This will come as no surprise, but we love a good park.

Whether lounging in a hammock or hiking until the sun sets, parks have a revitalizing and restorative power. When we’re outside, worries melt away, and we’re able to refresh our perspective on the here and now.

With that in mind, we give you a roundup of some of our favorite state parks in the US.

National Parks get a lot of love (in fact, we have a book about it), but we believe that these state parks are equally awesome and majestic.

Get out there!

 

Baxter State Park - Photo By Mike Cempa

Photo by Mike Cempa

Baxter State Park
Millinocket, Maine

Home to some of the most ruggedly spectacular terrain in the Northeast, Baxter State Park encompasses more than 200,000 acres of pristine Maine wilderness.

It’s also home to Mt. Katahdin - the end, or the beginning, of the Appalachian Trail. 

 

 

Niagara Falls In Fall

Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls, New York

The oldest state park in the US, Niagara Falls State Park is the breathtaking home to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls.

And don’t forget your passport! Canada looms just on the other side of the Falls.

 

 

Emerald Bay State Park

Photo - VisitCalifornia.com

Emerald Bay State Park
South Lake Tahoe, California

California is spoiled for natural beauty, but we think Emerald Bay State Park is at the top of the list.

Carved by glaciers and home to alpine ridges and crystal-clear glacial lakes, Emerald Bay State Park is truly a special place in the fall.

 

 

Hunting Island State Park - Beaufort County, South Carolina

Photo - Google Local/Gebhard Maurer

Hunting Island State Park - Beaufort County, South Carolina

Hunting Island is South Carolina’s most popular park, and for good reason.

With 5+ miles of pristine beaches, acres of marsh land, saltwater lagoons, and the state’s only publicly-accessible lighthouse, Hunting Island State Park is a Carolina gem.

 

 

Ecola State Park - Clatsop County, Oregon

Ecola State Park - Clatsop County, Oregon

You’ve seen it on the ‘gram: Those stunning rock formations off the Oregon Coast; the misty, moody beaches; the cliffs rising up out of the cold Pacific ocean.

Ecola State Park is our vibe, and we know you’ll love it, too.

 

 

Letchworth State Park - Castile, New York

Photo - Mark Papke

Letchworth State Park - Castile, New York

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park boasts miles upon miles of cliffs, canyons, rivers, and waterfalls, all among lush upstate New York forests.

You knew there was a "Grand Canyon of the East", right?

 

 

Dead Horse Point State Park - Moab, Utah

Photo - Utah.com

Dead Horse Point State Park - Moab, Utah

Rust-colored canyons rise high above the Colorado River in the high desert of Utah at Dead Horse Point State Park.

Sunrises and sunsets at Dead Horse Point are some of the most magnificent to be found...anywhere.

 

 

Custer State Park - Custer, South Dakota

Photo - blackhillsbadlands.com

Custer State Park - Custer, South Dakota

Famous for its bison herds and fishing lakes, Custer State Park covers 71,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

From trail rides to scenic drives, the wild terrain of this gorgeous state park opens up a world of possibility and will ignite your hankering for exploration. 

 

 

Eldorado Canyon State Park - Boulder County, Colorado

Photo - bouldercoloradousa.com

Eldorado Canyon State Park - Boulder County, Colorado

Tucked away just south of Boulder, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park’s sandstone cliffs and cool flowing streams make the perfect backdrop for a day of hiking, climbing, and picnicking.

We love it so much we even named a blanket after it.

 

 

No matter where you are, there’s probably an overlooked (but no less spectacular) park right in your backyard.

Bring your adventure blanket, plan an amazing picnic, and get after it!

 

Maggie Dodson
Maggie Dodson

Maggie Dodson is a creative writer living in New York City. An avid hiker and film buff, she spends most of her days sneaking wine into movie theaters and climbing mountains in the Hudson Valley with her husband and rescue dogs, Billie Holiday and Walnut. For book + wine pairings and her merry misadventures, follow Maggie on IG at @maggiesdodson.



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