania. (He was a Polish soldier who joined the Continental Army during American Revolution.)
  • 0: The number of national parks in Delaware, the only state without one.

What park gets the most visitors? The Blue Ridge Parkway, the 469-mile drive that threads the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.

Stunning Views of National Parks

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