The other day I was trying to think of new and interesting things to do with my little family.
It occurred to me that in every state there are at LEAST five State Parks!
So, I did a little research and found a family friendly park in each of the 50 United States.
Check out the park in your state or if you see one you think your family would enjoy, plan a vacation to that state and check out the local attractions.
Alabama: Lakepoint State Park
Lakepoint State Park is a publicly owned recreation area located on the far north side of the city of Eufaula. The state park encompasses 1,220 acres on the western shore of Lake Eufala, a 45,000-acre impoundment of the Chattahoochee River. The park adjoins Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge and is managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Park facilities include a convention center, 101-room lodge, 192-campground sites, and a complex of lakeside cottages and fishermen’s cabins. The grounds also include a marina, swimming pools, hiking trails, and picnicking areas.
Alaska: Afognak Island State Park
The park is known for its rugged topography, dense old-growth Sitka spruce forests, and salmon spawning habitat. Kodiak brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, and the endangered marbled murrelet inhabit the park. Visitors can fish, hunt, hike, or just enjoy the pristine environment. There are two public use cabins in the park.
• Wood-burning stove for heat – firewood must be split. Handsaw and ax provided. (Only dead and downed trees may be used for firewood.) Please restock supply before leaving.
• Limited cooking/eating utensils (frying pans, dishpans, and a large tea kettle).
• Two bunk beds – each with a single on top and a double below at Pillar Lake
• Three single bunk beds at Laura Lake
Fresh water can be obtained from Pillar or Laura Lake. Water must be boiled for five minutes or cleaned with a Giardia approved filter.
Arizona: Oracle State Park
Oracle State Park preserves 3,948 acres in the northeastern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is named after the nearby town of Oracle.
Oracle State Park serves as a wildlife refuge, and is open every day from 9am – 5pm.
The park has more than 15 miles of hiking trails, including 7 miles of the Arizona Trail.
The Kannally Ranch House is a historic house museum with original art and historic photos. The four-level adobe home was constructed between 1929 and 1933, features Mediterranean and Moorish architectural influences and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Arkansas: Davidsonville Historic State Park
Davidsonville Historic State Park (formerly Old Davidsonville State Park) is a 163-acre Arkansas state park in Randolph County, Arkansas in the United States. The park preserves the remains of the abandoned frontier town of Davidsonville. The town was one of Arkansaw Territory‘s first settlements when founded in 1815, serving as an important river port town on the Black River. The former townsite was made into a state park in 1957 and a monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
California: Castle Rock STate Park
Castle Rock State Park embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking trails.
These trails are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast.
Due to its overnight parking lot, Castle Rock is a popular starting point for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30-mile trail that begins near by at Saratoga Gap and leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking. The 5,242-acre park was established in 1968
Ridgway State Park is a state park located in Ouray County, Colorado. The current wildlife consists of deer, coyotes, rabbits, and elk. Due to the park’s variety of animal life, the park is used as a hunting ground although hunting opportunities are extremely limited due to proximity to developed areas.
Connecticut: Hopeville Pond State Park
Hopeville Pond State Park is a public recreation area located on Hopeville Pond, an impoundment of the Pachaug River, in the town of Griswold, Connecticut. A portion of the park occupies the site where the lost village of Hopeville once thrived. The grounds include one building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Avery House, which serves as the park manager’s house. Activities include fishing, swimming, and camping. The state park is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Delaware: Lums Pond State Park
Lums Pond State Park is a 1,790-acre Delaware state park. The park surrounds Lums Pond, an impoundment built by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on St. Georges Creek. Lums Pond State Park is open for a wide variety of year-round recreation.
Florida: The Rainbow River
Rainbow Springs State Park is a Florida State Park located on, three miles north of Dunnellon, Florida. It comprises 1,459.07 acres upland (which includes around 100 acres of wetlands) and 12.83 acres submerged. The most significant natural feature is the first magnitude headspring basin which produces up to 600,000,000 US gallons of fresh water per day, forming The Rainbow River. The looking glass waters of Rainbow Springs come from several vents, not one large bubbling spring. The river itself supports a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and plants, many within easy viewing by visitors. In total, the park contains 11 distinct natural communities, including sandhills, Flatwoods, upland mixed forests, and hydric hammocks.
