Park Visitor

 
 
 

Insider Tips

YOU’VE GOT IT COVERED: Update your insurance and registration. Visit Geico.com for a free quote and to enroll in their Emergency Road Service plan.

 

MEMORY LANE: While you’re on the road, track your route on a map, keep a journal and take plenty of photos. Along the way collect business cards, postcards, menus and tourist brochures. When you’re back home, use these souvenirs to make a scrapbook or memory box. For cool, creative ideas check out the many scrapbooking sites online.

 

GO OLD SCHOOL: A road trip lets you step out of your usual routine and into a new adventure. Unplug, and connect instead with your travel companions. Play some old-fashioned car games together to make the time fly by! Game ideas: I Spy, License Plate Game, Alphabet Game, 20 Questions, Animal Name Game.

 

TAKE THE SLOW ROAD: When you can, make time to get off the interstate to explore America’s diverse, scenic byways. Visit www.byways.org for a listing by state of these special roads.

 
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Filter Tips by State:
Southern California Beach Towns - CA
 

48 miles round trip

Head north from San Diego on I-5 and take the La Jolla Parkway exit. Bring your sand toys or just relax on the pristine, mile-long La Jolla Shores Beach while the waves roll in. Visit the nearby Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to see the exhibits showcasing the marvels of ocean life. Eight miles north of La Jolla is Del Mar, famed for its thoroughbred racetrack. If the horses are running, you can try your luck, or head into town for a meal and some shopping. Another few miles north is Solano Beach.  Look for staircases to access the secluded beaches lined by dramatic cliffs. Visit the art galleries along Cedros Avenue before heading back to San Diego.

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Land of the Giants - CA
 

11 miles round trip

In North Humboldt County, just north of Orick on Highway 101, head east on Bald Hills Road and climb the hills that form the watershed of Redwood Creek.  Take in the majestic vistas from Lady Bird Johnson Groves.  Continue on to Schoolhouse Peak, a good spot to enjoy a picnic.  En route you will pass the trailhead to the Tall Trees Grove, home to the tallest trees in the world.  If you plan to hike in, make sure to stop and get a free permit at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, the Crescent City Information Center or the Prairie Creek Visitor Center.  Allow for 3-4 hours to complete the hike.

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Woodbridge State Park Camping Trip - CA
 

After a long day of driving in late September we camped overnight at Woodson Bridge State Park in Corning, CA where we almost had the campground completely to ourselves. This is a gem of a little day/overnight campground settled in the rural outskirts of Corning. Several easy, flat hiking trails took us through the dry oak forest that abuts the rushing Sacramento River. At dusk we sat at our campsite, #15, and marveled at the beautiful sunset through the silhouette of a large old oak tree. We watched flycatchers catch flies, and a little later watched bats catch mosquitoes (there were few).

When the sky turned dark we viewed a spectacular starry night! At long last we retreated to the comfort of our tiny trailer camper and had a blissful night's sleep. Camping really doesn't get much better than this!

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The Oregon Coast - OR
 

We stayed at Tugman State Park where we swam in the lake while our grand boys played in the children’s playground. We stayed in a Yurt and went on walks in the park. The boys roasted marshmallows and made smores. We rode a sand rail and visited Honeyman Memorial State Park. The sand dunes were the best part, and how close we were so to them. Since the sand dunes are so wonderful there are many state parks near so we can enjoy the beauty of the coast and the sand dunes at the same time.

We took a road trip to George Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Utah where we traveled through Pendleton to Promatory Point to Antolope Island to Odgen to Salt Lake to Thanksgiving Point and back home to Fairview. We stopped in Boise and Baker City. We went to parks, museums, aquarium, gardens, historic cities, and a dinosaur park / museum (a personal favorite). The George Eccles museum is a great museum for all ages, there is so much to do and see with life-size dinosaurs. The kids had a great time walking around and looking at all the dinosaurs.

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Virginia Beach trip to the Outer Banks - NC
 

Enjoy the beach and the waves, by building sand castles, boogie boarding, relaxing, collecting seashells, and walking up and down this peaceful beach.

Day One: First Landing State Park – Virginia Beach, VA
This beautiful beach was so peaceful and the best part was our seven-year-old son finding live sand fleas and coquinas near the water in different beautiful colors. He caught them in a container, observed them burrowing into the sand, and then released them before we left.

