Saturday, December 10, 2011

Live in or near a national park

Live in or near a national park

Live in or near a national park
Have you ever gone on summer vacation, only to wish afterward that you didn't have to live so far from your favorite national park?

Well, you don't: Your piece of the great outdoors could be closer than you think. Occasionally, homes and properties are available in the parks themselves. More often, you can find homes that back up to a park's borders. And many more spectacular properties sit within a short hike – or very short car ride – to a park's gates.

With help from our partner, we've found a dozen such properties for sale nationwide that will get your imagination churning.

So flip through these, then lace up the trusty hiking boots. You have some house-hunting to do.

NOTE: All descriptive information is courtesy of listing agents. Properties were on the market and listed as available at the time of publication, unless noted otherwise.

Sequoia National Park
Three Rivers, Calif.
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
3,000 square feet
$1.95 million
Three Rivers is a small community about three hours north of Los Angeles, at the base of Sequoia National Park in the Southern Sierra Nevada. The area is known for its towering sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. This stunning home literally has a river running through it; while sipping wine at the bar, you can watch rainbow trout swimming below through the glass-bottomed floor. The main fork of the Kaweah River runs alongside the home and offers seasonal whitewater rafting and kayaking, fishing, swimming and bird-watching.
Crater Lake National Park
Fort Klamath, Ore.
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
1,164 square feet
Fort Klamath, Ore., is about 10 miles from Crater Lake National Park and its absurdly blue waters. This 1958 home sits on1.3 acres along the Wood River. The home has a big deck, a covered porch and outbuildings including a barn/garage and woodshed. Fort Klamath is also just a stone's throw from the Sky Lakes Wilderness, which straddles the Cascade Mountains; the Pacific Crest Trail goes right through it.
Zion National Park
Springdale, Utah
4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
5,431 square feet
$1.1 million
A few years ago, Forbes Traveler magazine named Springdale, the gateway to Utah's Zion National Park, one of America's 20 prettiest towns. Feel like going for a desert hike? You can practically head out your back door from this home, part of a small development designed with native red sandstone to resemble the historical park structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The homes use reclaimed timbers, and a "green" geo-exchange heating and cooling system.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Gatlinburg, Tenn.
7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
7,200 square feet
$1.2 million
If you're going to live near a great park, maybe you ought to live in a great home — if you can afford it. Check out this seven-bedroom log manse, which adjoins Great Smoky Mountains National Park and overlooks the gateway city of Gatlinburg, one mile away. It's so well-crafted it was featured in Log Home Living magazine. You name it, it's custom: the door hinges, the copper sinks – and especially the wrought-iron floating-spiral stairway
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, Calif.
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
1,964 square feet
Yosemite West, an area of about 145 homes, is outside Yosemite National Park, but the only access to it is by driving through the park. That lends this area a special feel. It's just 10 miles to the soaring walls of Yosemite Valley and just six miles to Badger Pass Ski Area. This home, called the Forst Haus, is set among cedar and manzanita, and it blends with the surroundings thanks to its redwood siding and cedar ceilings.
Yellowstone National Park
Gardiner, Mont.
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
576 square feet (on 640 acres)
Price: $2.7 million
Spectacular Yellowstone National Park is just a 15-minute drive from this full-section  property in Gardiner, at the southwest side of Montana's Paradise Valley. The property touches national forest land on every side. Three creeks — including one for trout fishing — flow through the property, too, which is visited by Yellowstone's famed wolves. A rustic hunting cabin built with logs from the property sits on the edge of an alpine meadow, ready for solar power and a well.
Yosemite National Park
Wawona, Calif.
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
2,649 square feet
$1.2 million
Looking for a home right in a national park? Wawona, Calif., which has about 160 year-round residents, is entirely within Yosemite National Park and preceded its founding. It's a great jumping-off point for adventure: The town is on the south fork of the Merced River. The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias is nearby, and the main trailheads into Yosemite's southern wilderness are here. This custom home has two fireplaces for winter, and a big deck for summer entertaining.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Lake Ann, Mich.
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
1,207 square feet
The back door of this home doesn't open into a national park, but it was too good to pass up. The 1946 home, remodeled in 2002, sits among the trees on quiet, eagle-circled Pearl Lake in upper Michigan, with 190 feet of exclusive, sandy beach frontage. If that weren't bucolic enough, a dozen miles away lies lesser-known Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 35 miles of Lake Michigan coastline that was recently voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by "Good Morning America" viewers.
Yellowstone National Park
Gardiner, Mont.
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
2,580 square feet
This 2,580-square-foot home on the Yellowstone River is on the Old Yellowstone Trail, the road on which stagecoaches used to bring people into Yellowstone. The home sits less than two miles from the border of the park and across the road from the trailhead to Electric Peak. The home has hardwood floors and a vaulted ceiling, and the basement opens to a covered patio that faces the river.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs, Ark.
5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
4,606 square feet
Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is one of the nation's smallest national parks, protecting both the hot springs that flow from the western slopes of the Ouachita Mountains and some historical portions of downtown Hot Springs, which were developed into popular baths. Built a century ago, this all-brick Colonial Revival home borders the national park and is nearly surrounded by verandas and gardens.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Peninsula, Ohio
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
2,500 square feet

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio is the state's only national park — about 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River that includes deep forest and open farmland. This log home, which just went under contract, sits on 1.6 acres. It has hardwood floors nearly throughout, as well as log walls and ceilings. There's a stone fireplace with a wood-burning insert to keep the large great room warm in winter.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Townsend, Tenn.
123 acres
$2.75 million
Townsend, Tenn., is at the Cades Cove entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an area sometimes known as the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies." The rolling hillsides of this property have served as farmland and grazing land. Some of these pastures have 360-degree views of the surrounding Smokies, while the folds have hidden hollows with names such as Muddy Holler. Several barns dot the property, which also includes a farmhouse with a picturesque stream that runs in front of it.
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