The Top 10 State Parks in the U.S., According to Google Reviews

From Mount Washington State Park in New Hampshire to Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park, these are the top-rated parks in the country, per Google reviews.

Hiking trail through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

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You’d have to be living under a Saratoga Spa State Park rock to not notice the uptick in park travel these past two-and-a-half years. 

Indeed, with visits to national parks skyrocketing amid the pandemic, state parks have seen visitor numbers rise, too, but thankfully, for the most part, the crowds still remain manageable. "State parks get the occasional foreign tourist, but a lot of visitors are either locals or people traveling from different parts of the state or neighboring states," Alex Werner, an interpretive ranger at Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp in Charlton County, Georgia, previously told Travel + Leisure. As Werner also noted, in state parks, despite growing attendance numbers, people can still be out relaxing in nature without encountering the Instagram swarms angling for photo ops in front of famous monuments. (And if you’re really antsing to check a national park off your list, consider planning a trip to one of the 15 least visited national parks, per 2021 U.S. National Park Service tallies.)

Bark filled path leads through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

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In light of the attention our country’s state parks have been getting lately, Google looked at the top-rated state parks in the U.S. The following list of top 10 state parks in the U.S. was determined by Google's internal algorithms sifting through parks with more than 250 reviews to find the destinations with the highest star ratings.

Along with these findings, Google also shared some exciting news on the outdoor adventure front: Travelers can now add a new dedicated air quality layer on Google Maps mobile, like the existing wildfire layer. To do so, press the “layers” button toward the top right corner of your screen under the search bar to bring up the layers menu, which shows you the air quality (AQI), a measure of how healthy or (unhealthy) the air is in a given area. And once you’re out on the trails breathing that fresh mountain air in New York's Bear Mountain State Park, perhaps, Google Lens can help you identify local plants and animals along the route.  

Northern Michigan's Bond Falls surrounded by the lush fall foliage

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Avenue of the Giants Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California

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Here, the country’s favorite state parks, as determined by Google rankings.

  1. Bond Falls Scenic Site (Michigan) 
  2. Avenue of the Giants (California)
  3. DTE Energy Foundation Trail (Michigan)
  4. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (California)
  5. Sinks Canyon State Park (Wyoming)
  6. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (California)
  7. Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park (Arizona)
  8. Grayson Highlands State Park (Virginia)
  9. Waimea Canyon State Park (Hawaii)
  10. Letchworth State Park Upper Falls (New York)
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