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The 9 Most Fitness-Friendly National Parks

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    Rock Creek National Park

    Where it is: Washington, DC
    Located in the heart of the nation's capital, this park is an urbanite's dream. If you're looking to get your hiking fix, step on to 32 miles' worth of wooded trails. But if you'd rather travel by sea, the Thompson Boat Center has kayaks, canoes, and sailboats available to take out for the day. For a taste of history, hop on your bike and take the paved path right to the base of Lincoln Memorial before playing a tennis match on one of two dozen courts. Or try your hand at the 18-hole golf course.

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    Joshua Tree National Park

    Where it is: Southern California
    With one of the biggest collections of rock faces in the country, Joshua Tree National Park is basically a desert playground for mountain-climbing fiends. Pick your poison—crack, slab, or steep—or do multiple in one day. (Psst: Rock climbing is one of 10 summer sports that torch serious calories.)

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    Voyageurs National Park

    Where it is: Minnesota
    All you hear deep in the Minnesota wilderness is the occasional bird chirp. Other than that—total silence. There are no drive-in campgrounds, so you have to access one of the 240 pristine campsites by waterway. Get your kayaks, canoes, and SUPs ready to go, 'cause this trip will be a wet one!

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    Canyonlands National Park

    Where it is: Utah
    The park's most famous place is the 100-miler White Rim Road, a 3- to 4-day off-road trip filled with switchbacks that lead to mesa tops for expansive views of the surroundings. A tamer option: The 10-mile route up to Island in the Sky for aerial shots of the craggy, rainbow-colored canyons.

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    Kenai Fjords National Park

    Where it is: Alaska
    Hit the country's westernmost edge with a trip to the essentially untouched Alaskan fjords. We suggest kayaking through the narrow waterways until you hit the Gulf of Alaska, or trying your hand at backcountry hiking. Come winter, you'll find plenty of space for dog sledding and ice climbing.

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    Golden Gate National Park

    Where it is: San Francisco

    Get your daily dose of sweat and sightseeing all at once in this iconic, city-dwelling national park. Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge for panoramic views, or stroll along the craggy mountain edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean for some serious photo ops. Another benefit of it being near a big ole city: Local trainers lead weekly outdoor boot-camp sessions.

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    Rocky Mountain National Park

    Where it is: Colorado
    Although it's popular as a winter wonderland (hello, skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking), Rocky Mountain National Park earns its keep during summer months as well. Over 60 peaks reach a height of 12,000 feet or more, making it a popular stop on any summiteer's bucket list. (See: 11 American Hiking Trails You Must Do Before You Die.)

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    Mount Rainier National Park

    Where it is: Washington
    Channel your inner Cheryl Strayed as you trek along part of the Pacific Crest Trail along the eastern boundary of the park. With over 100 miles of trails ripe for running, your route will take you through everything from wildflower meadows to steep alpine ascents. Pro tip: To guarantee dirt under your feet (rather than snow), visit the park in the months of June through October.

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    Virgin Islands National Park

    Where it is: U.S. Virgin Islands
    The oft-forgotten U.S. Virgin Islands deserve a moment of glory for their spectacular preservation and unparalleled scuba and snorkel offerings. Crystal clear waters reveal stunning coral reefs and wildlife, while pristine sandy beaches offer the perfect place to relax after your dive.