Discovering the Hidden Gems of State Parks

Photo by Carsten Ruthemann on

A Guide to Adventure…

National parks may get all the fame and glory, but state parks have their own unique charms and surprises waiting to be discovered. With over 10,000 state parks across the United States, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had. Here are some of our favorite hidden gems that you should definitely check out:

  1. Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah: With breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the red rock canyons of Utah, this park is a photographer’s dream. The park gets its name from a legend that cowboys left a group of horses stranded on the point, where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River.
  2. Silver Falls State Park, Oregon: This park is home to ten waterfalls, including the majestic South Falls, which plunges 177 feet into a pool below. You can hike the Trail of Ten Falls to see them all, or take a shorter hike to get a closer look at South Falls.
  3. Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin: This park is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and camping, but it’s also home to the Devil’s Doorway, a natural rock formation that resembles a doorway. Legend has it that it was created by the devil himself.
  4. Custer State Park, South Dakota: Home to a herd of over 1,500 bison, this park is a must-visit for animal lovers. You can take a scenic drive through the park and see bison, pronghorns, and other wildlife up close.
  5. Letchworth State Park, New York: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this park boasts stunning views of the Genesee River gorge, as well as several waterfalls and hiking trails.
  6. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas: This park is home to the second-largest canyon in the United States, and offers opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. You can also catch a performance of the outdoor musical drama “Texas” during the summer months.
  7. Caddo Lake State Park, Texas: This park is home to the largest cypress forest in the world, and is a popular spot for canoeing and fishing. The lake is also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a steamboat captain.

Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, wildlife, or a bit of history and legend, state parks have something for everyone. So next time you’re planning a weekend getaway or road trip, consider adding a state park to your itinerary.

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