I feel like state parks don’t get enough credit.

National Parks are beautiful. Shenandoah, Yosemite, Grand Canyon — these are true landmarks, and I absolutely love visiting them. But living in Upstate New York means there aren’t a ton of federal lands nearby.

One thing we do have though are some of the greatest state parks in the country. People write off the northeast sometimes, but I think that’s a mistake. Sure, we don’t have national parks, but that’s not because it’s any less beautiful here. People just settled here first, so there isn’t the space to create the sprawling parks of the west. But if there weren’t so many settlements, I fully believe that Upstate NY could have been an amazing national park — from the river-carved valleys, to the glacier-formed finger lakes, to the peaks of the Adirondacks.

I fully believe that Upstate New York could have been an amazing national park.

Don’t just pass over New York when you’re looking for remarkable and awe-inspiring nature. It just hides in our state parks instead!

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