Visitors are able to see a variety of wildflowers in season; oak, longleaf pines, magnolia, dogwood, red maple, redbud, cypress, sabal, and hickory trees; gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, swallowtail kites, barred owls, whitetail deer, and a wide variety of wading birds. The relative peace and quiet of the winter season offers much for the nature enthusiast. There is an interpretive room located in the visitor center displaying historical, natural, and cultural resources of the park.
Georgia: Tugaloo State Park
Tugaloo State Park is a 393-acre state park located on the shore of Lake Hartwell in Franklin County, Georgia. The park features a swimming beach, boat ramps, and ample fishing opportunities, and is located near S.R. 328 north of Lavonia.
Tugaloo State Park offers:
108 Tent, Trailer, and RV Campsites ($27–$30)
6 Primitive Campsites
7 Picnic shelters
Hawaii: Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head State Monument offers breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. In fact the view is so good, it was used by the US military as a post for preventing attacks against Honolulu.
The trail takes you to the edge of a 300,000 year old crater. While the hike isn’t that long in terms of distance, it can be somewhat challenging due to its ascent. Parts of the trail are over uneven rock, and the 99 steps near the end of the hike are steep.
Idaho: Eagle Island State Park
Eagle Island State Park is a 545 acre day-use park west of Boise that features a popular swimming beach, a grassy picnic area, a waterslide and more than five miles of trails for those looking for a place to ride horses, hike, walk your dog, or play disc golf. The park also has a zip line course which consists of six zip lines and features one of the state’s first quick jumps, which is a parachute simulated leap off of a 60-foot tower.
- the entrance fee to all of Idaho’s State Parks is $5.00 per car.
- The waterslide is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The 9-hole disc golf course is open May through October and the 18-hole disc golf course is open November through April.
- Paddleboard rentals are available within the park.
- Call park office for reservation information.
Illinois: Beaver Dam State Park
Beaver Dam State Park is an Illinois state park on 750 acres in Macoupin County, Illinois in the United States. The park is 7 miles southwest of Carlinville, Illinois and is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a public place for fishing.
The state park centers on the 59-acre Beaver Dam Lake, an artificial reservoir which was created by a private Carlinville fishing club in the 1890s. The club later became a private resort which catered to visitors who arrived via the adjacent Chicago and Alton Railroad. During the Great Depression, the resort failed. The state of Illinois purchased the lake and some adjacent property in 1947. Additional land purchases have created the present-day Beaver Dam State Park.
Indiana: Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park is located in the United States in the center of the southern half of the state of Indiana. The park is the largest of 24 state parks in Indiana and occupies 15,776 acres—making it one of the larger state parks in the United States. It is Indiana’s most visited state park and has about 1.3 million visitors each year. Although Bloomington, Indiana, is the closest city, the park is closer to the small town of Nashville in Brown County. Brown County is named for General Jacob Brown, who fought in the War of 1812 and became Commanding General of the United States Army.
Iowa: Honey Creek State Park
The state park, located on a peninsula that is along part of Rathbun Lake’s shore, has a width of 828 acres. A campground is within the park that has 149 camping spots with some of these spots having electricity. There are other activities which include hiking on a nature trail, snowmobiling, and boating. Waterfowl, pheasants, squirrels, and other game animals can be hunted at the Rathbun Wildlife Unit. Other places to hunt are located alongside the river in designated areas.
Kansas: Wilson State Park
Wilson State Park is a public recreation area found on the south shore of 9,000-acre Wilson Lake reservoir approximately 10 miles north of the city of Wilson in Russell County, Kansas, United States. Located at the reservoir’s eastern end, the state park covers 945 acres divided into two areas by the reservoir’s southeastern arm: the Hell Creek area on the west side and the Otoe area on the east side. The Hell Creek area hosts a marina. Both areas include hiking trails, swimming beaches, boat ramps, and camping facilities.
Kentucky: “Tom” Sawyer State Park
E. P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre Kentucky state park located in the Freys Hill area of Louisville, Kentucky, on former land of Kentucky’s Central State Hospital. When opened in 1974, it was named in honor of Republican Jefferson County Judge/Executive Erbon Powers “Tom” Sawyer who was killed in a car accident on Louisville’s Interstate 64 in 1969 while still in office. Sawyer was the father of journalist Diane Sawyer.
Louisiana: Chemin-A-Haut State Park
Chemin-A-Haut State Park is a 503-acre site located in northern Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. Visitors may access the park from U.S. Highway 425 about 10 miles north of Bastrop. Chemin-à-Haut means “High Road” in French. Much of the park is on a high bluff overlooking winding Bayou Bartholomew. Chemin-A-Haut was one of the earliest additions to the Louisiana State Park system.
