7 Reasons to Visit Your State Parks

While Savannah + I were camping recently at Pennyrile Forest State Park in Kentucky, I had this realization -we are so lucky to have access to all of these beautiful state parks. In the United States, there are over 10, 000 state parks! So most people in America have access to these gems. Between hiking and our new found love of camping, we've visited a lot of them in Tennessee + Kentucky! I haven't really started appreciating them until the last couple of years. Today we're telling you 7 reasons why you should give your state park a visit.

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1. They are free/cheap. A lot of state parks are free and if they aren't the entrance fee isn't a lot of money. Part of our tax dollars go to our state parks, so we might as well take advantage of them!

2. They are beautiful. There is something significant about disconnecting from the urban jungle and standing in a forest full of trees or looking at a beautiful waterfall. Also, if you are into photography- what's a better back drop than nature?

3. They offer a variety of activities. Lots of state parks have a variety of activities from spending time on water to disc golf, regular golf, miniature golf, hiking trails, biking, volleyball, playgrounds, etc. If you have kids in your life or you are bored one day- go to a state park! And check their calendars because a lot of state parks offer seasonal activities.

4. They have camping sites. Going camping in nearby state parks has been one of my favorite new ways to relax. I didn't grow up camping and I would have never thought I would have become a camper, but I love it. State parks have some of the best camping options around. I actually prefer them over private campgrounds. Most of them have water + electricity at their campsites which is really nice if you want to camp comfortably (our preferred way to camp).

5. They are good for your state. There are a variety of economic and environmental benefits to having state parks. They provide jobs. When people use them they are more likely to be healthy, and they are good for local businesses. State parks connect people to the environment, therefore making them more likely to care about it. Everybody wins when people start caring about the environment! (I got a lot of this information from this website.)

6. They are good for you. There is no question that spending time in nature is good for your health. Here are several articles that talk about the benefits in more detail and have the research to back up their claims 1/2/3. The general gist is that spending time outside is good for your mental + physical health. State parks in our area don't seem to have the greatest cell phone reception which initially seems frustrating, but is really a blessing. Disconnecting from our phones is most certainly good for our health.

7. They are good for your relationships. This may seem like a stretch but spending time with friends + family in nature can be a great way to bond. There is something to be said about stripping away the technology, disconnecting from our jobs and taking a walk in nature together. There is a simplicity to it. Taking most of our comforts away gives way to conversations that matter and last.

We hope this post has encouraged you to get out in nature and visit some beautiful parks around your neck of the woods! If you would like to see more posts like this, leave us a comment below!

- Casey

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