Day Two: Outer Banks, NC.
We camped in the Oregon Inlet Campground, on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore while our son attended NC Aquarium's Junior Aquatic Adventurers Camp. This camp was one of the best parts. Unlike last year where he was bored and sunburnt, this year he was inspired, energized and he learned a lot!

He had snorkeling lessons where he snorkeled in the salt marsh, and took field trips all over the Outer Banks; he had a great time. After camp, we spent time together on the beautiful beach. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

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A Taste of the South and the North! - TN
 

Our great family road trip started in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We took our two girls up to a waterfall, climbed a mountain, and even watched a black bear cross our trail about 15 feet ahead of us. The scenic drive brought us through winding roads, old school houses, old churches, cabins from long ago, a mill with homemade molasses, and a real blacksmith. The best part was the look on the faces of my daughters when they saw that bear walking on our trail. It was scary but exciting all the same!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Northern Michigan was our next stop on the road trip. We loved the drive up to the trailhead, and the dunes were beautiful. We hiked all the way to the top, but the best part was the beautiful view of the lake, visible as you travel down the dunes. I love the clear blue skies set against the beach and Lake Michigan. This was definitely a great trip!

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Spring Break Destination: Oregon - OR
 

Looking for a couple days together as a family during spring break? The time period evokes cries from your wallet, as anything fun seems to cost twice as much these days. We considered a road trip to California’s Great America, but found it too early in the season for a guaranteed dry day. So we took a shorter road trip, burned a lot less gas and had much more fun!

We started early Sunday morning and headed to Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center in Wilsonville. The park opened at 9:30 (its better to arrive early). The park is right off I-5 so finding it was not a problem. Like the fun center we’d been to in Utah, Bullwinkle’s had go carts, bumper boats, batting cages, laser tag, food, arcades, mini-putt golf and this time there was a rock climbing wall and ropes course. If you want to do everything several times, the day pass is your best buy at $33.00 per person. Check out their Facebook page for coupons though, while we were there they had one for $25.00 per person, a great deal for four!

After spending several fun filled hours at Bullwinkle’s we headed west to Lincoln City’s Inn at the Spanish Head resort. Having stayed here a couple of times before, I knew it was a wonderful place (just usually out of our price range). The single bedroom suites work perfect for a family of four but normally cost over $300.00 a night. During spring break, though, they were offering them at $199.00 plus tax. They also run a winter, mid week, buy one night get one free special. Each room is a privately owned condo. They are fully furnished and each has a full kitchen, which is more affordable than going out for every meal. They have an onsite restaurant that has an ocean view dinning room and also provides room service.

The pool area is heated and is open year round. They also have two hot tubs, one inside and one out. We spent 3 days shopping at outlet stores, walking on the beach and eating great food!
We left late in the morning on Tuesday and headed for Coos Bay to stay a night at the Mill Casino. We had a double queen room in the tower, which was very nicely furnished and smoke free. Dinner in the restaurant was very good. The buffet only runs on weekends but it looked tasty. They have a nice looking pool, hot tub and arcade for the kids. We had their homemade doughnuts in the morning. They were inexpensive and amazing!

After breakfast we were off to Bandon to visit the West Coast Game Park, a place where we were told we could hold baby wild animals. The park is located 7 miles past Bandon, with plenty of signs to direct you. We arrived just after opened at 9:30am. This turned out to be good; as we received more one on one time with the animals then people did later in the day, as the crowd grew. We were able to pet baby lions, black leopards, opossum, and skunks. There were also deer, goats and other animals roaming for us to pet. There were so many other animals at the park: white tigers, cougars, zebra, monkeys, and lots of others. Everyone had a great time and it was very much worth the trip. They also have a coupon in the entertainment book! We ate lunch in Bandon on the way home and concluded it had been a great trip!!

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Oregon Road trip: From the mountains to the beach! - OR
 

We took a camping trip up to Crater Lake National Park. We hiked all over, and at night we roasted marshmallows that got so big my husband thought I had bought an off brand. We figured the altitude had something to do with it, though. We also took a wonderful boat ride on the lake. My hubby is from Texas and didn't believe how beautiful Crater Lake National Park is, but I was able to make a believer out of him!

