From the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains to the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio is a large midwestern state that takes its name from the Seneca word meaning “great river.” Over 2.6 million visitors come to visit the state’s 8 national parks, 76 national historic landmarks, and 23 national natural landmarks every year. With two national heritage areas, three scenic rivers, and one national trail, Ohio has almost 257 national archeological sites. The National Register of Historic Places lists 3,996 places on its registers. This list of parks in Ohio includes over 70 state parks, lakes, and historical attractions, most of which are open year-round.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

1120 US-42, Xenia, OH 45385

Throughout his life, Charles Young overcame countless obstacles in his ascent to prominence. In spite of overt racism and stifling inequality, Young rose through the military ranks to become one of the most respected leaders of his time. A well-rounded man with a steadfast devotion to duty, Young led by example and inspired a generation of new leaders.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cleveland and Akron, OH; one site is 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, Ohio 44125

Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

David Berger National Memorial

26001 S Woodland Rd, Beachwood, OH 44122

This site honors the memory of David Berger, an American citizen who was one of 11 Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. David had no expectations of winning a medal but joined the Israeli weightlifting team to realize his dream – a dream which ended tragically. The Memorial is dedicated to his memory and the memory of the ten other athletes.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

16 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402

Three exceptional men from Dayton, Ohio, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar, found their creative outlet here through accomplishments and failures, and finally success. However, these men offered the world something far greater, they offered the world hope, and the ability to take a dream and make it a reality.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site

I-475 & US 24, Maumee, OH 43537

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the culminating event that demonstrated the tenacity of the American people in their quest for western expansion and the struggle for dominance in the Old Northwest Territory. The events resulted in the dispossession of American Indian tribes and a loss of colonial territory for the British military and settlers.

First Ladies National Historic Site

205 Market Ave S, Canton, OH 44702

Two properties, the home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley and the seven story 1895 City Bank Building, are preserved at this site, which honors the lives and accomplishment of our nation’s First Ladies. The site is managed by the National Park Service and operated by the National First Ladies Library.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

16062 OH-104, Chillicothe, OH 45601

Earthen mounds and embankments forming huge geometric enclosures grace the landscape of the Ohio River Valley. These monumental structures were built by Native American hands almost 2,000 years ago. Hopewellian people gathered at these earthworks for feasts, funerals and rites of passage. Come learn about these sacred spaces and reflect upon the lives of these American Indians.

James A Garfield National Historic Site

8095 Mentor Ave, Mentor, OH 44060

A front porch can serve many purposes. For some, a place to enjoy the breeze on a warm summer night. For others, a perch from which to keep eyes on what’s happening in their neighborhood. In 1880, James Garfield used his front porch as a platform to greet thousands of well-wishers during his presidential campaign. Today, the porch serves as a gateway to the story of the Garfield family.

National Aviation Heritage Area

26 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402

Aviation is chock-full of tradition & history and nowhere will you find a richer collection of aviation than here, the birthplace of aviation. From the straightforward bicycle shops that fostered the Wright brothers’ flying ambitions to the complex spacecraft that carried man to the moon, the National Aviation Heritage Area has everything you need to learn about this country’s aviation legacy.

North Country National Scenic Trail

Seven States-New York to North Dakota MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI; one site is Wayne National Forest in Nelsonville, Ohio

Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers that molded the landscape 10,000 years before. Experience clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, tall grass prairies, and distant horizons. From New York to North Dakota, you’re never far from a great outdoor adventure. Experience your America at a walking pace.

Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial

93 Delaware Ave, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

2038 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

High atop one of Cincinnati’s most prominent hilltops stands the two-story Greek Revival house where William Howard Taft was born and grew up. Hard work, a good education, and an interest in civic duty are attributes that made the Taft family outstanding leaders over the years. The environment that shaped Taft’s character and philosophy is highlighted on a visit to the site.

To find more attractions in Ohio, visit Ohio.org.

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From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, Montana is a state known for its diverse scenery and “Big Sky Country.” Over 5.9 million visitors go to the 8 national parks, 28 national historic landmarks and 10 national natural landmarks every year. Here you can explore everything from historic battlefields to natural wonders. This list of parks in Montana includes 55 state parks and historic sites to enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, boating, and sightseeing. Discover one of the 1,180 sites on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and then visit Yellowstone.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Big Hole National Battlefield

Wisdom, MT

On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Fort Smith, MT, WY

The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore.

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

15550 ND-1804, Williston, ND 58801

Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union was the most important fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River. Here, the Assiniboine and six other Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged buffalo robes and smaller furs for goods from around the world, including cloth, guns, blankets, and beads. A bastion of peaceful coexistence, the post annually traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in merchandise.

Glacier National Park

Northwest Montana, MT; Apgar Visitor Center, West Glacier, MT 59936

Currently there is a fire impacting the west side of the park. The entire east side of the park is open and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open from St. Mary to Logan Pass. With a little flexibility and some pre-trip planning, visitors can still enjoy much of what Glacier has to offer.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

266 Warren Ln, Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Site

WA, OR, ID, MT; one place is the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St # A, Missoula, MT 59801

“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA; one place is Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum, 157 Yellowstone Road Fort Peck, MT 59223

Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

I-90 Frontage Rd, Crow Agency, MT 59022

This area memorializes the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian’s last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors.

Nez Perce National Historical Park

four states ID, MT, OR, WA; one site is Canyon Creek, Canyon Creek interpretive site can be reached by the Buffalo Trail Road in Laurel, Montana.

For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY; one location is the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center, 30 Yellowstone Ave, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Visit Yellowstone and experience the world’s first national park. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. Discover the history that led to the conservation of our national treasures “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

For more attractions, visit Montana’s official travel center.

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From Grand Teton National Park in the south to the Yellowstone National Park in the northwest, the list of parks Wyoming are known for majestic mountains and sweeping plains. Over 7.4 million visitors flock to its 7 national parks, 4 national trails, 1 wild and scenic river, and 6 national natural landmarks annually. The second most sparsely populated state nonetheless has over 500 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places and 27 national historic landmarks. Discover the untamed spirit of the west as you travel through small towns and then open vistas on the highway for hours between towns. Like to ski? Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has the highest vertical drop in the U.S.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Fort Smith, MT, WY; visit Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center, 20 U.S. 14, Lovell, WY 82431

The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore.

