Things You Need to know about Camping In State Parks
Yes, you can camp in a State Park. You just have to find out what the different types of regulations there are in your state.
Locals tend to be passionate about their state. They want to share the best parts of their home with visitors, and connect them with the places that mean a lot to them. With its more than 340 locations, laced throughout all 50 states, America’s State Parks are like a waiting network of destinations that locals want to tell you about.
State and local parks are a great place to go camping. You can usually find hiking trails at some of these parks. I'm hoping to post more in the future about state parks, camping and how to find a good place. This is a bit of a hobby for me, so it might take some time, but I should have something ready soon.
These parks provide more than just campsites and camping equipment. Some parks even have programs for seniors and children such as fishing, nature walks, and seasonal activities that you can go and participate in.
What are the amenities at state parks?
Most parks have restrooms, showers and drinking water. Some also have dump stations and laundry facilities. You can check amenities for each park by using a park finder, or looking at the park's web page. Many have pavilions, fishing areas and hiking trails. Others may have bike paths, horseback riding areas and kayaking rentals. Check with your local park for what's available before heading out.
- Running water for showers, sinks and toilets
- Drinking water from faucets or water spigots
- Picnic tables and grills - usually charcoal grills
- Lantern posts or RV hookups with electricity (but some state parks do not have electrical hookups)
- Fire rings or fireplaces, sometimes both
- Trash bins, but rarely recycling bins
- Parking space for your vehicle right at your campsite or close by
Tips for Camping in State Parks with Pets
If you're planning a camping trip at a state park, you may want to bring your pet along for the fun. However, not all campgrounds allow pets; therefore, it's important to check with your chosen campground before bringing Fido or Fluffy along on your weekend adventure.
Camping can be a great way to enjoy time with your pets. Here are some tips for having a safe, fun camping experience:
- Bring a pet first-aid kit.
- Pack a sturdy leash, collar and tags.
- Check for any restrictions on dogs in the park before you arrive.
- Never leave pets unattended outside.
Can you just pitch a tent anywhere?
The answer to this question is no. Most state parks require campers to set up camp in designated areas. There's usually a limit to how many tents or RVs can be in an area at the same time, so it's important to call ahead of time to make sure there are spots available. If you don't want to share your camping area with other people, you may need to get a private campsite.
Some state parks allow campers to set up camp anywhere within the park boundaries as long as they don't disturb any natural features or bother other visitors. This is known as dispersed camping, and it's a great option if you enjoy being alone in nature.
Other state parks require campers to make reservations before visiting the park. This helps ensure there are enough campsites for everyone who wants to stay overnight in the park.
Can you camp in state parks for free?
You can camp in state parks for free, but only for up to 14 days. After that, you must get a permit from the park superintendent.
You must pay a fee of $10 per day for an additional 14 days. This is a total of 28 days per year.
In some cases, you may be able to camp for more than 28 days if you have a special permit or if there are special circumstances such as bad weather or a medical emergency.
Some parks allow you to camp in tents or RVs while others allow only tents or only RVs. You should check with the park manager to make sure which type of camping is allowed in each individual park before you go.
Stay updated with our newsletter
When Does the Camping Season Start and End?
The camping season at most state parks and forests runs from April 1 through October 31. At most, though not all, of these sites, camping is also permitted between January 1 and March 31. During this offseason period, camping is limited to primitive sites only, with no electricity or water available, and no trash removal services. Campsites that do have water during the regular season may be closed during the offseason. (Be sure to check with your local park or forest for restrictions before making a reservation.)
Making the Most of Your Stay
Whether you’re interested in exploring nature, hiking, boating or fishing, there’s a park or forest to match your interests. There are over 400 state parks and forests that offer recreational opportunities like swimming, hiking or biking trails, picnicking areas and much more.
You can camp at most state parks in the United States. Most states have their own park systems, which are often quite extensive and include various types of campsites for recreational vehicles, trailers and tents.
These parks cater to campers who want to enjoy the outdoors, but also want to be a bit removed from it. The sites can be as rustic or as luxurious as you prefer, depending on your budget and how much you like to rough it.