25 State Parks with National Ambitions / by Lauren Steele

There are 10,234 state park areas comprising over 18 million acres of U.S. soil. And according to the National Association of State Park Directors' latest count, 720 million visitors checked in to state parks to enjoy the terrain, recreation, and wildlife of state parks. That's more than double the number of people who checked in to National Parks. These folks are onto something. "The gateway to nature and the outdoors has, and always will be, our local and state parks," said Kevin O'Hara, Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs at the National Recreation and Park Association. Look out Yosemite and Yellowstone, here are the top 25 state parks that are giving you a run for your money.