5 Reasons to Visit State Parks

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You may have noticed by now that we spend a lot of time at state parks. It’s not that we don’t like private campgrounds, RV parks, resorts, and the like (as you will see when we get to our summer destination for 2015), but there are a few reasons for our choice thus far so we thought we would share the reasons for those of you who have never taken full advantage of the state parks in your area, which is exactly how we were until we started this crazy new lifestyle.

 

20141021_1419171. Hiking – We love to be outside. Actually, our skin crawls if we can’t get outside every day, and not just because of our small living space, which probably explains why camping full-time is such a good fit for us. But beyond just being outside, we love to hike, and state parks are famous for their hiking trails. Sure, many of them aren’t anything fancy, but they provide people the opportunity to breathe the fresh air, get some exercise, and spend some quality unplugged time together. This is why we hike as many days every week as possible, and the amazing thing is that each hike is unique. It may be the same trails time after time, but we always see something new, talk about something different, or learn something we didn’t know before.

 

20150131_1251432. Space – Many state parks have large, spacious campsites, lots of land to explore, large playground areas, and plenty of picnic areas throughout. Not all state parks have campgrounds, but a lot do. We like to stay overnight at those that do and visit the ones that don’t, so we’ve been to quite a few and know that space is a big plus. So if you spend your days in a crowded urban/suburban area, or if you live out in the boonies and would like to see something different, visiting a state park might be right up your alley. Most private campgrounds we’ve visited have been pretty tight quarters (which is perfectly fine and even an asset sometimes), but the largeness of state parks is a huge perk.

 

 

3. Junior Rangers – Our little boys love the junior ranger program because it’s full of really interesting activities that help them have more fun and learn more cool facts than they ever would by just visiting a new place. We parents love the junior ranger program because it keeps our little guys busy and completely engaged in the place they’re visiting. We also know they won’t be looking for a screen of some sort or anything else for that matter when they get their junior ranger books, and that is always a plus.

 

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4. Beauty – State parks are normally built because there is something in the area to see, whether it’s a waterfall, mountain, swamp, forest, lagoon, ocean inlet, lake, or just a little creek. So the beauty is something you’ll always find if you just take a second to look. (On a side note, we do realize these places are most beautiful in the spring, summer and fall, but being in 2 different state parks for the duration of 2 different winters has taught us to look at barren trees, brown grass, and plain old rocks in a completely different light. Even the most dull natural scenery tends to outdo anything man-made.)

 

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5. Camphosting Jobs – Who wouldn’t want free camping, firewood, ice, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, playgrounds, and picnicking? Yep, absolutely free! These are just some of the amenities that come along with volunteering a couple months of your time to many state parks, and this is one of our major reasons for spending so much time there.

 

 

State Parks We’ve Visited: (Yes, they’re almost all in Georgia, but only because it happens to be where our journey began. We can’t wait to get out and discover more.)

2 Comments

  1. Terri K

    Oklahoma and Texas have pretty awesome state parks too. We don’t get out as much as we’d like so having a great spot is key. Our travels on Instagram are recorded as @ultimatewavetraveler. I enjoy following you guys. Tmkintx

    1. Matthew

      We have only been through OK and TX before we were traveling full-time. Headed west this fall after the northeast this summer so will surely be looking for some great state parks!

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