Although the US government manages 424 national parks, each state also contains beautiful parks of its own for recreation and sightseeing. America’s State Parks, an organization dedicated to promoting visits to parklands, counts 2,474 state parks scattered across the country. That number includes only officially designated parks – not state forests, historic sites, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and other public lands. (Here’s a list of the most visited state park in every state and U.S. territory.)
To compile a list of America’s 25 most beautiful state parks, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report by Travel Lens, a digital travel publication. The site analyzed Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews, Instagram popularity, and Google search data to create a list of dozens of state parks, then ranked them based on how many reviews of each one contained the words “beautiful,” “stunning,” and “breathtaking” as a percentage of all Yelp reviews. (In addition to beautiful state parks, here’s a guide to the most beautiful natural wonder in every state.)
According to the report, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon, Michigan, dazzled visitors the most. Set on 60,000 acres, the park boasts a 35,000-acre old-growth forest, 90 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, and a campground – all near the Lake Superior shoreline. With ski slopes and a golf course as added attractions, Porcupine Mountains delivers year-round recreational opportunities.
If you’re planning your next vacation, then, consider skipping the national parks and stay closer to home. There’s probably a state park nearby that you shouldn’t miss. (You might also consider the most visited local parks in the U.S.)
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