California National Historic Trail

Various States CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY; one site is Rock in the Glen, Glenrock, Wyoming

Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.

Devils Tower National Monument

WY-110, Devils Tower, WY 82714

The Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. It is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower entices us to learn more, explore more and define our place in the natural and cultural world.

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

965 Grey Rocks Road, Fort Laramie, WY 82212

Originally established as a private fur trading fort in 1834, Fort Laramie evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains before its abandonment in 1890. This “grand old post” witnessed the entire sweeping saga of America’s western expansion and Indian resistance to encroachment on their territories.

Fossil Butte National Monument

864 Chicken Creek Rd, Kemmerer, WY 83101

Some of the world’s best-preserved fossils are found in the flat-topped ridges of southwestern Wyoming’s cold sagebrush desert. Fossilized fishes, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals are exceptional for their abundance, variety, and detail of preservation. Most remarkable is the story they tell of ancient life in a subtropical landscape.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand National Park, Jenny Lake Trail, Moose, WY 83012

Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands a monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

Various States IL, IA, NE, UT, WY; one place to visit is Register Cliff Monument, Unnamed Rd,, Guernsey, WY 82214

Explore the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail across five states to see the 1,300-mile route traveled by Mormons who fled Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1846-1847.

Oregon National Historic Trail

Various States ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY; one location is Oregon Trail Park, E. Oregon Trail & Pioneer Place, Glenrock, WY

Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.

Pony Express National Historic Trail

Various States CA, CO, KS, MO, NE, NV, UT, WY; one place to visit is Fort Caspar, 4001 Fort Casper Road, Casper, Wyoming 8260

It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.

Yellowstone National Park

Grant Visitor Center, Grant Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

For more attractions, visit Travel Wyoming.

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From the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the island of Puget Sound, Washington State is known for its natural beauty and historic past. Over 8.3 million visitors explore the 15 national parks and one national trail every year. Washington state claims 1,557 places on the National Register of Historic Places, along with 24 National Historic Landmarks and 18 National Natural Landmarks. There are over 160 state parks in Washington state. This comprehensive map highlights the myriad list of parks in Washington.

Nine national forests blanket the state, from Olympic National Forest to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. With over 3,000 miles of shoreline, the state parks take advantage of Washington’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Receiving 12 to 14 inches of rain per year, the Hoh Rainforest is a great place to go camping and hiking. After exploring the rainforest and coastal beaches, drive east to find desert landscapes and the Hanford Reach National Monument.


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Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

Ebey’s Landing Rd, Washington 98239

This stunning landscape at the gateway to Puget Sound, with its rich farmland and promising seaport, lured the earliest American pioneers north of the Columbia River to Ebey’s Landing. Today Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve preserves the historical, agricultural and cultural traditions of both native and Euro-American – while offering spectacular opportunities for recreation.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

612 E Reserve St, Vancouver, WA 98661

Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, this park has a rich cultural past. From a frontier fur trading post, to a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest, history is shared at four unique sites. Discover stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

WA, OR, ID, MT; one place is Beacon Rock State Park, 34841  WA-14, Stevenson, WA 98648

“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009

Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit National Historical Park

319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

After surviving a devastating fire and an economic depression, Seattle flourished with the Klondike Gold Rush. As a key port city, merchants supplied would-be Klondike Kings and Queens on their way to Alaska. This cemented Seattle as an anchor of the Pacific Northwest. Today the park is your gateway to learn about the gold rush, explore Seattle area parks, and be involved with the local community.

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Hunters, WA 99137; the Canadian border going to Coulee Dam along the Columbia River, WA

In 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River as part of the Columbia River Basin project, creating a 130-mile long lake. Named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area provides opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, canoeing, hunting and visiting historic Fort Spokane and St. Paul’s Mission.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA

Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

Long Beach to Cannon Beach, OR, WA; 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103

Explore the timeless rainforests and majestic coastal vistas. Discover the rich heritage of the native people. Unfold the dramatic stories of America’s most famous explorers. The park encompasses sites along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast. Follow in the footsteps of the explorers and have an adventure in history.

Manhattan Project National Historical Park

2000 Logston Blvd, Richland, WA 99354; Manhattan Project National Historical Park, NM, WA, TN

This site tells the story about the people, events, science, and engineering that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, which helped end World War II.

Minidoka National Historic Site

Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome, ID 83338

The Pearl Harbor attack intensified existing hostility towards Japanese Americans. As wartime hysteria mounted, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing over 120,000 West Coast persons of Japanese ancestry (Nikkei) to leave their homes, jobs, and lives behind and move to one of ten prison camps spread across the nation all because of their ethnicity. This is Minidoka’s story.

Mount Rainier National Park

Sunrise Park Rd, Ashford, WA 98304; Ashford, Enumclaw, Packwood, Wilkeson, WA

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

3029 Spirit Lake Hwy, Castle Rock, WA 98611

The massive landslide and blast of the 1980 eruption traveled north and west from the mountain. Visitor centers and trails let visitors explore the rebirth.

Nez Perce National Historical Park

four states ID, MT, OR, WA; 39063 US-95, Lapwai, ID 83540

For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.

North Cascades National Park

7280 Ranger Station Rd, Marblemount, WA 98267

Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth’s changing climate. Help steward the ecological heart of the Cascades.

Olympic National Park

3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362

With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is the hallmark of Olympic National Park. Encompassing nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, thousands of years of human history, and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline. Come explore!

Oregon National Historic Trail

Various States ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY

Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.

San Juan Island National Historical Park

Friday Harbor, WA 98250

San Juan Island is well known for splendid vistas, saltwater shore, quiet woodlands, orca whales and one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound/Northern Straits region. But it was also here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the island, the crisis ignited by the death of a pig.

Whitman Mission National Historic Site

328 Whitman Mission Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362

The 1847 attack on the Whitmans horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. Was killing the Whitmans justified legal retribution, an act of revenge, or some combination of both? The circumstances that surround this tragic event resonate with modern issues of cultural interaction and differing perspectives.

