It’s that time of year again, in most of the country, the leaves are changing to an autumnal orange and red, and the air is finally cooler and crisp. We can’t think of a better time to lace up the hiking boots and go for a long stroll, or grab the leash and take your pup for a pleasant fall outing. Luckily for us, we live in a country abundant with beautiful parks that offer yearly hiking trails, scenic views, and plenty of outdoor fun.
So we asked Wondercide’s pack – customers and fans – for their favorite fall spots. In hopes that you’ll enjoy the outdoors as much as we do during this season, here’s a list of parks from each state nominated as favorite fall spots. See what they have to say about these natural wonders.
What to know before you hike:
- Know your route. Even in the age of the smartphone, getting lost in the woods is never the way you want to spend your outdoor experience. Plus, reception isn’t always guaranteed.
- Hydrate! Always take plenty of water to sustain your stamina on long trails. And be sure you have enough for your pup too!
- Fall is flea and tick season so you’ll likely be encountering them at the park. Mosquitoes can be present too. Before you go, protect pets against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes with a spray and collar or spot on. For family, use a tick and mosquito repellent. They're all powered by plants and proven to work.
- Take poop bags to clean up after your dog! Remember this rule applies to everyone who uses a park: Leave the space cleaner than you found it.
For more helpful tips on how to hike with your pup, visit Wondercide’s Tips For Summer Hiking with Your Doggo! And now, the list of parks to check out in each state.
Oak Mountain State Park: This 50 mile wide outdoor wonderland is located just south of Birmingham and is home to a multitude of adventures. From geocaching, to horseback riding, to BMX bike riding, you’ll never run out of things to explore. Oak Mountain State Park offers year round camping, hiking, archery, and Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife preserve. Hike to the top of the Treetop Nature trail to experience some extraordinary views and capture that perfect instagram moment!
Denali National Park and Preserve: Painted with snowy white caps, this park offers scenic mountain views during all seasons of the year. While Alaska’s Fall season is not the most preferable time to access the park, you won’t be let down by the sites Denali has to offer. This wilderness park has a little something for everyone from intermediate to advanced hikers, and those who love to immerse themselves in raw nature.
Prescott Town Square Park: This quaint green space is surrounded by old, historical buildings in the heart of Prescott, AZ.
Slide Rock State Park: Take on the dramatic rock formations and climbing opportunities this park has to offer, or accompany your dog in weighting in and out of the river along many extensive hiking trails.
Devil's Den State Park: This mystical wilderness park offers 135 different campsites with 17 cabins available. Stay here overnight in between long hikes and nature excursions.
Hobbs State Park: Dyallen E. nominated this park because “it offers a lot of different trails. We also love it because it is very close to Beaver Lake! Our favorite trail is Van Winkle Historical Trail and Sinking Stream. The drive into the national forest is breathtaking!”
Lake Atalanta: Dyallen also nominated this park because “it’s a fairly easy trail with a waterfall!”
Tanyard Creek: Located in Benton County, this creek offers hiking for experienced hikers as well as intermediate.
Yosemite National Park: A park the size of Rhode Island, Yosemite is home to gorgeous scenery including waterfalls, meadows, canyons, rock formations, and so much more. Yosemite offers hiking experiences like you’ve never seen before, with trails that lead through ancient forests dressed with 3,000 year old Giant Sequoia trees. Val N. nominated this park because she got married here, so Yosemite holds a special meaning to her family.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park: This dense park offers over 12,000 acres of wilderness open to hikers, fisherman, and campers.
Rocky Mountain National Park: The Wonder Pack's Top Pick! To stroll through Colorado is to experience nature. Rocky Mountain National Park is the epicenter for all things Colorado wilderness with jaw dropping scenic views at the tops of intricate hiking trails and beautiful mountain lakes made for fishing, camping, and picnicking. Whether you’re into extreme rock climbing or leisurely walks with the family, the Rockies will satisfy your nature needs. Rocky Mountain is also home to the Alpine Visitor’s Center atop Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest visitor center of all of the National Parks.
