20 wild and beautiful U.S. state parks

Discover these lesser-known natural wonders.

America’s state parks may keep a lower profile than the renowned national parks, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less of a worthwhile destination. With 8,565 designated areas spanning well over 18 million acres of land, there’s an incredible range of outdoor experiences to explore—including some real standouts that deserve to be on your radar. (Stunning photos of all 59 U.S. national parks.)

Freelance writer Erica Jackson Curran is based in Richmond. Follow her travels on Twitter @calendar_girl.