The 50 Best State Parks in America

By: Matt Meltzer

We write a lot about our national parks. Which ones are the most underrated. Which ones are the most beautiful in the fall. Which ones should be ranked, because they’re just that cool. And why not? Our national park system is one of this country’s most spectacular treasures.

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But often lost in our focus on those 59 nationally protected areas is the extensive system of smaller, but equally mesmerizing, state parks — many of which can stand their legally protected ground with the likes of any Yellowstone, Acadia, and Big Bend. Heck, some of them even share that SAME ground.

So, in an attempt to give them their proper due, we asked locals from across the country to name the grandest of all their state’s parks. These are the 50 they picked.

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