Virtually visit these 8 state parks in US. Get to know the exact location of these 8 state parks, their nearest city as the gateway, and know what can you see and do in these state parks of the United States of America.
The first question that came to my mind when I came across the word “State Park” is what’s the difference between a state park and a national park.
Well, the obvious difference is the national parks are given that prestigious status by the US Federal Government whereas the state parks are purely developed and maintained by the respective State Governments.
In the United States, the state parks are numbering to a mind-boggling 10,200+ spread across the 50 states. The state of California ranks number one in the list of number state parks in every state. It has 270 state parks.
8 Beautiful State Parks in US
Overall, all the ten thousand plus state parks in US attract over 700 million tourists every year.
It is no wonder America is the most visited tourist nation in the world.
Let us visit the first state park in my list of 8 state parks in the United States that I liked more.
Dead Horse Point State Parks in US
I like wilderness as far as I can see. Wilderness means ‘freedom’ to me. I think every living being that makes a particular wilderness as their habitat feels the same.
What do you say?
This stunning grandeur named “Dead Horse Point” state park is located in the state of Utah, United States.
This state park comprises a large area measuring over 5000 acres.
Above all the uniqueness of the Dead Horse Point state park is its altitude of 5900 feet!
What can you do in Dead Horse Point state park in the US?
The wilderness indicates it is an ideal state park to walk and trek. There are several trails to walk through.
An overnight stay in one of the many tents is highly recommended by the frequent visitors to this place.
In addition, you can park your RV also and stay in it.
The nearest city to reach Dead Horse Point state park in the US is Moab. It has an airport. Salt Lake City, which is the capital of Utah, is 375 km away.
Iao Valley State Park, Hawaii
How do you like the image of the Iao Needle above? This is the main attraction of Iao Valley state park of the US.
The 1200 feet high needle-like mountain is thickly covered with vegetation.
Do you know it was once an active volcano in the West Maui Mountains?
View of the West Maui Mountains.
It is located on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The gateway to Iao Valley is Wailuku, a small town on the island of Maui. The state park can be walked from Wailuku. I am sure you can walk the 5 km distance-eh?
The large Iao valley is covered with a dense rainforest that gets wet with copious rain measuring 380 inches every year!
Rainforests are big tourist attractions, especially on a tropical island like Hawaii.
Hiking the volcanic mountains and walking through the rainforest are the main things to do in the Iao Valley state park of the US.
Other places to see near the Iao Valley state park:
- Kepaniwai Park
- Hawaii Nature Center
- Kaʻahumanu Church
- Tropical Gardens of Maui
Letchworth State Parks in US
This US state park is located very much in the state of New York. The nearest gateways to Letchworth State Park are Buffalo at just 100 km away and Rochester that is located 55 km from the state park.
Letchworth State Park has several beautiful and gentle waterfalls (over 50 waterfalls) that are caused by the falling Genesee River at various points on the tall cliffs surrounding the area.
Another view of the Letchworth state park in US.
What can you do in Letchworth State Park in the U.S?
Bathing in the falls is the main activity in Letchworth state park. Rafting in the Genesee River is only for adventure sports enthusiasts.
Hiking the trails on the canyon with a view of the Genesee River below will be exciting.
The canyon you see above is called the “Eastern Grand Canyon”.
Manatee Springs State Parks in US
Where can you see Manatee and the Longnose Gar in the same water body?
It is also called “Sea Cow”.
Both can be spotted at the above state park in the US. The Manatee Springs State Park is located very close to Chiefland, a small town in the state of Florida.
The dreamy looking Manatee Springs is the outcome of pure rainwater that is stored beneath the earth due to the nature of the soil and the clean water springs up.
The spring water then empties into the Suwannee River that further weds the Gulf of Mexico.
The surrounding green space, the several marine creatures including the Manatee and the rare Longnose Gar fish species, and various water sports activities are the reason for the Manatee Springs is awarded the status of State Park in the US by the Florida Government.
What can you do in Manatee Springs?
- The perennial pure water body is conducive for numerous water sports that include:
- Scuba Diving
Kachemak Bay State Parks in US
It is beautiful, a wilderness of water that stretches over 400k acres! This state park in the US is located close to Homer, a small city in the state of Alaska.
To reach this very diverse ecological wilderness, you need to fly up to Homer and then hop onto a safe boat to explore.
Since there are no roads leading to this US state park, you can happily leave your cars back home.
The Kachemak Bay State Park in Alaska is an excellent habitat for numerous aquatic birds and other marine creatures.
A visitor to this state park in the US can see:
- Snow-capped glaciers
- Sea Otters
- Sea Lions
- Black Bears
- Black-legged Kittiwake
- Ruddy Turnstone.
- Marbled Godwit
Little Missouri State Park, United States
The picture above is noteworthy because, in order to see around this state park in the US, you have to hop on to a horse. Else, you will have to depend on your feet only.
Little Missouri state park is located in North Dakota. The nearest city is Killdeer, North Dakota.
If you find immense pleasure in seeing different types of geography, you will like the rugged ‘badlands’ landscape in Little Missouri state park.
As the name suggests, the Little Missouri Rivers flows through this region. The river has extensively eroded the region over several centuries and the resultant land is a ‘badland’. A badland is where you don’t see much vegetation.
The whole wilderness looks like a ‘windswept’ land.
The dry landscape and the green surroundings along the Little Missouri River offer miles and miles of trail through which you can either walk or ride on a horse.
In addition, I read somewhere that you have to bring your own horse and feed a certain type of certified hay. However, I could not find any authenticity about this weird information.
I agree we can hire a horse and even buy food for it but buying the horse…?
In spite of a dry region, strangely, you can spot plenty of wildlife such as deer and coyote. Moreover, a few species of eagles and hawks are also easily spotted in Little Missouri state park in the U.S.
Cape Disappointment State Park, United States
In spite of its weird name, the Cape Disappointment state park in the state of Washington will satisfy your quest for beachfront escape.
This state park is particularly picturesque because of the beautiful estuary where the River Columbia meets the mighty Pacific Ocean.
Astoria is the nearest city located 32 km away. The best time to visit the Cape Disappointment State Park is the time between April to October.
Camping and enjoying the cool breeze is what every tourist would do as they go there just to relax and be with themselves.
Cape Disappointment is not a fun and frolic area.
You can stretch your legs if you like forest walks. There is a forest that was formed centuries before with giant trees and a lovely canopy.
Alternatively, walk along a few lakes that store fresh water.
Nearby places to see are:
- Willapa National Wildlife Refuge-a must-see natural attraction with diverse land types. You can never see another place like this.
- Deadman’s Cove.
- Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.
Baxter State Park in US.
I think I am obsessed with wilderness areas. The U.S. of America is loaded with several such gems, one of which is located in the state of Maine, near the Millinocket town.
In this US state park, you wander through several mountains, see splendid lakes and sit on the banks of small ponds and appreciate the sound of nature and its heady smell.
Every lake is stunningly beautiful. Here is an example:
That is Grand Lake Matagamon.
Two more lakes in Baxter State Park are Webster Lake and Nesowadnehunk Lake.
If you love water bodies, there is more for you in Baxter State Park, Maine. You will find mini waterfalls and silent mountain streams that can daze you for several hours.
The Baxter state park is a wonderful weekend getaway. You can opt to stay in pitched up tents or in ready-built cabins.
Look at one such cabin situated amidst thick greenery:
Oh man! What a dreamy place to spend a morning!
The wildlife enthusiasts will find this Main state park a haven. The abundant forest animals in Baxter state park include:
I browsed through 20 state parks in US and I liked these eight state parks more than the other state US state parks.