Wing Luke Museum

719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

More than a museum, the Wing is an experience. A chance to truly understand what it was – and is – to be Asian American in the Pacific Northwest. Take a guided tour of a historic hotel and learn the inside story about what makes the local Chinatown-International District unique. Visitors explore thought-provoking exhibitions of real stories, including actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee.

For more attractions, visit Experience Washington.

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It’s no secret that Texas is huge. Like with most things, we also go big with their lakes. The state has 5,607 square miles of inland water with almost 7,000 reservoirs/lakes with a normal size of 10 acre-feet or larger. Texas has 188 major lakes that are over 5,000 acres or larger. The great thing about lakes in Texas is that most all are open year-round due to the warmer temperatures. [Nothing says Thanksgiving like 80°F temperatures in Dallas.] Due to the sometimes brutally warm climate, Texans love to go to beaches to cool off in or by the water, bird watch, run by the lake, or just sit under a nearby tree.

Here are 15 of the biggest and best lakes in Texas. There are very few natural lakes in the state so many are reservoirs. However, the ones on the list are open to the public for recreation and (sometimes) adventure.

Map not opening on your phone? Try this one.


By Billy Hathorn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7580263
Toledo Bend Reservoir. Source: Billy Hathorn, Wikipedia

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Huxley Bay Marina, 13200 FM2694, Shelbyville, TX 75973

Located on the eastern edge of Sabine National Forest, Toledo Bend Reservoir is the largest lake in Texas and the fifth largest in the nation. The surface area is over 182,000 acres, making it the largest lake in the south. The lake is located in Sabine, Shelby, and Panola counties in Texas, and parts extend into Sabine and DeSoto parishes in Louisiana. The lake has 1,200 miles of shoreline with both private and public areas for swimming, boating, picnicking, camping, and wildlife sightseeing. This one is cheating a little as most of the best places to access the lakes are in Louisiana along the Toledo Bend Forest Scenic Byway. However, visiting the Sabine National Forest in Texas, you have plenty of marinas and places to stop along the riverway.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Mill Creek Park, Mill Creek Park Rd, Brookeland, TX 75931

The second largest lake over 114,500 acres is Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Angelina National Forest flanks the lake on the north and the south banks. The reservoir is fed by the Angelina River from the Neches River and is popular for fishing and camping. The lake is about halfway between Beaumont and Longview in East Texas. The shoreline has 600 miles of shoreline (all around the lake) and it is 79 miles long. A popular summer activity for Texans is to rent cabins near the lake or at one of the many lake houses, condos, or bed and breakfasts.

Falcon State Park. Photo source: Texas Parks and Wildlife
Falcon State Park. Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Falcon Reservoir, International (Falcon State Park)

Falcon State Park, 146 Park Rd 46, Roma, TX 78584

The third largest lake is right on the Rio Grande at Falcon International Reservoir at Falcon State Park. At over 83,654 acres, this reservoir is a great place for fishing and nature watching. Falcon State Park is also nice too, as its 570 acres offer water sports, a short hiking trail, and shelters. It’s also very quiet and not as crowded as most state parks. However, the lake is fairly shallow so while you can fish a little, I wouldn’t recommend getting in a boat. The South Texas heat is brutal, so its recommended that you go during the spring, fall, and winter months. Summer months can also lead to very low water levels, so it can be a rockier terrain. The nights are beautiful, however, with a dazzling array of stars (no big city lights to obscure them).

Lake Texoma. Source: John Purget, Flickr
Lake Texoma. Source: John Purget, Flickr

Lake Texoma

87426 Preston Bend Rd, Pottsboro, TX 75076

One of the largest reservoirs in the United States, Lake Texoma stretches from the Texas border near Denison up to Durant, Oklahoma along the Red River. The lake offers 1000 miles of shoreline and over 78,000 acres of lake area. About an hour from the ever-growing Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Lake Texoma attracts around 6 million visitors a year. Along the lake, you can find sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and fifty-four parks. In addition to the local parks, you can also find two state parks, two wildlife refuges and marinas to dock your boat (or park your car). Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and Tishomingo Wildlife Refuges are excellent for bird watching and other wildlife, like deer, squirrels, and occasionally, bobcats.

Amistad National Recreation Area. Source: National Park Service
Amistad National Recreation Area. Source: National Park Service

Amistad Reservoir, International  (Amistad National Recreation Area)

Diablo East swimming area, Del Rio, TX 78840

Another large lake on the U.S.-Mexican border is Amistad Reservoir, an excellent place for water-sports, hiking, camping, hiking, and viewing rock art. The lake itself is 64,900 acres and is an excellent place for swimming and boating. People even use the area for SCUBA diving, as a dive cove is located at Diablo East. Each of the eight areas in the National Recreation Area is equipped with tables, shelters, and grills. Hiking trails can be found at the location or in the Diablo East area. A variety of birds, including desert birds, can be found for some great photography sessions. Over 4,000-year-old Native American paintings can at the park and Panther Cave. Guided tours can be accessed by visiting the Amistad Visitor Information Center in Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site.

Richland-Chambers Reservoir
Richland-Chambers Reservoir

Richland-Chambers Reservoir (Trinity River Basin)

10411 US-287, Corsicana, TX 75109

Southeast of Corsicana, Texas on U.S. 278 is Richland-Chambers Reservoir, at 41,356 acres. The reservoir is big for boaters and people who enjoy fishing as it is an excellent source of catfish, crappie, and bass. (I don’t fish, but for those who do, it’s a good spot). There is a lot of vegetation around the lake, but it can still be used for swimming in certain areas. About an hour south of Dallas on I-45, Richland-Chambers has 330 miles of shoreline. You can find campsites, cabins, and a lodge at Fisherman’s Point Marina and Resort and at Oak Cove Marina.

