7 Best US State Parks for Hiking

Many state parks across the United States offer breathtaking views, wildlife experiences, and plenty of recreational activities. But if you’re looking for the best trails and places to hike with lookouts along the way, and maybe even a waterfall or two, stay tuned.

Below, you’ll learn all about the best US state parks for hiking. They’re scattered all over the country, so chances are there’s something near you, or you can go on a road trip and visit a few.

Topanga State Park, California

Parker Mesa Overlook on the west side of Topanga State Park, California. Image credits: Breana Panaguiton via Unsplash

Located in Los Angeles, Topanga State Part spans 11,000 acres. It is also part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Visitors will find hikes for all ages, including nature trails through forested areas and viewpoints with sparkling waters.

Topanga State Park is also one of the largest city parks in the United States, which means you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city then head out to the outskirts for a fun-filled weekend. hiking adventures! Additionally, you can stay in a nearby small town for a longer visit.

Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota

Tettegouche State Park, Lake Superior Minnesota. Image credits: Cody Otto via Unsplash

Minnesota is home to over 10,000 lakes and is known for the Juicy Lucy cheeseburger, but it’s also home to Tettegouche State Park. The park spans over 9,000 acres of land, with cliffs, viewpoints, and trails stretching through peaceful forests.

You’ll enjoy views of Lake Superior as you stroll through the park, as well as an oak and maple forest and abundant wildlife. You can stop for a picnic, kayak in the water or simply admire the beauty of nature. So pack your snacks, a bathing suit and a pair of binoculars!

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

View from behind North Falls at Silver Falls State Park, Oregon. Image credits: Eric Muhr via Unsplash

A spectacular destination located in Oregon, Silver Falls State Park boasts a 117-foot waterfall. It also features a trail that passes through dense forests, descends through a rocky canyon, and is criss-crossed by waterfalls and streams.

You can hike, bike, or horseback ride over 35 miles of trails, but it’s important to remember that bears, cougars, and other wildlife reside in more remote areas of the park. Visitors will also find expansive lawns for daytime use, whether you want to picnic or play with your children and pets.

You can also stay overnight at the campsite or RV park for a fun weekend getaway. Otherwise, you can head to a nearby small town and enjoy the local attractions.

Wallace Falls State Park, Washington

View of the falls from Wallace Falls State Park, Washington. Image credits: Kash via Unsplash

With a 5.6-mile round-trip hike, Wallace Falls State Park in Washington is the perfect adventure if you’re looking for something both accessible and beautiful. You will enjoy a leisurely stroll through a majestic wooded area, listening to the soundscape of wildlife and the flowing river.

Visitors will also find a sight to behold: Wallace Falls itself. There are nine falls in total, scattered along the trail, so you’ll have a view to enjoy throughout your hike. If you’re interested in a longer trip, consider staying at one of the tent sites or in a charming little town.

Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona

Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona. Image credits: Shelley Pauls via Unsplash

A peaceful and beautiful place, Lost Dutchman State Park sits at the base of Arizona’s Superstition Mountains. You can choose to climb the mountain, enjoy the relaxation of the Sonoran Desert, or check out the geocache sites.

There are 10 trails in total, though four are for hikers only and mountain bikes are allowed on the rest, three of which are accessible to horseback riders. You can access the trails from the campsites or visit Phoenix which is only an hour away if you are interested in a longer stay.

Bear Mountain State Park, New York

Mountain view in Bear Mountain State Park, New York. Image credits: Daniel Ribar via Unsplash

New York is known for its city life, but you’ll also find miles of trails and 5,000 acres of forested landscape in Bear Mountain State Park. Just 45 miles from New York, the hiking trails traverse rocky terrain to a wide peak, and you may even find yourself along the first section of the Appalachian Trail.

Visitors will also find the Bear Mountain Inn, swimming pool, picnic areas, boat rentals, and more within the park. This makes it the perfect place for a family getaway, spring, summer, fall or winter.

Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas

Devil’s Den waterfall in Arkansas. Image credits: astroguy52 via Pixabay

Located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Devil’s Den State Park has many cliffs, caves, and forests that you can walk through. There are many hiking trails and campgrounds you can visit, or you can head to one of the nearby mountain towns.

The reservoir waterfall is a quick walk and you can enjoy the beauty of the water and the soundscape. There are also over 64 miles of walking trails to choose from, of varying difficulty, so there is something for everyone.

Go hiking!

Whether you want to visit one place and stay a while or hit the road and visit more than one, you will enjoy the most breathtaking views and exciting hikes in these parks.

Have you ever hiked the trails in any of these state parks? Share in the comments below!

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