The 26 Best State Parks in America You Absolutely Must Visit

Visitors will enjoy high-quality recreational activities and stunning scenery

The U.S. has more than 10,000 state park areas covering a total area of more than 18 million acres. Aside from the federally run National Park Service, every state is home to an elaborate park system of its own, all designed to preserve the most environmentally significant and historic lands of the area.[slideshow:99372]

State parks are smaller than national parks – America’s “best idea” – but what they lack in size they make up with in sheer beauty, opportunities for active adventures, and quality relaxation retreats. They are not as well-known as the country’s 59 national parks – something many outdoor fans will consider a bonus.

From odd rocky outcrops, green pastures, otherworldly landscapes, playgrounds at high elevations to the oldest goldmines in the country, and oceanfront parks, these bucket list destinations also offer a tremendous variety of breathtaking views.

Visitors will enjoy admiring gorgeous waterfalls, hiking an abundance of trails, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, biking, wildlife viewing, and even viewing the spectacular Northern Lights.

The 26 Best State Parks in America You Absolutely Must Visit

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