Visitors to the park may enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife observation. There is a 8-mile equestrian trail for horseback riders. During the hot summer months, guests may cool off in an on-site swimming pool.
Maine: Rangeley Lake State Park
Rangeley Lake State Park is a Maine state park located on the southern shore of Rangeley Lake in Franklin County. The park offers 50 campsites, a swimming beach, and docks and a boat ramp for motorized boating. The lake’s 6,000 acres house landlocked salmon and brook trout.
Maryland: Elk Neck State Park
Elk Neck State Park is a public recreation area located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River near the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula in Cecil County, Maryland. The state park is home to the historic Turkey Point Light and offers land-based and water-based recreation. The park is located on MD 272, eight miles south of the town of North East, and 13 miles south of exit 100 on I-95. It is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Massachusetts: Holyoke Heritage State Park
Holyoke Heritage State Park is history-oriented state park located in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. The park opened in 1986 on the site of the William Skinner Silk Mill which was lost to fire in 1980. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
A visitors center has exhibits about paper manufacturing and Holyoke’s industrial and cultural past. The landscaped grounds offer picnicking and views of the city’s canals and mill buildings. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, the Children’s Museum at Holyoke, and the Volleyball Hall of Fame are also located in the park.
Michigan: Duck Lake State Park
Duck Lake State Park is a 728-acre, day-use state park located along Lake Michigan south of Whitehall, Michigan in Muskegon County. The land was purchased by the Nature Conservancy from two Boy Scout organizations and acquired by the state in 1974. It officially opened in 1988.
The park, which runs along the north side of Duck Lake to Lake Michigan, features a large sand dune. A beach at the mouth of Duck Lake is a popular spot for swimming and fishing. The park’s Scenic Drive is part of the Shoreline Trail route in Muskegon County.
Amenities and Activities:
- Swimming: On Duck Lake and Lake Michigan.
- Hiking: A half-mile paved trail skirts Duck lake.
- Fishing: Anglers can try for bass, crappie, and bluegill.
- Picnic Area
- Picnic Shelter.
- Cross-country skiing
- Hunting: The park is open to hunting during the regular season
Minnesota: Lake Bemidji State Park
Lake Bemidji State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the north shore of 6,765-acre Lake Bemidji. The northern half of the park preserves a spruce-tamarack bog. A district of National Park Service rustic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and National Youth Administration in the 1930s is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is located 5 miles north of the city of Bemidji.
Lake Bemidji State Park offers recreational activities year round. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, picnicking, swimming, volleyball, fishing, boating and interpretive programs.
The park has 95 drive-in sites, including 43 electric sites, 4 pull-through sites, and 4 handicapped accessible sites. In winter, only one site is available to drive-in. This is a non-electric site. Other sites are available on a walk-in basis after deep snow cover.
In the summer, there are 2 miles of handicapped accessible trails, including the boardwalk and Rocky Point trail; 15 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails that take you through areas of maturing pine, aspen and hardwoods; 6 miles of paved bike trails which connect with the Paul Bunyan state trail; 5 Miles of mountain bike trails; and a 1/4 mile Bogwalk which is accessible by a 1-mile hike.
In the winter, there are 11 miles of groomed cross country ski trails, 3 miles of snowmobile trails that connect with an extensive trail system beyond the park, and you can snowshoe anywhere in the park except the groomed trails.
In the summer, park visitors can use the lakefront picnic and beach area which has picnic tables, an enclosed shelter with a fireplace, a volleyball court, a shower, restrooms, and pedestal grills. The shelter building and the sanitation building in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration, and are of rustic style log construction. These buildings are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Shelter can be reserved by calling the park office.
There is a boat landing located next to the picnic area for those that wish to go fishing or boating. Canoes and fishing boats are available for rent from May 10 through October 13. There is also a handicapped accessible fishing pier.
In the winter, snowshoes are available for rent at the park office. Or, visitors can park in the picnic area parking lot, bring their own ice fishing equipment, and walk onto the lake to go fishing. There is a warming house located in the Trail Center, in the park’s Visitor Center
Throughout the year, the Visitor Center is a place where information about the park’s trails, animals, geology, and other interesting features can be found through exhibits, films or slide programs. A complete list of programs and special programs or organized groups is available upon request.