We visited several free parks next. They are such a bargain! Ainsworth State Park in the Gorge is really nice, and Dabney is a fun day trip. 

Our next stop was on the Oregon coast. We went to Beverly beach with the grand kids. We walked on the beach, of course. Everything about this stop was absolutely great!

Our fourth stop was Diamond Lake, where we fished, hiked, and rode bikes. Catching fish on the dock, and trying to out run the bugs were the most fun!

Our final stop was L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. It was really nice. We hiked and relaxed. The best part of any road trip is just relaxing and getting away. It’s so wonderful how clean they always keep the State Parks. We really do live in a great state. Thank you Oregon!

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Oregon Beachside Road Trip - OR
 

Day One: Our first stop was South Beach State Park in Newport, OR. The campground is huge and within walking distance to the jetty. This place offers many great walks in their expansive trail system, which encompasses a large area of dunes and hills with wooded wild natural areas. We also enjoyed walking to a nearby brewery/pub, which had great food and a beautiful view of the Newport marina.

Day Two: Our second stop was Beachside State Recreation Park, just south of Waldport, OR. The campsites here have fantastic views of the ocean. Part of the allure is being right on the coast, since most Oregon coast campgrounds are slightly inland. 

BONUS TIP: Since Beachside state park is so close to the water, make sure to watch for the amazing sunset over the ocean.

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Scenic Fort Tour - WA
 

From Seattle, head west by ferry to Bainbridge Island. Take SR 305, then WA-3 N north to Kitsap Memorial State Park. Picnic with a view of Hood Canal at this 58-acre camping park with 1,797 feet of saltwater shoreline, and then take a walk along the calming waters of Puget Sound. Hop back on WA-3 N and cross the Hood Canal Bridge, the third largest floating bridge in the world, to WA-104 W. Continue north on WA-19 N onto WA-20 E to Fort Townsend State Park. This marine park features 3,960 feet of saltwater shoreline and a rich military history dating from pioneer days. Return to WA-20 E and continue north to the old Victorian seaport of Port Townsend. Drive downtown to take in the classic, colorful architecture on your way to Fort Worden State Park on Point Wilson. Resting on a majestic bluff overlooking Puget Sound, the park is home to many historic coast artillery post structures from the turn of the 20th century. Soak up views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains before tracing back to WA-20 W. Continue to WA-19 S and take WA-116E to Marrowstone Island. End your tour at Fort Flagler State Park, a former US Army fort. Visitors may hike or bike on the bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet, walk on the sandy shore to the lighthouse on Marrowstone Point and explore the park’s museum and gun batteries. Turn your day trip into an overnight visit by camping in the forest campground or staying overnight in one of the historic fort buildings.

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Maumee Valley Scenic Byway - OH
 

220 miles round trip

Start your adventure at Maumee Bay State Park, which boasts one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Its wetlands are home to a variety of wildlife. Choose from a range of activities including hiking, fishing and golfing. Enjoy a visit to Perrysburg to see the town’s historic district and War of 1812 historic site, Fort Meigs. Spend the night at the park in a lodge, cabin, yurt or tent. The next day, head to the quaint village of Grand Rapids and ride a canal boat at Providence Metropark. Browse the shops and grab fixings for a picnic at nearby Mary Jane Thurston State Park. Proceed west through Napoleon and on to Independence Dam State Park, set along the banks of the Maumee River in Defiance. Stay overnight in the basic campground there, or head north to Harrison Lake State Park to camp or stay in a yurt. For a list of historic attractions enroute visit www.seeohiofirst.org, Tour #6.

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Historic Day Trip: Sedalia to Arrow Rock - MO
 

Historic Day Trip: Sedalia to Arrow Rock
100 miles round trip

To begin your trip back in time, head north to the Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site. Take a tour of the bluff-top, eclectic home and enjoy the hiking and mountain biking trails. Zigzag east and north to Arrow Rock State Historic Site. Explore the serene village that was once a bustling river town. Shop the quaint stores for antiques and end your day dining in a period setting at the historic Old Tavern.



