Monday, March 7, 2016

S is for State Parks

By now, you all know my love for National Park sites.  They have some of the best experiences our country has to offer in the way of beauty, history, and recreation.  But when it comes to camping, state parks may be better.  We have found just as beautiful scenery in many of the state parks we have visited and have found the campgrounds nicer on the whole.  Many (but not nearly all) have running water, to include sinks to wash dishes and showers to freshen up.  This week, I wanted to share highlights from a few of my favorites.

Assateague, MD:
At this park, you can camp right on the beach of a barrier island off Maryland's eastern shore.  Beyond the obvious attraction of the beach, wildlife abounds in the way of wild horses and deer.  On the back side of Assateague Island is the Chesapeake Bay, so there are also opportunities for canoeing/kayaking or crabbing.  There are a few hiking trails to explore some of the more undisturbed parts of the island, but bring plenty of bug spray.  Mosquitoes abound away from the beach!  As far as camping amenities, Assateague State Park has sinks, flush toilets, and showers.

Patapsco Valley, MD:
This park follows the Patapsco River for 32 miles and is broken into several different areas.  We hiked on one of the many trails, waded in the river, walked across the suspension bridge, and played on the playground.  There is also canoeing available along the river and the world's longest arched stone railroad bridge within the park.  Camping amenities include hot showers and running water.

Rifle Falls, CO:
This little gem is off the beaten path a little ways in western Colorado but is well worth it for an overnight!  The park itself is small but it has a beautiful triple waterfall that will captivate attention for hours and limestone caves to explore.  Camping here is primitive with no running water, but there are restrooms.

Sinks Canyon, WY:
Located in western Wyoming, this park was recently listed by REI as one of the best state parks in the nation to camp at.  After staying there, I have to agree!  The scenery is absolutely gorgeous!  That said, it might be light on activities, but if relaxation is your thing, check it out.  We went with friends for a weekend and found plenty to do for 2.5 days, though.  The park is so named because the Popo Agie River "sinks" underground, traveling for a couple of miles before reappearing downstream.  You can walk right up to this geologic oddity at the entrance to the park.  You can also hike to the Popo Agie Falls, about a mile and a half upstream, where the Popo Agie River tumbles over the edge of a granite gorge in a series of cascades.  Camping here is primitive as well with only vault toilets but the campsites sit right beside the river providing beautiful sights and sounds as you relax.

Blogging Through the Alphabet” style=

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