Five State Parks to Love this Winter


Don’t let the cold winter weather keep you indoors – enjoy it in these state parks! Take your sweetheart, best friend, or family with you and fall in love with these state parks! Last year, SCA had crews working in state parks in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, California, and North Dakota. The colder weather might deter some visitors, but bundle up and explore all the miles of trails in state parks across the country.

To encourage you to get hiking, we’ve put together a list of five of our favorite state parks.

Caledonia State Park – Fayetteville, PA 

Caledonia’s 1,125 acres are nestled next to Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest. Caledonia is a great place to hike with your family and friends, partners, or spouses – and don’t forget your four-legged hiking buddies! The park is dog friendly; please be sure to obey local leash laws. The park is open every day of the year sunrise to sunset.

Pick your trail >>

Chambersburg waterline trail in Caledonia State ParkChambersburg waterline trail. Photo courtesy of PA DCNR

Spruce Run Recreation Area – Clinton, NJ 

Tucked inside the Spruce Run Recreation Area is the Highlands Trail which stretche more than 150 miles from Reigelsville, New Jersey on the Delaware River north to Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River in New York. The trail takes hikers through maple forest, pine forest and along water’s edge – imagine all the different animal tracks you might spot here!

Plan your adventure >>

Female Cardinal in snow

Red Rock Canyon State Park – Cantil, CA 

”A desert is a place without expectation” (Nadine Gordimer)

The expectation of winter is one of blustery cold and silent snowfall, but south of the Sierra Nevada you can surround yourself with picturesque desert cliffs and spectacular rock formations to escape the winter blues. Scenery isn’t the only draw to visit this park – there is a rich and wonderful history from the Kawaiisu Indians who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains, remains of 1890 California Gold Rush mining operations, and significant paleontology sites. Red Rock Canyon is as unique as its colorful rock formations. 

More information about the park >>

Red Rock Canyon State ParkPhoto by Jeff Sullivan,

Buttermilk Falls State Park – Ithaca, NY 

How could we not include a park with such a whimsical name?! We couldn’t! Which means you should go explore the winter wonderlands inside Buttermilk Falls State Park in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. The hiking trails take you through woodlands and along the gorge and rim of Buttermilk Creek and Falls. 

Take a virtual tour of the park >>

Crepuscular rays over water in Buttermilk Falls State ParkPhoto by Rob Madeo,

Turtle River State Park – Arvilla, ND 

The Civilian Conservation Corps built Turtle River State Park during the 1930s. The park is a wooded valley along its namesake Turtle River. There are over 10 miles of trails – through the forested hills and along the river. North Dakota isn’t just plains – go explore Turtle River and see another side of scenic North Dakota. 

More information about the park >>

Photo of Turtle River under snowPhoto courtesy of North Dakota Parks & Recreation

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