Two -Day Getaway : Cassville to Lebanon
240 miles round trip

Start out at Roaring River State Park. With one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation you won’t have to talk about the one that got away! Then head out to Bennett Spring State Park, an area founded by pioneers who used the rushing, spring-fed waters for gristmills. Settle in for the night at one of the campgrounds. The next morning, catch another trout as the sun rises over the valley.

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Explore the Upper Peninsula or the Lake Michigan Coast - MI
 

Trip One:
Explore the Upper Peninsula: Cheboygan to Porcupine Mountains
632 miles round trip


Day 1 (123 miles):
Cross the Mackinac Bridge and head west on scenic Route 2. At Palms Book State Park float atop the crystal clear waters of Kitch-iti-kipi Spring or Big Spring on an observation raft.


Day 2 (222 miles):
From Palms Book State Park continue west to Lake Gogebic State Park, a perfect base for day trips. Nearby Agate Falls Scenic Site is home to a 39-foot-high waterfall that flows over a shelf of sandstone. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, on the shore of Lake Superior, boasts towering virgin timber and secluded wild rivers and streams.



Trip Two :
Lake Michigan Coast: Frankfort to Muskegon State Park
236 miles round trip

Take the scenic drive along US-31 that hugs the western coastline of the Lower Peninsula. Stop for lunch in the historic town of Manistee before heading south past the Betsie River Game Area and Ludington State Park’s Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Before returning to Frankfort, continue south to Muskegon State Park, nestled between Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan, and home to a rare coastal plain marsh.

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Maryland’s Western Mountains Beckon Visitors - MD
 

DAY ONE
Located in the Appalachian Mountains, just over an hour’s drive from the state capital of Annapolis, it’s easy to reach Greenbrier State Park. Start your day with swimming or canoeing in the 42-acre man-made lake. In the afternoon, take a 4.5-mile hike along the Big Red Trail. Spend the night in one of the many campsites and enjoy s’mores around the fire.


DAY TWO
From Greenbrier, travel northeast about 25 minutes to the picturesque Catoctin Mountains. Here you’ll find Cunningham Falls State Park, famous for its majestic 78-foot waterfall. The hiking trails vary in terrain from short, flat hikes to steep, rocky ascents. Paddle the lake and do some fishing so you can take home the day’s catch for a tasty dinner!

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Scenic Byways - ID
 

St. Joe River Scenic Byway
82.8 miles. - Allow 2 hours


From the junction of Interstate 90 and Idaho 3, head south on Idaho 3 to Idaho 6, then southwest to U.S. 95 at Potlatch. Special attractions along the way: Old Mission State Park; Coeur d’Alene River Wildlife Management Area; St. Joe National Forest; Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes; Potlatch historic walking tours; Mullan Trail Park, Steam Donkey, 1910 Fire Memorial and historical murals in St. Maries. 

Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
28.7 miles - Allow about an hour

The southern end is at Idaho 47 in Ashton, northeast 12.4 miles to the old Bear Gulch Ski Area site, then northwest along Forest Service Route 294 to the northern end at U.S. 20. Special attractions along the way: Upper Mesa Falls; Lower Mesa Falls; Harriman State Park on U.S. 20; many trails for bikes, horses, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiles.

Payette River Scenic Byway
111.7 miles - Two hours, 15 minutes

From the junction of U.S. 95 at New Meadows along Idaho 55 south to Idaho 44 west of Boise. Special attractions along the way: Guided float trips on the Payette River; Cascade Reservoir; snowmobiling and cross-country skiing at Smiths Ferry; Ponderosa State Park on Payette Lake; Brundage Mountain Ski Area; Boise and Payette National Forests.

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Historic Escape: Atlanta to Ft. Mountain - GA
 

258 miles round trip

Day 1 (64 miles)
Begin your trip at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield with a visit to the museum and a hike along the scenic trails. Continue to Etowah Mounds Historic Site, the location of an ancient Native American village. Stop for lunch in nearby Cartersville, home to art, history and science museums. Head to Red Top Mountain for a picnic and bike ride on the Iron Hill Loop. Spend the night in a cottage or yurt, or at the campground.

 

Day 2 (65 miles)
Drive north to New Echota Historic Site to tour the buildings and the Cherokee Research Library. Drive to the town of Chatsworth for lunch and a visit to the Chief Vann House Historic Site, Georgia’s best-preserved historic Cherokee Indian home. Proceed to Fort Mountain State Park for an afternoon hike around the lake. Don’t miss sunset from the beach! Spend the night either in a cottage or at the campground before heading back to Atlanta.

