The goal of The North Face: Explore Your Parks program is to encourage people to get outdoors. Use this website to find out if there's a
Camping 101 program in your area; locate a park anywhere in the U.S using our park locator; download a free Activity Guide for information about state and city parks in 13 regions; and see what campers are sharing about their Camping 101 experience.
Just out your doorstep are dozens of unique places that are yours to explore and enjoy. Recreational facilities, hiking trails, historical landmarks, lakes, rivers, natural areas, beaches and forests – they belong to you! Why is that? Because they’re part of our public lands, our unique state parks system. There’s no better way to easily connect with nature, get some exercise in the outdoors, learn something new or just relax, than visiting a state park. We can keep state parks healthy and available for future generations by visiting often and taking full advantage of all they offer. Spread the word to friends and family, and introduce your children to the wonders of public lands by visiting state parks. The following partners are working hard to preserve and protect parks, educate the public about the value of nature and the importance of being healthy and active in the outdoors. We thank them for making Explore Your Parks available nationwide!
California State Parks
California Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 270 park units which contain the most diverse collection of natural, cultural, and recreational resources to be found within California. The parks reflect every ecosystem found throughout the state – from beaches to deserts, ancient forests to alpine peaks. California State Parks’ mission is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,100 acres of green space, making it the largest municipal park manager in the nation. The Chicago Park District’s 580 parks offer thousands of sports and physical activities as well as cultural and environmental programs for youth, adults and seniors. The Chicago Park District oversees 26 indoor pools, 51 outdoor pools and 26 miles of lakefront that include 23 swimming beaches and one inland beach. With canoeing, batting cages, arts and crafts and more, there is no shortage of activities in Chicago’s parks.
Georgia State Parks
The Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks & Historic Sites manages more than 60 properties that preserve the state's environment and history. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Colonial Coast, there is an exceptional variety of resources. These sites preserve plant and animal habitats, provide places to enjoy the outdoors and protect historic sites where future generations can learn about the past.
Idaho State Parks
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation manages 30 state parks. The agency manages a series of outdoor recreation grant programs that provide facilities and services to a wide variety of recreationists and the local governmental and nongovernmental organizations that serve them. The mission of the Idaho parks is to To improve the quality of life in Idaho through outdoor recreation and resource stewardship.
Maryland State Parks
Maryland has 66 state parks full of recreation opportunities ranging from nature walks to biking, boating, camping, kayaking, historical adventures and more! The mission of the Maryland Park Service is to manage the natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources to provide the best use for the benefit of people. Maryland residents and officials have worked hard to preserve public lands for everyone to enjoy – today, tomorrow and for generations to come.
Massachusetts State Parks
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams and parkways, including more than 200 state parks and 31 campgrounds with 3200 campsites. Massachusetts State Parks offers countless opportunities to escape and enjoy the outdoors through camping, boating, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, picnicking, skiing, golfing, historical sites, educational programs and more. In addition, Massachusetts State Parks is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation opportunities for visitors of all abilities. Many parks are easily accessible via public transportation as well.
Michigan State Parks
Michigan State Parks offer four seasons of fun for all ages. With more than 100 state parks, hundreds of miles of trails, and thousands of lakes to explore, Michigan has a lifetime of memories waiting for you. New to the outdoors? There are more than 500 opportunities statewide to learn everything from archery to windsurfing with all the gear, guides and good times provided. Whether planning a five-day vacation or an after 5:00 getaway, make your destination Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas.
Missouri State Parks
Missouri's state park system contains 85 state parks and historic sites plus the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry. With more than 200,000 acres available to the public, the system includes homes of famous Missourians, Civil War battlefields; and reminders of yesterday such as gristmills and covered bridges. The state's most outstanding landscapes are preserved here for everyone's enjoyment – deep forests, glades, prairies and blue streams and lakes. The mission of the state park system is to preserve and interpret the state's most outstanding natural landscapes and cultural landmarks, and to provide outstanding recreational opportunities compatible with those resources.
New York State Parks
From the shores of Long Island to the mighty Niagara Falls, New York's 179 state parks offer countless opportunities to explore your natural environment, escape from the grind of the everyday and experience exciting new adventures. Beaches, boat launches, hiking trails, campsites, and golf courses all await. Many of the parks are accessible via public transportation as well, so you can explore nature on a moment’s notice.
Ohio State Parks
The Division of Parks manages 74 state parks in 60 counties with over 174,000 acres of land and water resources. Ohio State Parks host about 55 million visitor occasions each year. Most parks offer educational programming and special activities for visitors through seasonal naturalist programs and customer service initiatives. The mission of the Ohio State Parks is to enhance the quality of life through exceptional outdoor recreational experiences and sound resource management.
Oregon State Parks
The mission of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. Oregon's state parks are among the most popular in the U.S: their combined day-use and camping attendance of 41.5 million visitors (2010) consistently ranks the system among the ten most visited in the nation.
Pennsylvania State Parks
One of the largest state park systems in the country, Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks provide opportunities for adventure, learning and fun. Hike through centuries-old forests, challenge whitewater rapids, catch a glimpse of our wild elk herd or sleep under some of the starriest skies on the east coast. Camping, swimming, hiking and biking are popular pursuits, and, for the more adventurous, activities like rock climbing, kayaking, geocaching and sailing are available. So come and discover the natural spaces that have been protected and preserved for your enjoyment. Pennsylvania’s state parks await your arrival and welcome your stay.