Lake Tawakoni State Park. By Eastcheap - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34350872
Lake Tawakoni State Park. Source: Eastcheap, Wikipedia

Lake Tawakoni (Lake Tawakoni State Park)

10822 FM 2475, Wills Point, TX 75169

Located in East Texas, just 50 miles from the DFW metroplex, is Lake Tawakoni. The 37,879-acre lake boasts 376 acres of oak forest, sandy beaches, and more than five miles of lakeshore. The lake expands into three Texas counties: Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt. The water is good for swimming or boating and you can easily reserve a campsite for weekend getaways. Lake Tawakoni State Park also has five miles of trails. Take a walk through the forest for bird watching, hiking, or mountain biking.

Cedar Creek Reservoir / Lake
Cedar Creek Reservoir / Lake

Cedar Creek Reservoir / Lake

Fisherman’s Wharf, 2904 CR 1703, Malakoff, Texas 75148

Another East Texas located just 15 miles west of Athens, Texas, and 90 miles southeast of Dallas, is Cedar Creek Reservoir. You’ll often hear native Texans call it just Cedar Creek or Cedar Creek Lake. With a surface area of 32,623 acres, the lower end of the reservoir is known for having deeper waters and more submerged vegetation than the shallower northern end. The Lake is 18 miles long and has 320 miles of shoreline. Fisherman’s Wharf, in Malakoff, has restrooms, cleaning stations, parking, and other amenities including camping. Additional local information can be found on the lake’s local website.

Lake Livingston. Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife
Lake Livingston. Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Lake Livingston (Lake Livingston State Park)

300 State Park Rd 65, Livingston, TX 77351-1601

Hidden within the Piney Woods of East Texas, Lake Livingston has public swimming areas, horse riding trails, biking trails, and walking or running trails. Located about 90 minutes from downtown Houston, the park has over 32,000 acres of water surface. The park also has cabins for rent and camping areas for overnight stays. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes from the park store. Big Thicket National Preserve and Sam Houston National Forest should also be explored as you drive through the park. Texans camp year-round at this lake due to the reasonably warm weather. Watch out for the weird cold fronts in February; however, firewood is usually available at the park store.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park. Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife
Ray Roberts Lake State Park. Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Ray Roberts Lake  (Ray Roberts Lake State Park)

100 P W 4137, Pilot Point, TX 76258

Located an hour (in good traffic) north of the DFW Metroplex, Ray Roberts Lake has almost 29,000-acres of fishing, swimming, and relaxing. The lake offers beach areas, a kid’s fishing pond, and boating activities. Explore the 10 miles of hiking and biking trails that are a part of the 20-mile Greenbelt Corridor that runs between the Ray Roberts Dam and Lake Lewisville. Campsites are available for reservations, as is booking a room at the Lone Star Lodge. Most of the park and the lake lies in a hardwood forest that stretches into prairies to the east and west. A variety of wetlands in the park also provide a home for wildlife such as turtles, frogs, and migratory birds. The Isle du Bois unit (located in Pilot Point, Texas) is a favorite among the locals as it has the widest variety of scenery and activities.


To find other lakes, check out this list of Texas National and State Parks. It’s still being updated because frankly, there are a lot of lakes in Texas ya’ll.

10 Biggest Lakes in Texas

Finally, What to Pack?

Disclosure: The links below contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Ready to hit the road? Be sure to pack along some must needed items for your trip.

Road Trip Essentials

Road Atlas




First Aid Kits

Roadside Assistance Kits


Travel Camera




Backup Battery Chargers

Plan Your Next Adventure


Home to over 19 national parks and over 3,434 places on the National Register of Historic Places, Pennsylvania plays tribute to the founding of America to over 10 million visitors per year. Visit Independence Hall where the United States Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted and then take a walk down Elfreth’s Alley, a historic street dating back to 1702. Wide stretches of forests and mountains also make the state a nature lover’s paradise. The list of parks in Pennsylvania encompasses over 283,000 acres in 121 state parks, multiple forests, and wildlife sanctuaries. Cook Forest State Park stands some of the last remaining old growth forests in Pennsylvania with trees reaching up to 200 feet into the sky.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site

110 Federal Park Rd, Gallitzin, PA 16641

The first railroad to circumvent the Allegheny Mountains, the Allegheny Portage Railroad was the finishing piece of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. “The Portage,” opened in 1834, marking the first time that there was one, direct route between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All things to all people, it served merchants, passengers, slaves in pursuit of freedom, and soldiers from the Mexican War.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Various from Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV; one site is Sunfish Pond at Sunfish Pond, Leroy Township, PA 17724

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Various States VA, MD, DE, DC, PA, NY

Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!

Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV

NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd, Easton, PA 18042

Come journey through five Pennsylvania counties bursting with heritage and brimming with outdoor adventure. Follow the D&L Trail, a historic pathway marked with stories about hearty lumberjacks, coal miners, lock tenders, and railroaders. Explore the history of the Corridor at the National Canal Museum or along quiet canal paths, challenging bike trails and the rippling waters of the river.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

1978 River Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324

Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains; anglers wade the trout streams; hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot-deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

532 N 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Described as horrifying, mystifying, and brilliant, Poe’s writing has engaged readers all over the globe. The six years Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia were his happiest and most productive. Yet Poe also struggled with bad luck, personal demons, and his wife’s illness. In Poe’s humble home, reflect on the human spirit surmounting crushing obstacles, and celebrate Poe’s astonishing creativity.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

243 Eisenhower Farm Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much-needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.

First State National Historical Park

211 Delaware St, New Castle, DE 19720

Famous as the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was born out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley. From this beginning, the region developed a distinct character that tolerated diversity in religion and national origin and valued independence.

Flight 93 National Memorial

6424 Lincoln Highway 30, Stoystown, PA 15563

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, the U.S. came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives. Because of the actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard one of the planes, Flight 93, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437

The battle at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening act of the French and Indian War. This war was a clash of British, French and American Indian cultures. It ended with the removal of French power from North America. The stage was set for the American Revolution.

Friendship Hill National Historic Site

223 New Geneva Road, Point Marion, PA 15474

Albert Gallatin is best remembered for his thirteen-year tenure as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In that time he reduced the national debt, purchased the Louisiana Territory and funded the Lewis & Clark exploration. Gallatin’s accomplishments and contributions are highlighted at Friendship Hill, his restored country estate.