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Wilmington to Laurel - DE
 

208 miles round trip

Day 1
Begin your visit at historic Bellevue State Park in Wilmington. This former du Pont estate features a grand mansion, formal gardens, an arboretum, tennis courts and an equestrian facility. Enjoy a picnic on the lush grounds. Head south to Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, one of the largest remaining fragments of a vast wetland featuring an extensive patch of baldcypress trees. Settle in for a night of camping in a tent, RV, fishing cabin or yurt.

 

Day 2
Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the scenic Baldcypress Swamp, home to many bird species including Great Blue Herons, owls, warblers and Pileated Woodpeckers. Bike or hike the park’s many trails and tour the exhibits in the Nature Center. Finish the day with an evening hayride or pontoon tour before spending another peaceful night in nature.

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Mountains, rivers and camping along Hwy 24 - CO
 

Savor nature’s beauty and immerse yourself in Colorado’s exciting outdoors as you travel through the Pikes Peak region. Enjoy incredible views while hiking, reel in a rainbow trout, and explore the impressive Collegiate Peaks Range.


DAY ONE: Head west from Colorado Springs on US Highway 24 for 25 miles to the small mountain town of Divide. Here, turn south on Highway 67 for six miles until you arrive at Mueller State Park, which contains the perfect venue for a morning horseback or mountain bike ride. Catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife as you explore the 50-plus miles of trails throughout the park. Then hop back into the car and head towards Hwy 24, and continue west to Eleven Mile State Park and Reservoir. Surrounded by mountains, this is the perfect place for a midday picnic with peaceful sounds of water lapping on the shore. The park’s nine campgrounds offer a variety of camping facilities to stay overnight. Dress warmly because even in warm summers, the nights can get cool at this altitude.


DAY TWO: Wake up to the birds singing and a beautiful sunrise at Eleven Mile State Park’s 8,500 feet of elevation. Pack up the bags and continue west for 45 miles on Hwy 24 to the small mountain town of Collegiate Peaks (Mt. Harvard, Mt. Oxford, Mt. Yale, Mt. Princeton, and Mt. Buena Vista. Here you can enjoy the magnificent 14,000 Columbia) or explore the canyons and river scenery of Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area while enjoying this unique Western town. Then spend the afternoon recreating in Colorado’s river country. The area boasts some of the best whitewater boating in the country along this 150-mile stretch of water. The area offers something for everyone—from large rapids to calmer stretches of water. Then hit the road and either continue on Hwy 24 to the ski town of Vail and home along Interstate 70, or backtrack east to Colorado Springs.

 

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A Trip Back In Time - DE
 

From the Civil War to the Cold War, Delaware has provided defense for our nation's coast. Fort Delaware and Fort Miles protected the Delaware Bay and River from our nation’s enemies, and this weekend road trip allows you to discover these historic monumental gems.


DAY ONE: Located on an island in the Delaware River stands Fort Delaware State Park, a Civil War-era prison. This prison contains weaponries that protected the river from enemy ships; today Fort Delaware is a piece of award-winning living history. Begin your day with a ferry trip from Delaware City to the island. Costumed re-enactors and artillery demonstrations will transport you back to 1864 to see fort and barracks that were once home to more than 20,000 prisoners, soldiers and civilians.


DAY TWO: Head south to Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes and find a coastal defense site in Fort Miles. Concrete bunkers that once housed huge guns are now sites for tours led by costumed interpreters. Look across the water and imagine the German submarine that surrendered at Fort Miles during World War II. See the fire control towers that stand along the coast where soldiers helped aim the massive guns, and learn about the underground listening stations that monitored these waters through the Cold War.


BONUS TIP: For an alternatively unique experience, head down Route 1 to the Indian River Life-Saving Station. Built in 1876 the station responded to shipwrecks along the coastlines of the United States. Today costumed re-enactors help share the stories of the brave surf men who worked at the Life-Saving Service. Next door, the gift shop sells unique nautical items and souvenirs.

