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Thread: Which State Has the Best State Park System?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio

    Which State Has the Best State Park System?

    Here in Ohio, state government officials brag about Ohio's system of state parks being one (1) of the best in the land. They are rather nice. There are some wild and rugged state parks, some historic state parks, some parks with big Lake Erie beaches, some parks that are actually state-run resorts (golf, mini-convention centers, etc.), some parks that focus on water recreation in damned reservoirs, somre parks that have some really nice hiking trails, and some parks with nice campgrounds.

    The state park at South Bass Island is pretty, a good place to camp if you are visiting Put-In-Bay (fishing village with a drinking problem). A relaxing little park west of metro Toledo is called Harrison Lake. It has a small lake and a campground that fills every weekend with folks who just want to sit around a campfire and take it easy.

    Some of the parks in west central Ohio became hotbeds of youth "carrying on" back in the 1960's and 1970's......party! During the 1970's and 1980's this Bear camped in many of the Ohio state parks located in southeastern Ohio. All in all, Ohio's system seems well-kept, reasonably-priced (such as for camping), and somewhat evenly-distributed across the state.

    Michigan's state parks are pretty nice. Some of the Upper Peninsula state parks are huge tracts of wilderness, which I tend to like. Many Michigan state parks are located on a Great Lake, giving the system some of the best fresh-water beaches in the world. Michigan's state park campgrounds, though, tend to be plotted with maximum camp units in mind.....making for some pretty small sites. In the far north of Michigan, state camp land is almost always adjacent to National Forests or State Forests. Campgrounds at those places, altdhough more primitive, are a whole lot nicer because of camp unit sizing.

    This Bear has also camped in state parks in Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusets, New Jersey, Tennessee, Minnesota, and Oregon. The state parks I camped at in Oregon were amazing......

    What say you? State parks in your area any good? In your travels, state park systems nice?


  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
    Feb 2003
    Mo's are real plentiful, beautiful and there are no entrance fees!

  3. #3
    Jan 2004
    Dayton, Ohio
    Kentucky says it has "the nations finest park system", and they are all free, too.

    What makes Kentuckys system special is the state resort parks, which have lodges, restraunts with "regional cooking", cabins, pools, and so forth as part of a state park complex, which is usually in scenic area, or on some reservoir..so there are opportunities for hiking, fishing, and boating. Some of these parks even have golf courses.

    Most of the state resort parks really are pretty nice and the ones built in the 1960 & early/mid 70s are usually pretty good in terms of architecture, too..sort of a "rustic modernism" was the preferred style.

    I generally think Kentucky has the best system I've seen so far.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian eightiesfan's avatar
    May 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I'll agree with that, KY's are really nice. TN seems to have nice parks as well. I've alway's heard that some of the states out west have great park system.
    “Do you think the porter and the cook have no anecdotes, no experiences, no wonders for you? The walls of their minds are scrawled all over with thoughts. They shall one day bring a lantern and read the inscriptions.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    My 1st vote is for Indiana State Parks,
    then for New Jersey, Colorado, and Kentucky.

  6. #6

    May 1997
    Williston, VT
    Oregon has great state parks. California also has some good ones, though I have not seen enough to make a statewide judgement.

  7. #7
    New York has the best state parks.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    I've not seen enough of them to make a clear statement.

    I do know Michigan parks are nice, cover a big chunk of the state, but more rustic than most.

    Ohio has some great resorts in their parks.

    New York has scenic nice parks.

    Only been to one state park in Montana. It too was nice.

  9. #9
    Jun 2005
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    Florida has many great state parks, all of which are spread out all across the state.

  10. #10
    On TV today, I heard Pataki claim that a magazine said that New York State has the best State Park system in the country. (this was during his speech announcing the opening of a new State Park in the southern tier.)

    Personally, I wouldn't know.

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