Gettysburg National Military Park

1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”, Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address”.

Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site

916 S Swanson St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Before Pennsylvania, there was New Sweden. Discover this last historic link to a forgotten past. Visit the church’s pastoral surroundings and its burial ground of patriots and ordinary citizens alike.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

2 Mark Bird Ln, Elverson, PA 19520

Hopewell Furnace showcases an early American industrial landscape from natural resource extraction to enlightened conservation. Operating from 1771-1883, Hopewell and other “iron plantations” laid the foundation for the transformation of the United States into an industrial giant. The park’s 848 acres and historic structures illustrate the business, technology, and lifestyle of our growing nation.

Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Goods, ideas, and people intermingled in early Philadelphia. In this diverse city, a new republic was born. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside Independence Hall. Nearby sits the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of liberty.

Johnstown Flood National Memorial

733 Lake Rd, South Fork, PA 15956

The South Fork dam failed on Friday, May 31, 1889, and unleashed 20,000,000 tons of water that devastated Johnstown, PA. The flood killed 2,209 people but it brought the nation and the world together to aid the “Johnstown sufferers.” The story of the Johnstown Flood reminds us all, “…that we must leave nothing undone for the preservation and protection of our brother men.”

Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River

PA, NJ; In Pennsylvania, follow PA-611 and PA-32 to drive along the river.

The largest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River runs past forests, farmlands, and villages, and it also links some of the most densely populated regions in America. In 2000, the National Wild and Scenic River System incorporated key segments of the lower Delaware River to form this unit of the National Park System.

North Country National Scenic Trail

Seven States-New York to North Dakota MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI; one site is Allegheny National Forest – North Country National Scenic Trail, Leeper, PA 16233

Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers that molded the landscape 10,000 years before. Experience clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, tall grass prairies, and distant horizons. From New York to North Dakota, you’re never far from a great outdoor adventure. Experience your America at a walking pace.

Oil Region National Heritage Area

Oil City, PA

Oil Region National Heritage Area in northwestern Pennsylvania tells of the world’s first successful commercial oil well and a legacy of petroleum that continues to shape industry, society, and politics. The Oil Region includes oil artifacts, scenic communities, farmlands and woodlands, and industrial landscapes, and offers visitors heritage attractions and four seasons of outdoor recreation.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

The corridor between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands, DC, MD, PA, VA; on location is Laurel Ridge State Park, 1117 Jim Mt Rd, Rockwood, PA 15557

Linking the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, the evolving Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network lies within a corridor rich in historic pathways and waterways. You can travel this historic corridor today—on foot, bicycle, and horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Plateau.

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area

623 E 8th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120

Situated in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area reveals how one region, in a sustained and thunderous blast of innovation, ambition, and fire, forever changed America and its place in the world. It is the story of the industrialists and the workers who pushed an infant industry to it ultimate limits and in doing so pushed the world into the Age of Steel.

Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area

140 College Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is the birthplace of the movements that shaped the nation, fueled its growth, and reclaimed its future. It was along the banks of this river and its tributaries that the American, Industrial, and Environmental Revolutions were born. Explore the stories, visit the places, and experience the region’s vitality by visiting the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.

Steamtown National Historic Site

350 Cliff St, Scranton, PA 18503

You’d feel the heat from the firebox, smell hot steam and oil; you’d hear the whistle, feel the ground vibrate, and watch as one-ton drive rods turned steel wheels. Remember the sound of “chuff-chuff” from the smokestack? Today, you can learn the history of steam railroad transportation and the people who built, repaired and rode, as we work to preserve a special era in America’s industrial history!

Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial

301 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Visit the house where wounded Polish freedom fighter Thaddeus Kosciuszko lived and hear how this brilliant military engineer designed successful fortifications during the American Revolution. See the room where he received notable visitors such as Chief Little Turtle and Thomas Jefferson.

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River

Pike and Wayne (PA) and Delaware, Orange and Sullivan (NY) counties along the Delaware River, NY,PA

Canoe through rapids and quiet pools as the Delaware River winds its way through a valley of swiftly changing scenery or fish amid rolling hills and riverfront villages in one of the finest fishing rivers in the northeastern United States. The clean water of Delaware, the last major undammed river in the eastern United States, supports a healthy ecosystem and offers tranquility and excitement.

Valley Forge National Historical Park

1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The 3,500-acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands commemorate the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation. The park honors and celebrates the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC; one site is Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406

In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.

For a list of more attractions and historical sites, go to Visit PA.

Like it? Pin it. List of parks in Delaware.

Plan Your Next Adventure


It’s hot outside, brutally hot. However, it’s never too soon to start planning your Fall road trip when the temperatures will cool down and the leaves turn vibrant colors. The Green Mountains’ of Vermont are a perfect Fall getaway to view the best of New England’s foliage. In Fall, the Maple trees lining the Green Mountain Highway explode with brilliant colors. As Robert Frost said that Vermont is “a state in a natural state.”  Another great thing about Vermont? It can be explored year-round, with cooling water holes in the summer and plentiful skiing the winter.

This road trip starts in Albany, New York. Why New York? Because it’s the closest major airport (read, cheaper flights) to Wilmington, Vermont. If you are planning on driving up from Boston, drive the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Wilmington, Vermont. Wilmington has a small, regional airport for those local to New England. The ride from Albany into Wilmington also takes you through the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. It’s a beautiful introduction to Vermont.

Tips Before You Hit the Road

  • You will be heading up and down some steep mountains (not hills) so check your vehicle’s air pressure and make sure they are perfectly inflated. Also, perform basic car maintenance to ensure that your brake and transmission fluids are filled.
  • Speaking of mountains, check your speed while going downhill. Try not to go down any faster than you went up and try not to ride your brakes.
  • Don’t hug the center line when driving around a curve. The mountain roads are narrower than the highways and some of these roads are simple two-lane roads.
  • Before going off-road or into some of the regions, check the local weather for road conditions or flash flood warnings.
  • Higher elevations can lead to dehydration, thus leading to altitude sickness. Carry plenty of water for each person and keep hydrated.
  • Don’t wear flip-flops, sandals, or other simple shoes. You never know when you might want to take a quick walk or hike up to see the vistas. Wear hiking boots, tennis shoes, or other durable shoes that cover your entire feet.

