The Biggest Parks in the World

The size of the world’s parks vary dramatically, from small green spaces in the middle of built-up cities to vast swathes of untouched land covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. But where in the world are the largest national parks and where will you find the biggest parks in the world?

Building Big Engineering
27 January 2023

From wildlife reserves, conservation areas and places to hike, climb and ride, the world’s great parks are the perfect escape for our million-mile-an-hour lives. And when it comes to the biggest parks in the world, the sheer size of these sensational spaces will astound you.

From the smallest city parks to the biggest national park in the world, these open spaces are vitally important for both small communities and entire nations.

There are two main types of park. The first are urban parks, like the ones you find in your local area where people go to walk the dog, play football or socialise with friends. The second are national parks, which are huge spaces designated on behalf of a country due to their special qualities, such as areas of outstanding natural beauty, important natural resources, conservation and sustainability projects or cultural heritage.

The size of the park in your local town will be around fifty acres. The size of the world’s biggest parks are in a different league altogether. In this article we’ll list the world’s biggest national parks by size as well as telling you which are the largest urban parks in the world.

Urban Parks - The World's Biggest Parks

Riverside Park in Manhattan (Photo: Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images)

Urban parks are described as parks that are contained entirely within a locality’s municipal or metropolitan boundary. Here are the biggest urban parks in the world.

Changa Manga

Steam Safari at Changa Manga (Photo: Nadeem Khawar via Getty Images)

Location: Lahore, Pakistan | Size (acres): 12,515 | Size (sq. km): 51

Once the largest man-made forest in the world, Changa Manga, named after two nineteenth century bandits known as dacoits, was hand-planted in 1866 to provide fuel for the North Western State Railway. Today one of the world’s biggest parks is an important wildlife reserve and is home to dozens of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Pedra Branca State Park

Pedra Branca State Park (Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | Size (acres): 30,630 | Size (sq. km): 124

With lots of walks, hikes and ecological trails, including one to the Pico de Pedra Branca, the highest point in Rio, the Pedra Branca State Park on the Atlantic coast is one of the biggest parks in the world. The park takes up around 10% of the city and contains the chapel of São Gonçalo do Amarante built in 1625 and around a thousand plant species.

Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park (Photo: Karen Hogan via Getty Images)

Location: Quebec, Canada | Size (acres): 89,205 | Size (sq. km): 361

The history of Canada’s second-most visited park predates European settlers. Today it is home to rich and diverse ecosystems including over fifty lakes. Visitors can see a wide range of flora and fauna including dozens of mammals like white-tailed deer and black bears as well as over two hundred different birds, a thousand vascular plant species and fifty different species of trees.

Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park (Photo: christiannafzger via Getty Images)

Location: Alaska, USA | Size (acres): 495,204 | Size (sq. km): 2,004

Chugach State Park in Anchorage is one of the world’s biggest parks. There are 280 miles of hiking and biking trails in the summer and 110 miles of ski and snow machine routes in winter. The stunning valleys, forests, waterfalls, glaciers, mountains and lakes are also home to an incredible array of wildlife including salmon, moose, bears, wolves and eagles.

The Largest National Parks in The World

Yellowstone National Park (Photo: Gerrit Ebert / 500px via Getty Images)

Established in 1872, the world’s first national park is generally accepted to be Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in America. Today, there are over 110,000 designated national parks. Here are the largest national parks by size.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon (Photo: Dean Fikar via Getty Images)

Location: USA | Size (acres): 1,217,262 | Size (sq. km): 4,926

The stunning Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most famous national parks and one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It stretches up to fifteen miles wide and a mile deep at its lowest point. The 2,330-kilometre long Colorado River snakes its way through the Grand Canyon. The oldest layers of rocks in the canyon are believed to be two billion years old.

Vatnajökull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park (Photo: ARoxo via Getty Images)

Location: Iceland | Size (acres): 3,494,317 | Size (sq. km): 14,141

One of the largest national parks in Europe, Vatnajökull is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the world’s largest glaciers at 8,100 square kilometres and – in some places – approaching 1,000 metres thick. The park covers fourteen percent of the entire country. It encompasses an area of exceptional volcanic activity, as well as huge canyons and the horseshoe-curved cliffs of Asbyrgi. It’s also a very important reindeer habitat.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park ( Photo: Nick Fitzhardinge via Getty Images)

Location: Canada | Size (acres): 11,072,051 | Size (sq. km): 44,807

Larger than Switzerland, Wood Buffalo is the biggest national park in Canada and home to the world’s largest herd of mountain bison as well as caribou, moose, deer and the largest beaver dam in the world. Covering a vast area of northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories, the park has the world’s only natural nesting site of the whooping crane and is one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas. In 2013, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Wood Buffalo as the world’s largest dark-sky reserve.

Namib-Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukluft National Park (Photo: Martin Harvey via Getty Images)

Location: Namibia | Size (acres): 12,297,941 | Size (sq. km): 49,768

Founded in 1979, Namib-Naukluft is one of the largest national parks in the world and the biggest in Africa. The park’s western border includes 1,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline. Its most popular visitor attraction is Sossusvlei, a clay pan surrounded by sand dunes including Big Daddy, one of the tallest in the world.

Northeast Greenland National Park

Northeast Greenland National Park (Photo: Olaf Kruger via Getty Images)

Location: Greenland | Size (acres): 240,186,431 | Size (sq. km): 972,000

By some distance, the Northeast Greenland National Park is the world’s biggest national park. In fact, if it was a country, it would be the thirtieth biggest in the world, slightly smaller than Egypt. It’s also the northernmost national park in the world. The landscape is mainly frozen tundra with some ice-free areas around the coast. There is no permanent human population, but it includes around forty percent of the world’s musk ox population as well as Arctic foxes, stoats, polar bears, walruses and the rare Greenland wolf. There are large populations of narwhal, seals and beluga whales as well as snowy owls, ptarmigan, ravens and the pink-footed goose.


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