Naturalist programs are offered Wednesday through Sunday from mid-June through Labor Day. Fall, winter, and spring programs are generally offered on weekends. The Interpretive Center is open for schools, scouts, and other community organizations upon request. Programs focus on the lake and wetland environments found in the park.
Interpretive programs in the summer include morning hikes, boat tours of Lake Bemidji, evening films, and campfire talks. Winter programs include snowshoeing, candlelight skiing, and animal tracking. The Visitor Center is open daily and sometimes serves as a gathering place for interpretive programs where visitors share experiences by the warmth of the wood-stove.
Mississippi: Lake Lowndes State Park
Lake Lowndes State Park is a public recreation area in the U.S. state of Mississippi located off Mississippi Highway 69 approximately 9 miles southeast of Columbus, Mississippi.
The state park features boating, water-skiing and fishing on 150-acre Lowndes Lake, primitive and developed campsites, cabins and cottages, 7 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, a visitors center with gymnasium, tennis courts and play fields, picnic area, and an 18-hole disc golf course, Whispering Pines.
Missouri: Lake Ozarks State Park
Lake of the Ozarks State Park is a Missouri state park on the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and is the largest state park in the state. Originally owned by the United States National Park Service as part of the Recreational Demonstration Areas when the lake was built in the 1930s, it was donated to the state after World War II.
The park includes 85 miles of shoreline on the lake; two swimming beaches with imported sand, 12 trails, the Ozark Caverns, a boat launch, and the Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport which has a 6,500-foot runway. In addition, there are campsites and cabins within the park.
Montana: Beaverhead Rock State Park
Beaverhead Rock, also known as Point of Rocks, is a rock formation in Montana. It is located on Montana State Highway 41, 14 miles south of Twin Bridges of Madison County.
The rock formation is protected within Beaverhead Rock State Park and is located above the Beaverhead River.
Nebraska: EUGENE T. MAHONEY STATE PARK
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is a public recreation area located on the Platte River, just off Interstate 80, approximately 4 miles east of Ashland, Nebraska. Among other features, the state park offers lodging and conferencing facilities, aquatic center, marina, trails, and theater. It was named after Eugene T. Mahoney, a former state senator and long-time director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, who is credited with reversing the fortunes of the moribund state park system during his directorship As of 2014, the park was the state’s third most visited tourist attraction.
Park features and activities include picnicking areas and hiking trails, horseback trail rides, fishing, a marina with paddleboat rental, miniature golf, and a driving range. Athletic facilities include an aquatic center, 18-hole disc golf course, tennis and basketball courts, softball fields and sand volleyball. A 70-foot observation tower overlooks the Platte River Valley. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, sledding and toboggan runs, ice fishing, and an ice skating rink. An activity center, indoor playground, and activity simulators are open year-round. The Kountze Theater is a cultural highlight of the park.
Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres located 16 miles south of Overton, Nevada. The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. It is Nevada’s oldest state park, as commemorated with Nevada Historical Marker. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 1,320–3,009 feet. It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi basin.
New Hampshire: Mount Sunapee State Park
Mount Sunapee State Park is a state park in Newbury, New Hampshire. The park includes a beach portion on Lake Sunapee and most of Mount Sunapee. The state has leased the ski area to Mount Sunapee Resort.
Mount Sunapee State Park’s beach, also known as Newbury Beach, features a bathhouse, store, canoe and kayak rentals, and a playground. A boat launch is available with some restrictions.
There is a seasonal campground located off NH Route 103, up a winding mountain road accessed through the Mount Sunapee Resort.
Activities in the park include swimming, hiking, camping, skiing, fishing, picnicking and non-motorized boating.
New Jersey: Voorhees State Park
Voorhees State Park began when Foster M. Voorhees, a former governor of New Jersey, donated his 325-acre farm to the people of New Jersey in 1929. Succeeding land acquisitions increased the park size to 640 acres.
The park offers views of Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir. Camping is allowed in the park for a fee, depending on the type of campsite. There are 47 tent and trailer campsites. There are 2 group campsites that can accommodate up to 50 people each. There also are 3 rustic, cabin-like structures with wood stoves for heat. Each cabin can accommodate up to 4 people in 2 double-deck single bunk beds. All sites and cabins have fire rings and picnic tables. Toilets and showers are within walking distance from all campsites and cabins. The trailer sanitary station is open April 1 through October 31. Campsites and cabins are open all year.