How long? Depending upon when you start, and if you like to take hikes, it can vary from a few hours to a weekend trip. I would recommend two days to fully take in all that the area has to offer. Spend the night at one of the area’s hotels or go camping at any of the nearby parks. Montpelier, Vermont’s capital city, is about half-way through the tour, so that might be a great place to stop for the evening. If you plan on just driving through, then you could do it in a day quite easily. Just remember that you will be navigating mountain roads, so you will be (or should be) going slower and it can get tiring navigating the twists and turns. Plan for 35 mph in some of the local areas.

Time of Year? Late September into October is when the area is at its most beautiful, with color lighting up the Green Mountains to fiery shades of orange, gold, and red. The summer months are also good for finding cool spots in the heat by visiting numerous waterfalls and hidden swimming holes. Some of New England’s largest ski resorts are here, so it is also a great winter getaway. Maybe I should change the answer to “year-round?”


Map not working on your phone? Try this one.

Vermont Fall in the Green Mountains Itinerary

Start in Albany, New York

From Albany, follow I-787 N to NY-7 E. Once you enter into Vermont, take VT-9 E to Wilmington, Vermont. On your path, you will cross the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest for some spectacular views on your way to your first stop.

Mount Olga, Vermont

Mount Olga Fire Lookout Tower inside Molly Stark State Park

Mt. Olga Trailhead Parking, Guilford, VT 05301

Continue on Route 9 past Wilmington, Vermont to Molly Stark State Park. The Mount Olga Fire Lookout Tower is a moderately easy hike that provides a cool overlook of the area. This tower, constructed in 1930, is used as a popular hiking destination and viewpoint within the mountain. The rolling hills of New Hampshire are viewable to the east. The crimson maples and canary-yellow birch trees are visible in early Fall and make an impressive start to a Fall road trip. Note that the first half of the hike up to the tower is all uphill and you don’t have much of a view. Heading downhill is easy, and the view’s worth it. If you don’t feel like hiking up to the tower, visit the park’s recreational area along Route 9 (Molly Stark State Park, 705 VT-9, Wilmington, VT 05363). A path also leads to the summit of 2,415-foot Mount Olga.

By Magicpiano - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48887261

Townshend State Park

2755 State Forest Rd, Townshend, VT 05353

As you drive into Townshend, Hemlocks and Hemlock-Northern Hardwood trees cover the nearby mountains. Townshend State Park, in the tiny village of Townshend and Townshend State Forest, provides stunning views of Bald Mountain and the nearby river valley. At the park, access one of Vermont’s most beautiful bridges—the Scott Covered Bridge. The Bald Mountain Trail passes various waterfalls, pools, and wooded ravines lead to the 1,680-foot summit of Bald Mountain. From the overlook, you can view the farms and forests along the West River valley.  Additional trails are available that are less strenuous that still provide spectacular vistas.

Jamica State Park, Vermont

Jamaica State Park

48 Salmon Hole Ln, Jamaica, VT 05343

In the 772-acre Jamaica State Park, The West River loops eastward toward the bulk of Ball Mountain. In the Fall, the trail leading from the park along the water is an unbeatable walk with a wide variety of trees. Cobb Brook plunges 125-foot plunge at Hamilton Falls. The path is relatively flat for over two miles and then becomes rocky for a couple of more miles. No swimming is allowed (or recommended) at the Falls due to the rocky environment and swift currents. If In the summer months, you can also go swimming at the Salmon Hole (but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it in the fall). If you are not interested in a nature hike to the Falls, then continue driving West into the Winhall Municipal Forest.

Stratton Village, Vermont

Stratton Village (Stratton Mountain Resort)

Stratton Mountain, 5781 Mountain Road, South Londonderry, VT 05155

During the winter months, Stratton Village is like a Swiss village located in the Alps with the magnificent ski slopes of Stratton Mountain Resort looming nearby. In the Fall months, you can still visit the village and the resort, but the forest around you is alive with colors of red, orange, and yellow trees that dot the landscape. The village has a variety of shopping centers and places to eat, similar to Estes Park in Colorado. Stratton Mountain is Vermont’s highest peak and plentiful hiking is nearby. Visit the Stratton Fire towner from a .75-mile beginner route from the gondola tower.  After taking in the view from the peak, we’ll head back down to visit the 18th-century town of Weston, Vermont.

Old Mill Museum, Weston, VTOld Mill Museum

4 Park St, Weston, VT 05161

The Mill Museum is an 18th-century grist mill that evokes the Vermont of yesteryear. The museum is also within walking distances of the village of Weston’s shops and stores. Next to the museum is a colonial-era residence that dates from 1795 with time-period furniture, kitchen tools, and toys. The trees, millpond, and waterfall of the Mill is also a great place for photography. While in Weston, visit the Vermont Country Store (657 Main Street, Weston, Vermont 05161) for everything from antiques to practical goods. The Weston Village Christmas Shop (660 Main Street, Weston, Vermont 05161) is also a popular place to purchase some Christmas ornaments from around the world.

Near Ludlow, Vermont in the Green Mountains

Okemo Mountain Resort

Mountain Lodge at Okemo, 318 Mountain Rd, Ludlow, VT 05149

Okemo Mountain Resort is a year-round attraction that has everything from a zip line to downhill mountain biking. The best part of this trip is simply the drive up to the resort, where you will pass the beautiful forests up to stunning views. You can also ride the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, which takes you on 1,600-foot climb followed by a 375 vertical-foot descent along 3,100 feet of track that follows the contours of the mountain (think Six Flags roller coaster). You can also follow a paved road to Okemo’s 3,343-foot summit or take a hike from the resort itself.

