22 Exciting Parks to Visit in the New Year
When you think about all of the places your family could go this year, how many of them are national parks? Make your next sightseeing plans soon, so you can squeeze in these exciting landmarks. Some of these are tourist attractions, but others are a bit more obscure. We bet you haven’t heard of more than a few of them, but put us to the test and check out our list of the most interesting parks we’d like to visit this year.
1. Mount Desert Island – Maine
Usually when someone brings up the topic of Maine, certain crustaceans or one particular writer may spring to mind. However, some of the most peaceful lakes can be found on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. Take a hike and swim to your heart’s delight, and you’ll likely not be bothered as there is rarely anyone else in sight!
2. Mammoth Lakes – California
There are tons of nature trails encircling Mammoth Lakes. This would be the ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts who are looking for one singular place where they can go skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding all in one location.
3. Dinosaur National Monument – Utah
The Dinosaur National Monument is a must-see for all history buffs. Do you have a family member who dabbles in a minor archaeology hobby? Take a trip to Utah and the past will be brought back to life right before their eyes, when they see evidence of the might of these Cretaceous creatures. What kid doesn’t like a good dinosaur tale, too? This place is just fun for everyone!
You wouldn’t know it by the look of it, but Rock Cut State Park is iconic for once being integral part of the migratory trails of vagrant families before western settlements were established. Now, the park is most widely known for its extensive piers and fishing docks–perfect for the fisherman at heart.
5. Grand Canyon – Arizona
There are two ways to access the the best viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. It all depends on whether you want to come in from the north side or the south side. One Minnesotan told Trip Advisor that the best way to see the Grand Canyon came from hiking with Wildland Trekking company, going from north to south.
6. Rocky Neck State Park – Connecticut
Beach lovers nationwide flock to Rocky Neck State Park to participate in various beach activities like crabbing and fishing.
7. Devil’s Lake State Park – Wisconsin
Oil up your climbing gear and head out to cheese country to test your vertical reach at Devil’s Lake. Once you’ve achieved your perch, take in the view of the bucolic waterways, then keep your heart rate going and hit the trail.
8. Letchworth State Park – New York
Voted Best in the Nation in 2015, this park is a must-see for the road-weary explorer. Give that gas pedal a rest and make a pit stop in New York during your next road trip. At the apex of a 17-mile river, the Genesee breaks into a majestic waterfall at Letchworth State Park in New York. Why not bring your family camping, hiking, and picnicking when you’re in the area?
9. Strawberry Park Resort Campground – Maine
If you’re into that down-home country sound, you’ve probably visited Strawberry Park already. The infamous campground is home to annual festivals, including multiple blue grass music fests, and the Cajun Zydeco Fest–for those looking to discover more exotic music. (P.S. This park is RV-friendly!)
10. Porcupine Mountains State Park – Michigan
As evidenced in the photo, there are many intricate waterways to explore along the territories surrounding the Porcupine Mountains. There have also been quite a few black bear sightings, so be careful out there!
11. Yosemite National Park –
Take a trip down memory lane and get a gander at the sites made famous by Ansel Adams’ black & white photography. You can also go climbing or cliff diving, if you’re feeling adventurous.
12. Fort Robinson State Park – Nebraska
Fort Robinson State Park is known for its pine ridge scenery, as experienced while riding atop a purebred Arabian horse. Tours run year-round, and there’s a community pool to cool off visitors after a relaxing day in the sun.
13. Kaibab Lake Campground – Arizona
Engage in a vacation filled with the serenity brought about by sitting on the dock and fishing for trout with your family at Kaibab Lake in Arizona. Alternatively, you can go hiking or have a picnic in one of the prairies nearby.
14. Fort Boonesborough State Park – Kentucky
Founded by Daniel Boone, this historic Kentucky state park boasts all-natural cabins recently restored to their original condition.
15. Snow Canyon State Park – Utah
Here’s another park meant for the avid equestrian enthusiast. Hit the trail, hike, and bike through the Mojave Desert or take a trip around the Three Ponds Trail when you visit Utah this year.
16. False Cape State Park – North Carolina
False Cape is home to the infamous abandoned community of wash woods, where campers go fishing–sometimes they even bring their canine friends!
17. Grayson Highlands State Park – Virginia
If you’re wondering where you can find the highest peak in Virginia, you’ve come to the right place. Mt. Rogers has a highly popular camping area for tourists who come from all over to take refuge in the shade of the trees around the park.
18. Badlands National Park – South Dakota
The Badlands is the perfect getaway for the busybody. With plenty of casinos and spas, you’re sure to secure a relaxation vacation from the to distract you from the last year spent working the 9-to-5. For the sports fan, there is also a wide network of ATV rental opportunities, so you can choose to spend your time speeding through the woods or testing your luck on the slots. It’s up to you!
19. Boundary Waters – Minnesota
Minnesota didn’t earn the moniker of “the land of 10,000 lakes” without providing residents with myriad opportunities get their feet wet. If you find yourself driving through the Midwest on your next road trip, rest a bit and spend some time canoeing, kayaking, or water tubing with the family.
20. Defeated Creek Park – Tennessee
Defeated Creek Park is an RV-friendly haven for the community-seeking traveler. Find your temporary home-away-from-home in Tennessee, where everyone acts as if they’ve known you your entire life.
21. Hither Hills State Park – New York
Hither Hills is located in Montauk, New York–almost as far as you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The natives come here to sit on the sand dunes and feast their eyes on the Atlantic coastline to let their minds drift out to sea.
22. Paddy Creek Wilderness – Missouri
Missouri is the perfect place for the rugged outdoorsman to achieve his dreams of finding the next big trophy buck. There’s even an RV park, so he can find bring his shiny new rig with him if he so pleases!
We hope you found a few gems on our list of state parks to visit for 2016. What are you travel plans this year? Do you have a favorite place to park your camper along your route through the United States? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!