The 5 Best States to Visit for State Parks

by Stephanie Snyder

While many people rightfully focus on visiting the many amazing national parks scattered across the US, many states also boast a great collection of state parks. These parks are often smaller in scope and easier to manage than some of the big national parks. In addition, you are also more likely to encounter fewer crowds. Here are five of the best states to visit if you are interested in their parks.

Washington

The beauty of the Pacific Northwest cannot be overstated. The Evergreen State truly shines when it comes to national parks. Although you will undoubtedly find crowds at the popular Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park, the state parks also offer a multitude of activities that highlight Washington’s diverse landscape.

Check out the lakes and waterfalls on the western side of the state. Or head to coastal areas for amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. The eastern half of Washington offers state parks in the high desert. A few state parks to consider include Deception Pass State Park that connects Skagit Bay with the Strait of Juan de Fuca or Palouse Falls State Park in the eastern part of the state.

New York

New York is more than just its flagship city. The Empire State boasts over 100 state parks, giving you plenty of space to escape the hustle and bustle of much of the rest of the state. Not far from Manhattan, you will find the outdoor sanctuary of Wildwood State Park on Long Island. Of course, no visit to New York is complete without a visit to Niagara Falls State Park.

It is also easy to take advantage of the many New York state parks camping opportunities. Tentrr makes it simple to secure a camping site in one of New York’s many state parks. As a bonus, you will need to bring very little with you because the sites already come well-equipped with what you need for a great camping adventure. Some of the best parks to consider for your camping trip include Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park.

California

Millions of visitors flock to California each year to visit Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, and more. But what about its vast network of state parks? There is something for everyone within this system, making it easy to plot out the perfect vacation route.

Great state parks to consider adding to your itinerary list include Big Basin Redwoods or Pfeiffer Big Sur. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to gaze up at monstrous redwood trees, soak in natural hot springs, or watch the waves crashing against the shore. Because of its varied landscape, California’s national parks also feature a diverse ecosystem with many types of wildlife viewing opportunities.

New Hampshire

One of the least appreciated regions of the nation is New England. Located in the heart of this region, the state of New Hampshire is full of an abundance of state parks that will inspire you to get outdoorsy.

The best time to visit these parks is in the fall months when the leaves begin to do their magic. You are missing out if you have never experienced the beauty of the fall foliage changing in New Hampshire. Popular places to consider visiting include Franconia Notch State Park located in the scenic White Mountain National Forest or the Monadnock State Park in the southern part of the state.

Alaska

You will not be disappointed if you make it to Alaska. The trip will be well worth your time and effort when you discover its four state parks. Because all of these parks are located in the southern tier of the state, it is easier to visit them all in one trip.

Denali State Park is an ideal place to get up close and personal with this monstrous mountain. For something truly remote, try Kachemak Bay State Park, accessible only by boat or seaplane. Offering 1.6 million acres of fun, you should also pay a visit to Wood-Tikchik State Park.

You would be wise to consider a trip to a state park the next time that you want to connect with Mother Nature. These beauties are an easy way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors as you relax and unwind.