Are you wondering what to do when you get that day of perfect weather in the summer, that first warm day in the spring, or that last kind-of-warm weekend in the fall? Where can you go when all you want to do is be outdoors, do some hiking, have a picnic, let the kids run around, and enjoy the scenery? The answer is easy. No, it’s not Hawaii. The answer is a state park!
There is likely a state park within a reasonable driving distance of your home, so that means it’s time for a mini road trip! Load up the family and a picnic, and hit the road. Your closest state park may offer a beach, hiking trails, a nature center, or even camping. It’s time to go discover them for yourself.
Every April we get that first unusually warm day of weather, so we head to a state park for some hiking. A lot of the state parks in Northern Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota have waterfalls, and they are really running in the spring. Also, once the leaves start to turn color in the fall, we head to a couple of state parks that really offer some amazing views. The colors of the changing leaves seem to go on forever.
Not sure which state park to visit first? Just look at a state map, google state parks in your state, or ask for suggestions. This website, stateparks.com, is a complete resource when looking for state parks. You can find state parks by state, see pictures, and read reviews. It’s a site you want to bookmark!
You can easily plan a whole day at a state park, or if the park has a campground, you can make a weekend out of it! Besides hiking or swimming, some state parks offer nature programs for your kids to attend. This can be a fun way to sneak in a little learning during the summer. There may be nature walks or activity booklets too.
Since state parks are public property, there are bound to be some geocaches waiting to be found. This can be a fun way to discover the state park.
So let this be a reminder of the resources for family fun that are close to home, and get your whole family into the outdoors.
Which state park is your favorite?
I’ve just started visiting state parks in the past year or two. I think each state has some unique ones but of course, Yellowstone is my all time fave.
Oddly enough, we only have one state park in our county, and it’s a historic site without camping spots! I never realized that until I looked it up on the link you provided: we have lots of great county parks and even a few national monuments/ historic sites that are great, though. There are some awesome state parks in the upper part of our state that we’ll need to check out the next time we’re there visiting family.
I’m trying to be better about stopping at the historical sites in our area…we need to play “tourist” in our own town!
How cool! We will definitely have to check it out!
We love visiting state parks. I grew up going camping once a month, and we often camped at state parks. I also used to love to geocache, but last I checked they changed it so you have to pay to see most of the caches so I stopped. It was a fun, free thing for us but not anymore.
I prefer camping in state parks because everything is so well taken care of! We find our geocache info at geocaching.com…just enter your zipcode to search for cache’s…no charge!
This is so pretty! Visiting a state park is such a good idea for an affordable family outing or date! xx
Thanks Holly! Our state parks in the Midwest are beautiful!