Hidden, Oft Ignored Gems: State Parks

Did you know that as of 2016, there were 10,336 state parks in the United States? How many have you visited? I’m guessing you haven’t even made a dent in that number. I know I haven’t.

While national parks are pretty well- known and are among featured stops on many vacations, state parks are often overlooked or just plain unknown to many of us; the hidden gems of the U.S. Some state parks hog all of the glory, like Niagra Falls State Park in New York, (did you even know it was a state park?), or Ecola State Park in Astoria, Oregon, home to Cannon Beach– the much photographed beach featured in the 1980’s movie ‘Goonies’. Not to mention Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Big Sur), or Emerald Bay State Park (Lake Tahoe). If you bother to take the time, you will probably find some amazing state parks that should make it onto your bucket list. It’s possible there are a few within a few hours of you that you are missing out on because you don’t even know they exist. Read more

Canyons and Cliffs: Starved Rock State Park

The sun is shining through the trees, the trail is quiet, towering around you are canyon walls 3 stories high. You begin to hear the sound of falling water as you hike deeper into the canyon and the walls begin to close in. Just around the you are rewarded with a cascading waterfall at the end of the trail…Nature at it’s finest. Welcome to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois.

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