New Mexico: Hyde Memorial State Park
Hyde Memorial State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, located 8 miles northeast of Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Summertime activities include hiking and camping, and in the winter the park is popular for tubing on the snow-covered hillsides.
New York: Long Point State Park
Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake is a 360-acre state park located in the Town of Ellery, near the hamlet of Maple Springs in Chautauqua County, New York. The park is located on a short peninsula on the east side of the lake.
The park offers a beach, a playground, picnic tables and pavilions, a nature trail, showers, fishing, a boat launch with marine pump-out station, and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
North Carolina: Lake Waccamaw State Park
Located near the town of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, it covers 2,201-acre along the shores of Lake Waccamaw, a Carolina bay. Lake Waccamaw State Park is located in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain.
North Dakota: Lewis and Clark State Park
Lewis and Clark State Park is a North Dakota state park located along the north shore of the far western, upper reaches of Lake Sakakawea in Williams County.
The park has a marina with slips for rental, a swimming beach, and more than eight miles of multi-use, non-motorized trails. Overnight accommodations are available at a 73-site campground and two camping cabins.
Ohio: Deer Creek State Park
Located in the heart of Ohio’s agricultural country, Deer Creek State Park is central Ohio’s vacation showplace. A collage of meadows and woodlands surround the scenic reservoir. This 2,337-acre resort park features a modern lodge, cottages, campground, golf course, swimming beach and boating for outdoor enthusiasts.
Oklahoma: Lake Wister State Park
Lake Wister State Park, in southeast Oklahoma, is a gateway to the beautiful Ouachita National Forest. The park includes 7,300-acre Lake Wister with five camping areas. The park offers many recreational activities including hiking, camping, bicycling, picnics, fishing, hunting, boating and water skiing. Enjoy the water spray park for children and adults. A waterfowl refuge is nearby, and hunting is allowed at Wister Wildlife Management Area. Camping facilities include cabins, tent sites and RV sites with both modern and semi-modern. Other facilities include comfort stations with showers, picnic tables, group picnic shelters, lighted boat ramps, a unlighted gravel ramp, playgrounds, nature center, miniature golf course and swimming beach. Hiking trails include a self-guided nature trail, handicapped trail and a 4-mile round trip trail. Lake Wister State Park has a fully equipped group camp that accommodates 100 visitors and includes a full kitchen and dining hall.
Oregan: Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Oregon, located near Silverton, about 20 miles east-southeast of Salem. It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, and it includes more than 24 miles of walking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path. Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name.
Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls. The Silver Falls State Park Concession Building Area and the Silver Creek Youth Camp-Silver Falls State Park are separately listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The park’s most visited waterfall is South Falls, a 177-foot cascade. Remote Double Falls, however, is listed as the highest waterfall in the park, plunging 178 feet in a small tributary side canyon deep within the Silver Creek Canyon.
Pennsylvania: Ridley Creek State Park
I live in Pennsylvania. Specifically, in Delaware County. Very close to Ridley Creek State Park so I am somewhat biased to this one.
Ridley Creek State Park is a 2,606-acre Pennsylvania state park in Edgmont, Middletown and Upper Providence Townships, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The park, offers many recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking.
Ridley Creek passes through the park. Highlights include a 5-mile paved multi-use trail, a formal garden and Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, which recreates daily life on a pre-Revolutionary farm.
The location of Ridley Creek State Park, just 16 miles from downtown Philadelphia, is the feature that has made it so popular.
The 12 miles of hiking trails at Ridley Creek State Park are popular with dog owners. These trails pass through a variety of habitats. A 5-mile multi use trail is open to jogging, bicycling and walking. The park also features a 4.7-mile equestrian trail.
Rhode Island: Fort Adams State Park
Fort Adams State Park is a Rhode Island state park located at the mouth of Newport Harbor, offering panoramic views of the harbor and Narragansett Bay. The park is home to Fort Adams, a large coastal fortification that was active from 1841 through the first half of the 20th century. The area was originally owned by William Brenton, who called the region “Hammersmith” after his hometown in England, a name that survives in the name of the adjacent Hammersmith Farm.
Fort Adams hosts the annual Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival and is the home of Sail Newport and Eisenhower House.
The park offers swimming, boating, picnicking, and athletic fields. The Joseph “Jay” Kirwin Memorial Rugby Pitch is home to Newport Rugby Football Club and to the men’s and women’s rugby teams of Salve Regina University.
South Carolina: Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park is a small state park located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It consists of several miles of forest and stretches along the Atlantic Ocean.