2 Parks
 
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A Gainesville History Tour - FL
 

Tours of historic homes provide a look at the struggles and successes of past generations. Visit a working century farm and the homestead of a famous author. Gainesville features many places for lodging and restaurants.

 

DAY ONE: Dudley Farm Historic State Park is an authentic working farm demonstrating the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid- 1940s. The homestead consists of 18 buildings, including an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and a functional cane syrup complex complete with park staff completing daily chores. This park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday - Sunday (it is closed Monday and Tuesday).

 

DAY TWO: Walk back in time to the 1930;s where Pulitzer-prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived, worked and wrote her novel, the Yearling. Designated a National Historic Landmark, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park, has been restored and preserved with picnic facilities and playgrounds are nearby. Tours are available October - July, Thursday-Sunday.

 

BONUS TIP: Go to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy for camping overnight. Explore the Visitor Center's exhibits and audio-visual program on the great Alachua Savanna and climb the observation tower for a look at the prairie.

3 Parks
 
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A Weekend Escape From The City - GA
 

Sample Native American history, explore the wildlife, tour museums, and enjoy a little heart-pumping adventure on this fun two-day road trip. It's an easy drive from Atlanta and surrounding suburbs!

6 Parks
 
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Take a trip back in time in south Idaho - ID
 

Idaho is not only a place for adventure, but it's a state full of rich mining history that is still visible today. This road trip will give you a glimpse of what the area was like during the mining boom and it will provide plenty of opportunity to explore outdoors and relax with the whole family.

 

DAY ONE: Eastern Idaho's Land of the Yankee Fork State Park is a great park to visit to learn about Idaho's frontier mining history. The Interpretive Center offers exhibits, a gold panning station, audiovisual programs, children's programs and friendly personnel to provide information on local mining history. Don't forget to take a tour of Bayhorse, one of Idaho's famous ghost towns and OHV trailheads. More information is available at the visitor center.

 

DAY TWO: Massacre Rocks State Park: About 3.5 hours south by car (take US 93 south to US 26 to I-86W), Massacre Rocks State Park is also full of history and beauty. Trail emigrants referred to the area as "Devil's Gate" for its ruggedness, but today travelers use terms like beautiful, serene, and restful to describe the park. Pioneers used this area specifically for, what is now referred to as Register Rock, as a travelers rest. Today, it makes a great picnic stop.

 

BONUS TIPS: Take a tour around the ghost towns of Bayhorse, Bonanza and Custer, the Custer Motorway or the Challis Bison Kill Site. This area is well known for OHV opportunities, hiking, fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting on the world-famous Salmon River and backpacking in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. In winter, Stanley offers snowmobiling.

2 Parks
 
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Explore the Northeast Corner - MD
 

You don't have to drive far to enjoy a diverse, relaxing, fun slice of Maryland. This 2-park adventure only involves about an hour of driving, but includes a lot of adventure as you climb a tall lighthouse and gaze across a covered bridge, hike, bike, camp and swim!

 

DAY ONE: Start your journey at Elk Neck, where 2,188 acres of sandy beaches, marshlands, and heavily wooded bluffs overlook the North East River, the Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay. Swim in the Bay, launch a canoe, or hike out to Turkey Point Lighthouse, the landmark of this park. There you can stand on a 100-foot bluff and look out over the Bay and see for miles. On Saturdays and Sundays (April - November between 10am and 4pm) you can climb up to the top of the 35-foot-tall lighthouse and learn more about its history.

 

DAY TWO: About 40 minutes north of Elk Neck State Park via MD-272 and MD-213, is Fair Hill NRMA where your adventure continues. Bordered by Pennsylvania and Delaware, Fair Hill is known for its pristine fields, woodlands and natural beauty. Don't miss the Covered Bridge, a great historic landmark and picnic spot. It was constructed in 1860 for the Cecil County Commissioners, at a cost of $1,165. This area also offers fishing, hiking, biking, and equestrian use trails.

1 Park
 
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Tour The Upper Peninsula! - MI
 

There's so much to see in the U.P.! This circle tour highlights some of the most beautiful parks in Michigan and gives you a complete sampling of everything the Upper Peninsula has to offer. Have fun!

