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8 under-the-radar gems of the National Park Service

By: Matt Hickman on April 2, 2010, 6:38 p.m.
Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Photo: RRuntsch/Shutterstock

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

For a park named after such an avid outdoorsman and booster of the American national park system, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota is pretty low-key. But Roosevelt — who moved to the bison-filled badlands in 1884 to escape — would have wanted it that way. This is the real frontier, home to feral horses, winding trails, sagebrush and not a whole lot of people. Many folks pay their respects to Roosevelt by traveling en masse with millions of others to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to take snapshots of his gigantic granite head. To experience the landscape that shaped a passionate conservationist and cowboy president, head to the badlands instead.