The Myrtle Beach State Park Nature Center features interactive natural history displays, saltwater aquariums and live reptiles. Park naturalists offer nature education programs about the coastal habitat and wildlife.
South Dakota: Custer State Park
I have read from numerous sources that this is the best state park of them all. You be the judge! 🙂
Custer State Park is a state park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, USA. The park is South Dakota’s largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The area originally started out as sixteen sections but was later changed into one block of land because of the challenges of the terrain. The park began to grow rapidly in the 1920s and gained new land. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built miles of roads, laid out parks and campgrounds, and built three dams that set up a future of water recreation at the park. In 1964 an additional 22,900 acres were added to the park. The park covers an area of over 71,000 acres of hilly terrain and is home to many wild animals.
The park is famous for its scenery, its scenic drives, with views of the bison herd and prairie dog towns.
Tennessee: Burgess Falls State Park
Burgess Falls State Park is a state park and state natural area in Putnam County and White County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The park is situated around a steep gorge in which the Falling Water River drops 250 feet in elevation in less than a mile, culminating in a 136-foot cataract waterfall.
The Burgess Falls State Natural Area, which covers 350 acres, is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Texas: Dinosaur Valley State Park
I thought this one was really cute and would play on children’s imaginations.
Dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean a long time ago. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.
Utah: Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park is a state park of Utah, USA.Its eminent feature is its thousands of hoodoos and hoodoo rocks, referred to locally as “goblins“ which are formations of mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, some as high as several meters. The distinct shapes of these rocks come from an erosion-resistant layer of rock atop softer sandstone.
Hiking is permitted in the park, which features three marked trails.
Vermont: Knight Point State Park
Knight Point State Park is a day use state park off US Route 2 on North Hero Island in North Hero, Vermont. Opened in 1978, the park is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, as part of the Vermont State Park system. Features include a sandy swimming beach and boat rentals on Lake Champlain, and picnic areas with cooking grills.
The park houses the Island Center for Arts and Recreation, a community-based nonprofit that promotes area cultural events.
The Camp-meeting Point Natural Area is a 3 acre section of the park. It includes 2,200 feet of Lake Champlain shoreline of least disturbed cobble beach that supports rare plant species, and the adjacent woodland with a grove of large oaks and hickory trees.
Virginia: Shenandoah River State Park
Shenandoah River Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. State Park, known generally as Shenandoah River State Park, is a state park near the town of Bentonville, Virginia, United States. The park was established in 1994, and covers 1,619 acres along the South Fork Shenandoah River.
Washington: Bay View State Park
Bay View State Park is a 25-acre Washington state park located on Padilla Bay in Skagit County. The park has 1,285 feet of shoreline and facilities for camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, beach-combing, boating, and bird watching. The park includes a stretch of the Pacific Northwest Trail.
West Virginia: Black Water Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia, USA. The centerpiece of the Park is Blackwater Falls, a 62-foot cascade where the Blackwater River leaves its leisurely course in Canaan Valley and enters rugged Blackwater Canyon. It is among the most photographed venues in the state and appears on calendars, stationery, advertisements of all kinds and, most famously, on jigsaw puzzles. The River is named for its tannins-darkened water.
Amenities and Recreation:
- Park Lodge with 54 guest rooms
- 39 cabins (13 modernized)
- Campground with 65 campsites (30 have electrical hookup)
- Nature center – open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, exhibits about the park’s natural history
- Mountain biking
- Cross-country skiing
- Cross-country ski rentals in the winter
- Fishing in Pendleton Lake and the Blackwater River
Wisconsin: Peninsula State Park
Peninsula State Park is a 3,776-acre Wisconsin state park with eight miles of Green Bay shoreline in Door County. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated 1 million visitors annually.
Considered Wisconsin’s most complete park, Peninsula has 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, biking, hiking and ski trails, 150-foot bluffs, a lighthouse and eight miles of Door County shoreline. The park is open year-round but some features may not be accessible outside the peak season.
Wyoming: Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park is state-operated, public recreation area halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, 24 miles from each city, in Albany and Laramie counties, Wyoming.
The state park covers 3,552 acres and is known for its extensive trail system, fishing reservoirs, and Hynds Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park offers over 35 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Other activities include boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rock-hounding, and archery.
If you live near any of these State Parks let me know how you like them.
If you haven’t been to any of these State Parks plan a nice trip with your family and have a little fun while learning about the history of your state and country.