 

DAY ONE: Straits State Park is the ideal starting point for your journey around the Upper Peninsula. Go for a hike, or have a picnic by the water with views of the Mackinac Bridge. From there, head west toward Palms Book State Park, where you can take a trip on the Kitch-iti-kipi raft. The raft allows visitors to see underwater springs that gush more than 10,000 gallons of water per minute. You can camp nearby at Indian Lake State Park, where cabins and a campground are available. Or, head back to Straits State Park for a night by the bridge.

 

DAY TWO: Next, head further west toward Bond Falls Scenic Site. Bond Falls is the middle branch of the Ontonagon river which tumbles over a thick belt of fractured rock, dividing the river into numerous small cascades. Just north of here, you can also view Agate Falls. Next, head east and stop at Laughing White Fish Falls and Wagner Falls scenic sites. Both sites offer short hiking trails and scenic observation decks that allow you to view the cascades up-close.


BONUS TIPS: If you have time, make a special stop at Van Riper State Park to see moose, or Muskallonge State Park for agates on the Lake Superior beach. You can also stay overnight at Brimley State Park and take time to visit the famous Soo Locks. Several of the historic towns in the U.P. offer dining and lodging options as well.

6 Parks
 
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Two Days of Outdoor Fun! - MO
 

With state parks all across Missouri, it's easy to plan a great weekend without a lot of windshield time. You can enjoy a taste of southern Missouri during a two-day trip to Roaring River State Park and nearby Table Rock State Park.

 

DAY ONE: Spend the night in Roaring River State Park's campground in a rustic 1930s cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or relax in a modern motel room at the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center. Wake up your first morning with the sun coming over the surrounding rugged and forested hills. After a hearty breakfast at the park's restaurant, try your hand at some of the best rainbow trout fishing in Missouri. Be sure to allow enough time in your day to visit the nature center, take a hike on a trail or cool off with a dip in the swimming pool.

 

DAY TWO: After a relaxing night at Roaring River State Park, take a scenic drive through the hills to nearby Table Rock State Park. The opportunities for water recreation on Table Rock Lake are bountiful. Check out the full-service lake marina, which offers exciting para-sailing trips, personal watercraft excursions, and SCUBA lessons. End your day with a beautiful sunset cruise on their 50-foot catamaran, and spend your last night in the park's spacious campground, enjoying a meal under the stars.

 

BONUS TIPS: After exploring Table Rock Lake both above and below the water, check it out from a trail along the lakeshore. The 2.2-mile Shoreline Trail has an asphalt surface so it accommodates foot traffic, motorized wheelchairs, bicycles, skateboards and scooters. It can be accessed from Table Rock State Park, the Showboat Branson Belle or the Dewey Short Visitor Center.

2 Parks
 
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Breaking Up Your Trip
 

Mix up the stops on the road trip. If you spend the first day at a historical site, follow it up with some rich hiking at the next stop, and then close it out with a lakeside retreat. If you broaden your road trip experience, you will discover so much more about the parks and all they have to offer.

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Packing
 

Don’t skimp on packing. If you have something you think you might need, stow it away just to be safe. Stuff you buy on the road can be much less reliable than the items you are already used to.

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Trip One - TX
 

Start outside San Antonio by visiting Government Canyon State Natural Area. Spend the morning hiking through live oak savannahs, old-growth Ashe juniper trees and some Spanish moss overhangs for a relaxing start to the day. Then take Interstate 10 north to Fredricksburg where you can picnic at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historical Site on the banks of the Pedernales River, across from the former President’s ranch. Hurry though, its best to make it to the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area by dusk in order to catch bats exiting the cave looking for insects to eat (May-October). Cap your long day with a short drive to stay the night in one of 46 campsites at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Don’t worry, the next day is all about lollygagging and relaxing—if you want—but we recommend climbing to the top of the pink granite dome.

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Trip Two - TX
 

Also starting near San Antonio, this trip’s first stop is at Guadalupe River State Park and Honey Creek State Natural Area (the latter only open by reserved, guided tours). Here, you can see some of the most scenic areas in all of central Texas. Fish, hike or just enjoy the serenity of the Guadalupe River, before heading north to McKinney Falls State Park to set up camp.  There are 84 sites, many of which provide water and electricity. Here you’ll find more than seven miles of trails suitable for hiking, biking, or milling around with the family, but you’ll want to do that on your second full day here. After setting up camp, head to downtown Austin for a tour of the state’s capital and snag a spot along the Congress Avenue bridge to view the nightly flight of the bats before heading back to camp.

