The New Years celebration has come and gone leaving behind resolutions you are striving to achieve. On that note, many choose is to get up and be more active, opting to walk on the treadmill or around the neighborhood. Make a change this year by hiking the local state parks. Here are a few noteworthy state parks perfect for your next hike. Each park has its own unique feature along with other activities that will give you a full day of fun!

Dells Area Trail, Matthiessen State Park, IL

The attraction to this state park comes from the Dells Area Trail. The trail will take you through an earthy environment with wooden boardwalks and stepping stones to help you cross the water in a unique way; this 4 mile trail is a scenic exploration through the Illinois forest. Once you step off the trail and into the park you will find destinations to eat, camp, and fish along with more trails for you to hike and explore. Whether you visit or choose to stay, Matthiessen State park will keep you on your feet as long as you are there!


Photo: Ryan Waughon via Flickr

Rock Formations, Salt Point State Park, CA

Located near San Francisco, Salt Point stretches 6,000 acres next to the shoreline. Within the park are over 20 miles of hiking as well as camping and fishing spots. Near the rugged terrain is where you will find the unique feature. These rocks, with massive holes in them, almost resemble coral reefs. They are really sedimentary rocks shaped and reshaped by volcanic action and the changing tides. They are a beautiful, natural phenomena perfect for those who enjoy the wonders of nature and have an eye for photography!


Photo: Richard Rockley via Flickr

Aboretum, Dinosaur State Park, CT

In 1966, the park earned its name after an accidental discovery of more than a thousand dinosaur tracks; many of these prints have been preserved and placed into the Exhibit Center. The park can be found in Rocky Hill, Connecticut exemplifying the mix of history and nature. Inside you will find a large arboretum which is a collection of plant species, in this case, 6 sections of categorized species all from the Mesozoic Era. Along with the arboretum, there are trails that will lead you through the rest of the park.


Side view of the Center blocked by foliage. Photo: Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Marsh Boardwalk, Hunting Island State Park, SC

As you hike across this stretched boardwalk, enjoy the view of green foliage and active wildlife that surrounds you. There are several other trails that you can hike but nothing as unique. If treading the marsh is not your style, try the beaches that are connected to the park.

If you go, be sure to look out for the numerous marine species that can be found on the shore and in the surrounding water! To top it all off, the park also offers lodging amenities to extenuate your stay.

Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Photo: hoan luong via Flickr

Excavation Activities, Crater of Diamonds State Park, AR

Come as a group or as a couple, this first state park – which is located in north Arkansas – will lead you to some earthy fun. Famous for its glitzy finds, many people travel to this location in hopes of finding buried treasure. Along with the dig site, the park also has a Diamond Discovery Center, camping spaces, fishing sites, and a couple trails to explore on. Within the Center, you will find tips on how to excavate and learn how to identify diamonds in the field. Altogether, this state park is perfect for those who love the outdoors.

Murfreesboro, Arizona

Photo: Doug Wertman via Wikimedia Commons

Flume Gorge, Franconia Notch State Park, NH

Found at the base of New Hampshire’s Mount Liberty, the Flume Gorge stretches itself over 800 feet in length. A wooden boardwalk built through the gorge invites the visitors of the park to a beautiful hike through nature. The two mile hike will lead you through terrain covered in lush, green foliage and rugged, granite walls that can reach 90 feet tall!

After the Gorge, have a nice picnic at one of the camp areas before packing up and exploring the area some more. The state park has many other trails you can explore and maybe even get a glimpse of the native moose.

Freconia Notch State park

Photo: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Also Read:

10 National Parks in America You Need To Visit This Summer

12 Lesser Known National Parks in America to Fall in Love With