7 Great State Parks Across the US
The national parks system is regarded by many as one of the United State’s most valuable assets, however, there are many great state parks worth exploring as well. If you’re looking to pack up your camping gear for a Labor Day escape—and want to avoid national park crowds—we’re featuring seven great state parks (in no particular order) from across the country, prime for camping, hiking, exploring, and adventuring this holiday weekend.
View of Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas.
(Photo courtesy of www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon/).
Adirondack Park, New York
This New York state park is often mistaken for a national park—and with good reason. Featuring over 2,000 miles of hiking, 3,000 bodies of water, and endless rivers and streams connecting them, Adirondack Park is named for the mountain range—complete with 46 peaks—in which the state park resides. With lakes big enough to house islands for camping, Adirondack Park has it all, including cold winters, warm summers, and the seasons between.
DuPont State Forest, North Carolina
Located in North Carolina, DuPont State Forest occupies 10,400 acres between Hendersonsville and Brevard, NC. DuPont is known for its hiking trails leading to dramatic vistas and remarkable waterfalls, featured in Hollywood films, including Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games.
Chugach State Park, Alaska
The nation’s third largest state park, this half-million acre park offers year-round activity from hiking, rafting, and fishing on Eklunta Lake to snow skiing and snowmobiling. Its beautiful mountains overlook Anchorage and its abundant wildlife and plant life draw adventure seekers from across the country.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Featuring some of the most breathtaking and colorful vistas in the country, the Palo Duro Canyon itself is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and reaching depths of 800 feet (second only in the United States to the Grand Canyon). With temperatures ranging from 19 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 92 degrees in July, popular activities include camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and of course, photography.
Named for the Legend of Dead Horse Point, where cowboys allegedly left a corral of wild mustangs to die, Dead Horse Point State Park’s main attraction is Rim Walk. Not for the faint-hearted adventurer, Rim Walk towers 2,000 feet above the Colorado River and features some of the Southwest’s most stunning vistas.
Mount Tamalpais State Park, California
Located just north of San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais towers 2,571 feet above the ocean and offers spectacularly varied views. On a clear day, San Francisco and the bay to the south, the Farallon Islands 25 miles to the west, and occasionally, the snow-peaked mountains of the Sierra Nevada 150 miles to the East are all visible to those explorers who reach its peak.
Itasca State Park, Minnesota
Minnesota’s oldest state park features more than 32,000 acres and 100 lakes, including Lake Itasca, the origin of the Mississippi River. The state park has remained largely and miraculously untouched over time, and is home to rare species of birds, mammals, and some of the finest remaining strands of virgin red pine, spruce-balsam fir, and maple-basswood-aspen trees. With four seasons, adventurers enjoy canoeing, boating, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing.
Whether your Labor Day weekend adventure destination is a national park, state park, or camping in your own backyard, it’s important to protect your gear with rugged Pelican cases. Whether it’s photography equipment, your iPod or iPhone, valuable camping, hunting, or computer equipment, Pelican has the perfect case for you. Don’t forget about our collection of outdoor flashlights either!
What is your favorite state park destination?