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Great state parks

Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Great state parks

In response to a question posed on another thread, what are some of your favorite state parks? Please give a short reason why or highlight.

Denali SP in Alaska: no crowds, buses; view of McKinley

Kodrachrome SP, Utah: fabulous contrast of colors; didn't see another person

Many WV SP: good hiking; varied accomodations from camping to hotel

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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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OK, I think the finest redwoods in California were preserved in state parks, before the creation of the NP. So,

Humboldt Redwoods SP and
Prairie Creek Redwoods SP

Here in Washington State, we like Fort Flagler SP a lot---beautiful waterfron views, nice campsite, and officers' houses for nightly rental.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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1. Torrey Pines - California. Great ocean walks, sunsets, and you'd never guess you're so close to a big city.

2. Eldorado Canyon, Colorado. Dramatic colors, terrain, and beautiful walks along the nearby stream.

3. Itasca SP, Minnesota. Peaceful, mirror calm lake, at one with nature. Beautiful hikes through old growth forests.

4. Arcadia, Oregon. Great rugged coastline, incredible rock formations in the water, great contrast to the clam, southern california waters.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Valley of Fire, NV. Superb rock formations and petroglyphs, easy access from Las Vegas, and the Bryce/Zion group.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Here's my highest rated places administered by state governments:

Anza-Borrega State Park
Baxter State Park
Bodie State Park
Cascade River State Park
Chugach State Park
Del Norte Redwoods State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseneck of the San Juan State Reserve
Hanauma Bay State Preserve
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Pennekamp Coral State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Puu O Mahuka Heiau State Park
San Simeon State Park
Smokey Bear State Historic Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Temperance River State Park
Tower-Soudan State Park
Trinidad State Beach
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Grayson Highlands State Park in southern Virginia, right near the North Carolina border. Awesome views, nice side trails, the Appalachian Trail runs through it....and you're almost always guaranteed to have an encounter with small herds of wild ponies along the way.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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And how could I forget Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys. Three great camping areas, two beaches and superb scenery!

And there's Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, in Big Sur, CA, if for no other reason than McWay Falls....
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Silver Falls SP, Oregon - many waterfalls, some you can walk behind

Julia Pfieffer Burns SP, CA - the waterfall and beautiful color of the ocean

Torrey Pines, CA - coastal hike

Valley of Fire, NV - petroglyph hike and varied rock formations

Ricketts Glen SP, PA - waterfalls

Island Beach SP, NJ - a place in NJ along the beach with NO development!

The state park in NY with Taughannock Falls


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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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My two favorites were already mentioned by the poster PaulRabe - they are:

Anza-Borrego SP (California). Who ever thought desert could be so pretty. The wildflower bloom in the spring is a treasure.

Cascade River SP (Minnesota). Incredibly beautiful. Great solitude. How many waterfalls can one pass on a single day hike? dozens. Connects with Superior Hiking Trail, which you could hike for days.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 12:07 AM
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Snow Canyon State Park, Utah
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA
Valley of Fire State Park, NV

These are some of my favorites.

Utahtea
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Dead Horse Point State Park, UT
Fantastic views.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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I never knew there was a Denali State Park. Where is it in relation to the National Park?

I think Custer State Park in SD is fantastic. And my memories of some of the Hocking County state parks in southern Ohio are pretty great too -- particularly from the fall or early spring.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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I'm a huge fan of almost all our state parks. We're lucky some people had the foresight to donate and preserve open spaces for parkland, especially in this part of the country. Some of my favorites around here:

Assateague State Park (MD) has a special place in my heart,

Blackwater Falls State Park (WV)- rugged and beautiful,

Ohiopyle State Park (PA) for its whitewater rafting,

Swallow Falls State Park (MD) for its virgin hemlock groves and slip-slideable falls,

Jane's Island State Park (MD) for its lower bay beaches and marshland kayaking trails.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Richardson's Grove - the magnificent redwoods. We started going there when I was a kid in the 50's. (just a baby of course)
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Denali State Park is around mile mark 135-160 opposite the Alaska Range. We hiked Little Coal Creek Trail up to Kesugi Ridge and had great views. A bit steep near the top, but once you're on the ridge, you will certainly have a "table with a view" for your lunch break.

http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/denali1.htm
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Big Basin, Samuel P. Taylor (my brother was married there) and Angel Island to name a few of my faves in CA.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Oh, how could I forget the Forest of Nisene Marks near Santa Cruz. One of DH I my first dates.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Pipe Stem State Park in West Virginia. You can take a Swiss gondola ride to a lodge in a gorge (only accessible by gondola). We went on our honeymoon. (Hopefully it's still like that.) You can drive not too far and go white water rafting on the New River.

Also Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, east of Salem. Lots and lots of incredible waterfalls including some you can walk behind. A great swimming area where the kids can play, with a wide park for throwing frisbee, picnicing, reading.

And Champoeg State Park in Oregon, northwest of Salem, for swimming and bike trails.

Battle Ground State Park in Washington has a small swimming lake, with places to picnic and sit. There's a trail around the lake and camping. Lots of newish Russian immigrants go and it's an intersting cultural mix. You feel like you're visiting a place with dachas. Good place for dogs to hang out, too.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Hawaii:
Diamond Head State Monument, Hanauma Bay on Oahu. Akaka Falls State Park on Big Island.

Minnesota:
Itasca State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park (plus several others on North Shore already mentioned for the waterfalls, & cliffs over Lake superior), Interstate Park (Taylors Falls)

Kentucky:
Natural Bridge State Park- several natural arches in the park & nearby Red River Gorge, Cumberland Falls State Park, My Old Kentucky Home State Park

Tennessee:
Fall Creek Falls State Park - 4 easily accessable waterfalls in the park

South Dakota:
Custer State Park
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Adirondacks State Park in New York. Created in 1892 and by far the largest in the country.

Since there were already may small towns in the area - as well as the hunting lodges of some of the very wealthiest families - it has a different feel than most parks. Very accessible and lodging/camping of every type - as well as beautiful lakes and mountains and a wealth of wildlife - including bear, big cats and tons of moose/deer. (I believe the wolf reintroduction project is continuing slowly - so unlikely you will see any of them.)
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