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Discover Dinosaurs - UT
 

Dinosaur sightings abound when you explore in and around the city of Vernal. Driving into town, you’ll see a cute, pink dinosaur welcoming you to this 2-day adventure. Just down the street, you can explore Utah Field House, Red Fleet and Steinaker state parks.

 

DAY ONE: Within an 80-mile radius of Vernal, evidence of the entire Earth’s history is visible. At its center is the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. Children can dig for fossils and walk through a prehistoric jungle inside. Outside, explore the Dinosaur Garden, a prehistoric zoo of 14 full- size dinosaur replicas. Stand in the shadow of 20-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex, or go head-to-head with a horned Triceratops, six-ton Stegosaurus, or winged Pteranodon.

 

DAY TWO: Red Fleet State Park is a short drive north from downtown Vernal. The park is named for its red rocks jutting up from the landscape, which appear like a fleet of ships. Enjoy an easy hike to the dinosaur trackway. Paleontologists say these tracks are 200 million years old and the three-toed dinosaurs that left them walked on two legs. The best viewing times are early morning or late afternoon, as the tracks are somewhat difficult to see when the sun is directly overhead.


BONUS TIPS: Don’t miss the pink and green dinosaurs along Main Street in Vernal. If you have time, make your way to Steinaker State Park, 7 miles north of Vernal, just off Utah Highway 191. Sandy beaches, swimming, boating and waterskiing top the list of activities at Steinaker. There’s year- round fishing too!

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Heart of Virginia - VA
 

Enjoy both recreation and history while touring Virginia State Parks. It’s an affordable and fun experience you won’t want to miss. Use the following details and suggestions to guide your road trip.

 

DAYS ONE & TWO: Bear Creek Lake State Park: Located in the heart of Cumberland County, this is the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will enjoy the picturesque 40-acre lake, complete with boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals and swimming beach. The park offers 6 miles of hiking trails and access to biking and horseback riding on adjacent State Forest land. Enjoy all the furnished comforts of home in well-appointed cabins and lodges, or enjoy getting back to basics around the campfire for the night with the family.

 

DAY THREE: High Bridge Trail State Park: Nearby, in downtown Farmville, are trailheads for the 30-mile multi-use High Bridge Trail that runs through three counties and five towns in Central Virginia. The trail’s centerpiece is the majestic High Bridge. When it opens, the bridge will be more than 2,400 feet long and 160 feet above the Appomattox River. The bridge, built in 1853, was the catalyst for a major Civil War battle. Confederate forces burned four spans of High Bridge, but failed to destroy the lower wagon bridge, allowing Federal forces to continue pursuit of Lee’s army north of the Appomattox River.


IN THE KNOW PIT STOPS: Take the Civil War Trail’s Lee’s Retreat driving tour, which follows the course of critical action on roads that were used April 2–9, 1865. Short-range radio messages at more than 26 waysides along the way explain the historical activity. Five of these stops on Lee’s Retreat are at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park in Amelia County. This historical park was the scene of the last major battle of the American Civil War.

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Wyoming On The Road - WY
 

DAY ONE: Twenty-three miles from the Montana State Line is Sheridan, home of the Trail End State Historic Site and the Kendrick Mansion. John B. Kendrick came to Wyoming a penniless, uneducated and orphan cowboy, and later became governor of Wyoming and a U.S. Senator. Another 23 miles south on I-90 leads to Exit 44 and Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site. Near the fort is the Fetterman Battlefield, the site where Capt. William J. Fetterman and 80 soldiers were ambushed by hundreds of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.


DAY TWO: West of Buffalo and north of Ten Sleep is the Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site. This site features a variety of petroglyphs and pictographs dating back tens of thousands of years. The site, which has been determined to be a crossroads for prehistoric peoples, also offers great camping and picnicking for the modern day traveler. Traveling back to I-90 and towards the South Dakota State Line is Keyhole State Park. Drop a line in Keyhole Reservoir or camp at the sites many campsites. Either way Keyhole State Park offers a quiet, relaxing experience.

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