The U.S. National Park Service preserves 58 national parks, 390 parks, historic sites, memorials, and recreation areas that attract nearly 300 million visitors every year. Our U.S. national parks are repositories of the nation’s biological diversity and contain some of the last ecosystem remnants that are found nowhere else in the world. Explore US Parks Online

Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful, historic national treasure which includes the 105-mile long Skyline Drive, a National Scenic Byway. The Park covers the crest of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains for over seventy-five miles. The Appalachian Trail roughly parallels the Skyline Drive and 101 miles of this trail run through the Park. (more…)

US Parks & Recreation by State

As of the 2010 US Census, the United States has 3,675 state parks in the United States.

State parks are parks or other protected areas of the United States for an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreation, or other reason, and under the administration of the government of a U.S. state.

State parks are similar to national parks, but under state rather than federal administration. Similarly, local government entities below state level may maintain parks, e.g. regional parks or county parks. In general, state parks are smaller than national parks, with a few exceptions, such as the Adirondack Park in New York and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California.

In the United States, state parks have an older history than national parks. In 1864, when the federal government saw the need to protect the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, Abraham Lincoln ceded the land to California as a state park. This was because, at the time, preservation of land for the public was seen as a proper role for the states rather than the federal government.

Later the state park was incorporated into Yosemite National Park. The oldest state park is Georgia's Indian Springs State Park. Since around 1825, Indian Springs has been operated continuously by the state as a public park, although it did not gain the title “State Park” until 1931.

In 1893 Pennsylvania operated Valley Forge as a state-owned park. The first state park with the designation of “state park” was Mackinac Island State Park when Mackinac National Park, the nation's second park created in 1875, was transferred from federal control to the State of Michigan in 1895.

Many state park systems date to the 1930s, when dozens of state parks across the country were established with assistance from the Civilian Conservation Corps. This page contains a list of US State Parks organized by states.


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Alamo Lake State Park

Nestled in the Bill Williams River Valley, Alamo Lake State Park is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. The stark desert beauty is reflected off the water where cacti dot the mountainous landscapes that surround the lake. It is one of the best places to fish for bass in Arizona.

Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona. The park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife and nearly 5,000 saguaros.

Five tips for the best techniques for skipping stones

What better way to enjoy a lazy, late summer afternoon than combing the beach for the perfect rock—flat, round, light enough to fly, heavy enough to go the distance. Snap it just so, and watch it leap across the surface. Learn the best techniques and the best Washington lakes to do it on here.

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Indian Bayou State Wildlife Area
Inks Lake State Park
Lake Whitney State Park
Mckinney Falls State Park
Saint Edward State Park
Travel tips for a vacation in Southcentral Alaska
Winter is a great time to bird watch at state parks in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca