Top 10: State Parks In America
In a time when the promise of urban convenience and efficient technological advances are often broken, the urge to escape the rat race can be powerful. As more of us bask in the empty glow of the computer screen and become keyboard-tapping automatons, the need to explore the natural wonders around us has never been more imperative.
There is no better time to climb into that colossal fuel guzzler of an SUV and escape the confines of the concrete jungle. If you live in the US or plan to visit, a trip to a state park is a must. The breathtaking natural beauty on display rivals any artificial monument or government building. Let the perfection of Mother Nature serve as a catharsis from the daily grind. A state park visit is an accessible and affordable way to charge your mental battery and defuse the stress inherent in modern life. So what are you waiting for?
Located in the southern high plains, Palo Duro can lay claim to some of the most unique flora in the country. Plant species include big bluestem, mesquite and cottonwood trees, just to name a few. The temperature ranges from 19° in January to 92° in July. There is no shortage of activity options at Palo Duro, from horseback riding to bird watching to mountain biking. Wild turkey, white tail deer, sheep, coyotes, cottontail rabbits, roadrunners, and western diamondback rattlesnakes are all part of the wildlife at the park.
All these state parks are unique. They all have their beauties and riches. So enjoy them and try to visit them when you’re in the neighborhood.
A wonderful location for observing hawks during fall migration, there is a recorded 209 bird species in the park. The shallow waters of St. Joseph Bay are alive with a variety of marine life. Visitors can observe bay scallop, hermit fiddler, horseshoe crab, and octopi. A marina is available for those wishing to do some boating. If you love the water, St. Joseph is the state park to visit.
When visiting Cathedral Gorge, the cave formations and stalactite spires are guaranteed to amaze. Go for a hike, pack a picnic and bring your camera to capture the essence of the oasis in the desert that is Cathedral Gorge. Thunderstorms occur on a regular basis and summer temperatures range from 95° during the afternoon to 55° after the sun has set. You can experience an exhilarating view of canyons, cliffs and spires from Miller Point Overlook.
Mohican State Park is home to exquisite scenery. Clearfork Gorge, hemlock forest and picturesque Mohican River all offer a unique wilderness experience. In addition, the resort lodges and cottages offer luxurious comfort away from home. The park is surrounded by Mohican State Memorial Forest, which contains great plants and animals such as the raccoon, the wild turkey and the white tail deer. Common reptiles are the box turtle, the black rat snake, dusky salamanders, and the poisonous copperhead. This is a region once frequented by Johnny Appleseed.
With ravens, roadrunners, snakes, and coyotes, the wildlife of Valley of Fire is unique and dangerous. Some of the terrain is ideal for climbing and hiking and the rock formations are some of the most beautiful in the Untied States. As it is located in Nevada, you can count on mild winters for the most part and blazing heat in the summer, with cool nights under the desert moon.
Montauk is located at the headwaters of the famed Current River. For your convenience, there are both basic and electric campsites, equipped with modern restrooms and hot showers. If you are an avid angler, the park is home to some of the finest trout fishing in the United States. The valley in which Montauk State Park is located is an ideal setting for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.
This is a 14,000-acre park of old growth coast redwood. Prairie Creek is located about 25 miles south of Crescent City and is ensconced in a cool and moderate climate. The temperature in the summer ranges from 40 to 75° F, whereas the winter average is between 35 and 55. This park is an ideal locale to escape the oppressive summer heat. Wildlife is abundant, including such animals as the black bear, the mountain lion, the coyote, and the chipmunk. Whale watching is a popular activity at the park as well.
Within the lower range of Cascade Mountain in the state of Oregon is a moderate rainforest home to Silver Falls State Park. Follow the Canyon Trail to ten magnificent waterfalls, where Silver Falls is located. The park offers unique group camping areas as well as quaint and rustic accommodations. The highlight of a visit would be walking behind the falls and feeling the clean spray of the mountain water on your face.
If Alaska is one of the last bastions of pristine wilderness in North America, then Denali State Park is the crown jewel. Measuring half the size of Rhode Island, it offers the unique possibility of near endless exploration. Maximize the experience with roadside camping or trail hiking.
The park is nestled within a mountain range that includes the highest summit on the continent, Mt. McKinley. As a result, the landscape transforms from lowland stream to alpine tundra. While grizzly and black bears and moose are common, you might also be fortunate enough to spot a lynx, coyote, red fox, or wolf. Caution is advised!
Best known for its calm surroundings and fascinating trails, a visit to Roxborough State Park would not be complete without partaking in one of these popular activities: hiking, cross-country skiing and wildlife watching. The park is a paradise for local and international geologists and is home to an array of unique plant life. Black bear, mountain lion and elk roam most of the park and a wolf has made the occasional cameo.