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The "Best of the Best" Winter State Parks

The Best State Parks to Visit during the Winter

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The "Best of the Best" Winter State Parks

Wildflowers in Bloom During the Winter at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA photo courtesy of California State Parks

In traveling throughout the United States, I've discovered that there are many state parks that rival the more famous national parks in terms of beauty, cultural and historical significance, and natural resources, though many of these parks are not well known to the general public. Last fall I compiled a list of the "Best of the Best" State Parks by contacting each of the 50 state park directors and asking them to select 2-3 "must see" parks in their respective states.

This year I've decided to put together a similar feature, but this time focusing on a seasonal theme: Winter Travel. Once again, I've contacted each of the 50 state park agencies and asked them to provide information on 2-3 parks that stand out as great winter destinations in their respective states. In some cases, their selections have included parks that offer opportunities for winter sports such as snowmobiling and skiing. In other cases, they've include parks of historical significance or parks that serve as wintering areas for wildlife such as the American bald eagle or elephant seals.

In the table below, you'll find the complete list of parks that have been selected for each state. Click on the state link for a brief description of each park. In a feature that is certainly open to debate, here is a list of the "Best of the Best Winter State Parks."

Alabama

  • Cheaha State Park
  • Gulf State Park
  • Lake Guntersville State Park
Alaska
  • Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
  • Chena River State Recreation Area
  • Chugach State Park
Arizona
  • Alamo Lake State Park
  • Catalina State Park
  • Lake Havasu State Park
Arkansas
  • DeGray Lake Resort State Park
  • Petit Jean State Park
  • Queen Wilhelmina State Park
California
  • Año Nuevo State Reserve
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Prairie Creek Redwood State Park
Colorado
  • Navajo State Park
  • Pearl Lake State Park
  • Steamboat Lake State Park
Connecticut
  • Dinosaur State Park
  • Mohawk State Forest
  • Peoples State Forest
Delaware
  • Brandywine Creek State Park
  • Cape Henlopen State Park
  • Killens Pond State Park
Florida
  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Homossassa Springs State Wildlife Park
  • Honeymoon Island State Park
Georgia
  • General Coffee State Park
  • Georgia Veterans State Park
  • Providence Canyon State Park
Hawaii
  • Diamond Head State Monument
  • Makapuu Point State Wayside
Idaho
  • Harriman State Park
  • Priest Lake State Park
  • Winchester Lake State Park
Illinois
  • Mississippi Palisades State Park
  • Rock Cut State Park
  • Starved Rock State Park
Indiana
  • Brown County State Park
  • Pokagon State Park
Iowa
  • George Wyth State Park
  • Gull Point Complex State Park
  • Waubonsie State Park
Kansas
  • Milford State Park
  • Prairie Dog State Park
  • Webster State Park
Kentucky
  • Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park
  • Kenlake State Resort Park
  • Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Louisiana
  • Lake Claiborne State Park
  • Lake Fausse Pointe State Park
  • Tickfaw State Park
Maine
  • Aroostook State Park
  • Baxter State Park
  • Mount Blue State Park
Maryland
  • Deep Creek Lake State Park
  • Green Ridge State Forest
  • New Germany State Park
Massachusetts
  • Douglas State Forest
  • Dunn State Park
  • Great Brook Farm State Park
Michigan
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
  • Sleeper State Park
Minnesota
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park
  • Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
  • Wild River State Park
Mississippi
  • Florewood River Plantation
  • Percy Quin State Park
  • Tishomingo State Park
Missouri
  • Rock Bridge State Park
  • Roaring River State Park
  • Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
Montana
  • Bannack State Park
  • Cooney Reservoir State Park
  • Makoshika State Park
Nebraska
  • Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
  • Indian Cave State Park
Nevada
  • Cave Lake State Park
  • Lake Tahoe State Park
  • Valley of Fire State Park
New Hampshire
  • Bear Brook State Park
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Monadnock State Park
New Jersey
  • High Point State Park
  • Stokes State Forest
  • Wawayanda State Park
New Mexico
  • City of Rocks State Park
  • Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park
  • Sugarite Canyon
New York
  • Allegany State Park
  • Letchworth State Park
  • Wellesley Island State Park
North Carolina
  • Fort Macon State Park
  • Hammocks Beach State Park
  • Pettigrew State Park
North Dakota
  • Fort Ransom State Park
  • Icelandic State Park
  • Lake Metigoshe State Park
Ohio
  • Malabar Farm State Park
  • Mohican State Park
  • Punderson State Park
Oklahoma
  • Beavers Bend State Park
  • Quartz Mountain State Park
  • Robbers Cave State Park
Oregon
  • Bullards Beach State Park
  • Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
  • South Beach State Park
Pennsylvania
  • Black Moshannon State Park
  • Laurel Ridge State Park
  • Promised Land State Park
Rhode Island
  • Goddard Memorial State Park
  • Lincoln Woods State Park
South Carolina
  • Hampton Plantation State Historic Site
  • Huntington Beach State Park
  • Table Rock State Park
South Dakota
  • Black Hills Snowmobile Trail System
  • Newton Hills State Park
  • Oakwood Lakes State Park
Tennessee
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park
  • Roan Mountain State Park
  • Tims Ford State Park
Texas
  • Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park
  • Garner State Park
  • Seminole Canyon State Historical Park
Utah
  • Jordanelle State Park
  • Soldier Hollow at Wasatch Mountain State Park
Vermont
  • Coolidge State Park
  • Groton State Forest
  • Mount Philo State Park
  • Woodford State Park
Virginia
  • Douthat State Park
  • Hungry Mother State Park
  • Westmoreland State Park
Washington
  • Hyak Sno-Park
  • Mount Spokane State Park
  • Rose Springs Sno-Park
West Virginia
  • Blackwater Falls State Park
  • Canaan Valley Resort State Park
Wisconsin
  • Blue Mound State Park
  • Interstate State Park
  • Kettle Moraine State Forest
  • Red Cedar State Trail
Wyoming
  • Bear River State Park
  • Hot Springs State Park
  • Keyhole State Park

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