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Step Up Your Fall Camping Game With These 10 State Parks

Take your fall camping ritual to a new level this year with a trip to one of these scenic state parks. Freshwater ponds and swift-flowing rivers, towering forests of orange and yellow, and spectacular mountain vistas make fall one of the most beautiful times for an outdoors getaway.

State parks offer the perfect way to experience much that fall has to offer. Hike a trail, paddle a river, fish in the lake, or maybe even attend a fall festival. With the fall foliage season approaching, you’ll want to make the most out of the beautifully colored leaves and check out the view for yourself.

1. Allegany State Park, New York

Not only is Allegany State Park the largest park in New York, it’s also a spectacular place to enjoy the fall camping season. Drive, bike or horseback ride through the park on its many roads and trails.

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Autumn splendor in Allegany State Park, NY. Photo by Mark K./Flickr

If you prefer to spend time on the water, take a paddle around Red House Lake. Don’t forget the fishing pole!

When you’re done exploring, soak up a little culture at the Old Quaker Store and Museum. End the day with dinner al fresco while overlooking Red House Lake at the Park Restaurant.

RVers can find sites with 30-amp power in the Quaker Lake area and the Red House area.

2. First Landing State Park, Virginia

Located on Chesapeake Bay, First Landing State Park has wooded and dune-side sites. Enjoy easy access to a long stretch of beach and the family-friendly bike trails that weave through the forest.

First Landing SP fall view. Photo by Virginia State Parks/Flickr

In addition to the everyday fun, in October the park hosts a Fall Festival to celebrate the season. Enjoy hayrides, pumpkin decorating, crafts for the kids, s’mores roasting, and more!

3. Fort Boonsbourgh State Park, Kentucky

Founded in 1775 by Daniel Boone, Fort Boonesborough State Park is teaming with history. This reconstructed fort on the banks of the Kentucky River boasts tons of activities for the whole family.

Try your hand at candle dipping, pottery turning, lye soap making, or welding. There’s also a swimming pool, miniature golf course, a sandy beach, nature trails, and a large campground for all your fall camping needs.

Throughout October, the state park (like many of Kentucky State Parks) hosts Halloween-themed activities including a campsite decorating contest.

Decorated Halloween campsite. Photo via Facebook

4. Percy Quin State Park, Mississippi

As one of the original state parks cleared and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Percy Quin is a testament to the hard work of many.

While the park is popular year round, the mild autumn weather is a big draw in the fall months.

Percy Quin State Park. Photo by Babs/Flickr

Located on 1,700 acres and boasting a large lake and championship golf course, this park is sure to please the whole family.

5. Burlingame State Park, Rhode Island

Located on Watchaug Pond with the Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary nearby, Burlingame State Park is the perfect place to unwind on a long fall camping weekend.

Burlingame State Park. Photo by Visit Rhode Island

You’re almost certain to find something for everyone here on the lake shore. Whether it’s relaxing in the hammock, hiking the trails, or fishing the lake, this Rhode Island gem has got you covered.

6. Nickerson State Park, Massachusetts

Nickerson State Park. Photo by gardenangel/Flickr

A popular year-round campground, this wooded park is especially appealing in the fall when the crowds thin and the night air turns crisp.

Located halfway out on the spit of land that makes up Cape Cod, Nickerson might be minutes from the beach but it feels miles away.

Enjoy the numerous hiking trails, paddle around one of the crystal clear ponds, or hop on the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail.

7. Chatfield State Park, Colorado

state parks
Chatfield State Park. Photo by

Located just south of Denver, this state park is a bustling place for year-round fun. Despite its popularity, the large park has more than enough space for everyone to enjoy a little slice of nature.

From the deep blue reservoir to the miles of hiking trails and hidden coves for picnics, Chatfield is the perfect place for a fall camping getaway.

8. Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Fall Camping
Franconia Notch State Park. Photo by sakeeb/Flickr

In the heart of the White Mountain National Forest lies a spectacular mountain pass called Franconia Notch.

As the former home of the famed Old Man of the Mountain (until the poor man fell off the mountain), this popular park has been attracting visitors for years.

In addition to the Old Man site, you can visit the renowned Flume Gorge or take the aerial tramway up Cannon Mountain. There’s also swimming at Echo Lake, fly fishing at Profile Lake, and of course, camping in the scenic campground.

Finally, stop at the New England Ski Museum to learn about the history of the area’s popular winter pastime.

9. Eno River State Park, North Carolina

North Carolina is home to beautiful mountain views, a wealth of outdoor activities, historical sites, and some gorgeous fall foliage.

At Eno River State Park you’ll find nearly 4,000 acres of woodlands. The park offers almost 30 miles of trails along the fast-moving river popular among fisherman and sightseers.

Eno River in the fall. Photo by Chris Ubik/Flickr

In addition to daytime enjoyment, at night you can find solitude at one of the many backcountry campsites.

10. Indian Cave State Park, Nebraska

Fall Camping
Indian Cave State Park. Photo by johncarrel/Flickr

Dip your fishing pole in the Missouri River or get lost in the woods on one of the many hiking and biking trails at Indian Cave State Park.

Located on over 3,000 rugged acres bordering the mighty Missouri River, this park offers solitude and plenty of fall color, as well as a large campground.

Peppered with majestic hardwood forests and rolling hills overlooking the winding river, Indian Cave is a pristine place of beauty.

See also: 5 Scenic Towns To Take Your RV This Fall