By Dsdugan - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44840081

The Plymouth Notch Historic District (President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site)

3780 VT-100A, Plymouth, VT 05056

The village of Plymouth Notice is a tiny hamlet where time has stood still. Surrounded by hills, the 19th-century settlement is where President Calvin College was born and raised. Similar to the Lincoln Home national park, the little crossroads settlement called the Plymouth Historic District remains virtually the same as it did during Coolidge’s time. Visit the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, a 19th century home with original period furnishings. Along with the house, you can also see the little one-room schoolhouse, the Union Christian Church built in 1840, the Florence Cilley General store, the Wilder Barnes and house, and the cheese factory where the president’s father once worked.

Gifford Woods State Park, Killington, Vermont

Gifford Woods State Park

34 Gifford Woods Acc, Killington, VT 05751

This 113-acre park is known for the Gifford Woods Natural Area. One of the few remaining old growth forests in the northeastern United States, the 7-acre old-growth northern hardwood forest is perfect for viewing Fall foliage. The Kent Brook Trail is a one-mile loop that goes through the hardwood forests of the park and the Gifford Woods Interpretive Trail is a shorter loop at .3 miles.

Montpelier, Vermont’s Capital City

Montpelier, Vermont’s Capital City

115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633-0004

This tour winds down in Montpelier, the capital city of Vermont. The gold-domed Greek Revival State House was built in 1859. The design of the building is reflective of the style of the nation’s capital building. The dome is currently under renovation, but you can still tour the grounds and the building for free. Self-guided tours are available, or you can take a half-hour tour. One additional site that I would suggest is the Bragg Farm Sugar House & Gift Shop (1005 Vt Route 14 S, Montpelier, VT 05651-9765) for a true taste of Vermont. The Maple syrup season in Vermont is late February through April, so if you want to experience the maple sugaring process, Fall isn’t the best time to go. However, the town is lit up with the brilliance of Fall colors, so you’re not missing out on much by visiting this capital city.

Elmore State Park, Wolcott, Vermont

Elmore State Park

56 Patch Ln, Wolcott, VT 05680

The blaze of color fully ignites the Green Mountains as you begin heading into the colder valley and temperate lowlands. Stop at Elmore State Park to hike up to Elmore Mountain to view the abandoned fire tower at the summit. From the summit, you have a perfect view of the fall foliage below. The foliage is also reflected in the waters of Lake Elmore, which has a swimming beach and picnic area.

By Patrick from Barrington, RI, Moretown, VT, United States - Church and Autumn Leaves - Stowe, VT, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11770456

Stowe, Vermont | Stowe Community Church

137 Main St, Stowe, VT 05672

Charted in 1763, Stowe is a classic New England village in the Green Mountains. The narrow spire of Stowe’s Community Church is most recognizable of Vermont’s Route 100s many country villages. The church was plotted in 1818 and is still one of the most recognizable structures in the mountains. From the 10-mile drive up from Waterbury, you’ll also see a magnificent view of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield. Mount Mansfield State Forest rises from the west and CC Putnam State Forest is visible to the east.

Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory Tour & Ice Cream Shop, Waterbury, Vermont

Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Factory Tour & Ice Cream Shop

1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676

While it may seem strange to go on a tour of an ice cream shop in the Fall months, the Waterbury Factory tour on Route 100 is a must see. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield set an ice cream shop in a converted gas station in 1978, and this area has been known for Ben and Jerry’s ever since. The thirty-minute tour is a great place to get out and stretch your legs. It’s also a beautiful area, especially during the Fall foliage season.

Texas Falls Recreation Area

Texas Falls Recreation Area (Middlebury gap)

Hancock, VT 05748

After passing by the college town of Middlebury Gap, take time for a small picnic at the Texas Falls Recreation Area. Take a one-mile hike up to where the Hancock Branch of the White River into one of New England’s most beautiful waterfalls. A viewing area and small suspension bridge leads to a trail at the bottom of the stream. The walk down to the stream can be a little tricky (especially after rain), but the toilet facilities and picnic beaches make for a great stop to enjoy lunch in all of nature’s beauty.

Deer Leap Trail (Rutland, VT)

Deer Leap Trail (Rutland, VT)

139 U.S. 4, Killington, VT 05751

Finish off the final part of the tour in beautiful Rutland, Vermont on Route 7. Rutland is the third largest city in Vermont and the site of the Vermont State Fair. The city’s downtown is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Places to see include Wilson Castle and Hildene-The Lincoln Family Home. Outside the town near the Pico Mountain Ski Resort is Deer Leap Trail. Take the 2-mile hike to an outlook with an absolutely incredible view. The trail can be steep in places, but you can go to certain points and still have an amazing view.

Afterward, follow the route back down south on US-7 to VT-279 into Bennington. Then take the VT-279 exit from US-7 and follow it into Troy, New York. Then take I-787 into Albany, New York.

Recommended Items

Reusable Water Bottle

High-Protein Snack Food

Hiking Shoes

Atlas & Compass

A sense of humor ?

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Plan Your Fall Adventure


Known for its lush forests and sugar-white beaches, Alabama is also a state home to significant landmarks to the American Civil Rights Movement. Of the nine national parks, five are dedicated to preserving and commemorating the work of the leaders in this movement. Four large national forests and three state forests also cover much of the state, blanketing the Appalachian Mountains and wildlife reserves.  The state also has 1,500 miles of river and stream channels for the water enthusiast. Hike up to the highest point in the state, Mount Cheaha at 2,407 feet. Alabama national and state parks are also accessible year-round, making it a great place to visit in the winter months when you just want to get away.


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National Parks & Historic Sites

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

1510 5th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument is a United States National Monument in Birmingham, Alabama established in 2017 to preserve and commemorate the work of the Civil Rights Movement.

Freedom Riders National Monument

4992-4994 Old Birmingham Hwy, Anniston, AL 36201

The Freedom Riders National Monument is a United States National Monument in Anniston, Alabama established by President Barack Obama in January 2017 to preserve and commemorate the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

11288 Horseshoe Bend Rd, Daviston, AL 36256

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a U.S. national military park managed by the National Park Service that is the site of the last battle of the Creek War on March 27, 1814.

Little River Canyon National Preserve

4322 Little River Trail #100, Fort Payne, AL 35967

Little River Canyon National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located on top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama, and DeSoto State Park.

Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area

Various; 1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35630

The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area includes the Tennessee River basin’s six counties in northwest Alabama. Its sites, buildings, homes, and artifacts tell the story of how the river and the people living alongside it have shaped our nation’s history and heritage.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Various in AL, MS, TN; One site is Colbert Ferry Trail, Colbert Ferry Park, Natchez Trace Pkwy, AL 35616

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail.

Russell Cave National Monument

3729 County Road 98, Bridgeport, AL 35740

Russell Cave is an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Thousands of years ago a portion of Russell Cave’s entrance collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home to prehistoric peoples. Today it provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D.

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

Montgomery, Lowndes & Dallas Counties, AL. Starts at Brown Chapel African American Methodist Episcopal Church, 410 Martin Luther King St Selma, AL 36703.

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which extended equal voting rights for African-Americans. As both White and Black non-violent supporters led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the right to vote in Central Alabama, today, you can trace their march toward freedom on the 54-mile trail and connect with their stories at the Interpretive Centers.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Various in AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN; one site is Waterloo Landing

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native American peoples from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west that had been designated as Indian Territory.

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

1616 Chappie James Ave, Tuskegee, AL 36083

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II.

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

1212 W Montgomery Rd, Tuskegee, AL 36088

In 1881, Booker T. Washington arrived in Alabama and started building Tuskegee Institute both in reputation and literally brick by brick.  He recruited the best and the brightest to come and teach here including George Washington Carver who arrived in 1896.  Carver’s innovations in agriculture, especially with peanuts, expanded Tuskegee’s standing throughout the country.


Looking for more sights in Alabama, visit Sweet Home Alabama.

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Considered the birthplace of blues music, Mississippi is also known for the Mississippi Delta,  coastal gulf, and its majestic forests. Eight national parks and three cultural heritage areas can be found in the state along with 1442 national register of historic places.  Outside of the Mississippi Delta area, the state is heavily forested and has several national forests and wildlife refuges. Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail markers are located at key sites within the state. Over 60 miles of Mississippi Gulf Coast shoreline are great places to relax and catch some rays in the white sand beaches.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site

128 MS-370, Baldwyn, MS 38824

Brice’s Cross Roads National Battlefield Site commemorates the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, in which the Confederate army, under Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, defeated a much larger Union force on June 10, 1864, to ultimately secure supply lines between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Breeze, Florida and Ocean Springs, Mississippi , FL, MS

Gulf Islands National Seashore offers recreation opportunities and preserves natural and historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands of Florida and Mississippi. The protected regions include mainland areas and parts of seven islands.

Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area

Various; Museum of the Mississippi Delta, 1608 US-82, Greenwood, MS 38930

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) is the land where the Blues began, where Rock and Roll was created and where Gospel remains a vibrant art. It is an agricultural region where cotton was once king, and where ‘precision-ag’ rules today. It is a place that saw the struggles of the Civil War and the cultural revolution of the Civil Rights Movement. It is the home of the Great Migration, and a land of rich culinary, religious, artistic and literary heritage.

Mississippi Gulf National Heritage Area

1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a culturally, historically, and environmentally distinctive region where many chapters in the national story have been written. The bounties of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s natural resources have brought people to this area from all over the world. The modern culture of the Coast consists of a multi-ethnic gumbo of people and traditions.

Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area

398 E Main St, Tupelo, MS 38804

See the birthplace where Elvis made his entrance to the world stage … Walk among the nation’s most extensive remaining Civil War earthworks from one of the largest sieges in the Western Hemisphere, at the Crossroads of the Confederacy … There’s so much to see and do in the Mississippi Hills. Faulkner once said he could spend a lifetime writing about it—you could spend a lifetime exploring it.

Natchez National Historical Park

640 S Canal St, Natchez, MS 39120

Discover the history of all the peoples of Natchez, Mississippi, from European settlement, African enslavement, the American cotton economy, to the Civil Rights struggle on the lower Mississippi River.

Natchez Trace Parkway

101 N Natchez St, Kosciusko, MS 39090 and the states of AL,MS, TN

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail.

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Various; Tupelo, AL,MS,TN. One location is Rocky Springs Methodist Church, Port Gibson, MS 39150

The Natchez Trace Trail is a designated National Scenic Trail in the United States, whose route generally follows sections of the 444-mile (715 km) Natchez Trace Parkway through the states of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Shiloh Military Park

Shiloh, TN,MS. 1055 Pittsburg Landing Rd, Shiloh, TN 38376

Visit the sites of the most epic struggle in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Nearly 110,000 American troops clashed in a bloody contest that resulted in 23,746 casualties; more casualties than in all of America’s previous wars combined. Explore both the Shiloh and Corinth battlefields to discover the impact of this struggle on the soldiers and on the nation.

Tupelo National Battlefield

2005 Main St, Tupelo, MS 38801

Tupelo National Battlefield commemorates the American Civil War battle of Tupelo, also known as the Battle of Harrisburg, fought from July 14 to 15, 1864, near Tupelo, Mississippi.

Vicksburg National Military Park

3201 Clay St, Vicksburg, MS 39183

Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863.

For more attractions, go to Visit Mississippi.

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With a long maritime tradition, ports along the Connecticut River, Thames River, and the Long Island Sound make Connecticut a must-see state. It’s proximity between Boston and New York make it an easy place to visit. Find over sixty national landmarks, 2 national parks, 2 heritage areas, and 1,615 places on the National Register of Historic Places. Outdoor adventurers can find hiking, sailing, and cross-country skiing in any of the state’s multiple parks and forests. Fall is the perfect time to visit the state and photograph the stunning foliage. Climb to the ridge of Mattabesett Trail and be rewarded with stunning views to the north and south.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Various; Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV

New England National Scenic Trail

Various; MA, CT

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor

203 Main St, Danielson, CT 06239

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

Various; one place to visit is Lebanon Green, 579 Exeter Road, Lebanon, CT 06249

Weir Farm National Historic Site

735 Nod Hill Rd, Wilton, CT 06897

For additional sites, visit Connecticut Online.

Connecticut National and State Parks

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