Sleeping Giant State Park: In tune with its name, this mountain park is shaped like a giant sleeping man, and offers ample amounts of hiking, camping, fishing, and gorgeous hilltop views.
Cape Henlopen State Park: The perfect homebase for beach goers and hiking enthusiasts, this park offers incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean off of sandy trails. Cape Henlopen also caters to history buffs with its historical World War II coastal defense site, Fort Miles, available for tours and explorations.
Everglades National Park: This wonderland allows explorers to enjoy beautiful bodies of water along winding trails and boardwalks. Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness area in the United States and a must-visit park.
Fort De Soto Park: Experience a diverse variety of wildlife and landscapes at this tropical island park.
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest: Explore 850 miles of babbling brooks, rambling rivers, and scenic hiking trails at Georgia’s most extravagant outdoor excursion. This mega forest is also home to an abundance of campsites and prime picnicking areas for the whole family to enjoy.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: This tropical wilderness paradise allows you to explore the beautiful nature on the island via trails that run through rainforests, volcanoes, and lava fields.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area: Stroll around Sawtooth Lake to discover wildlife and beautiful Idaho wilderness as well as the gorgeous mountains that surround the park. A perfect place for a Fall themed photo opp to impress your Facebook friends.
Starved Rock State Park: Explore this riverside park to uncover the wonders of Illinois’ waterfalls, canyons, and hiking trails. Starved Rock even hosts live music on certain occasions and offers campers luxury campsites for a great deal.
Brown County State Park: Wander through picturesque trails to explore Indiana’s wilderness, including the endangered Yellowwood Tree. Hike up the rolling hills and down into the woods to discover wildlife and scenic views.
Clifty Falls: Almost 1,500 acres wide, this park is made for hiking endless and beautiful trails. Holly B. says that this park is “beautifully landscaped and so serene you forget you are in the city. It’s just a really peaceful place that I can safely let my blind dog roam and lead the way confidently.”
Maquoketa Caves State Park: Dwell into the ominous limestone caves and then make your way back up to explore the ample amount of hiking trails this park has to offer.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve: Over the years, most of this country’s tallgrass has fallen victim to industrialization, with only four percent of the original 170 million acres remaining. At this park, you’ll find the last standing tallgrass preservation to exist in North America. Tallgrass Prairie offers a vast amount of hiking trails and even hosts audio tours and exhibits so visitors can learn more about the preserve.
Red River Gorge Geological Area: Calling all climbers! This park offers stunning climbing experiences through the rocks and cliffs, as well as hikes all throughout the gorge.
Fontainebleau State Park: Founded by the wealthy Bernard de Marigny, this deteriorating sugar mill allows for the exploration of an interesting historical landmark and a beautiful hiking experience along Lake Pontchartrain.
Acadia National Park: Home to the tallest rocky headlands along the east coast, this incredible park offers over 150 miles of hiking adventures and dense northern wilderness.
Patapsco Valley State Park: Explore along the Patapsco River through the 200 miles of scenic woodland hikes, leisurely boat rides, or spend the weekend camping with your family.
Seneca Creek State Park: Makena S. describes this park as having “beautiful trees and fall scenery.”
Mount Greylock State Reservation: Wander through the Appalachian trail to the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. You’ll hike through red spruce trees which stand at a whopping 120 feet tall and take in wondrous views of the Berkshires. Mount Greylock also offers a little something for history enthusiasts as well with the Veterans War Memorial Tower which was built in 1932 and stands at 93 feet tall.
Mackinac Island: Come here to stay in a unique, quaint lodge between long walks along the water.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Hike through the sandy dunes of Michigan’s glorious lakes, rumored to be at least 2,000 years old and slowly losing height. Be sure to check out this beautiful landmark while it’s still standing!
Fish Lake Regional Park: Hiking, swimming, and fishing are available at this park on warmer days and snowshoeing in the colder seasons.
Gooseberry Falls State Park: Hike through a series of beautiful waterfalls along the North Shore of Lake Superior to capture a picture perfect Fall moment.
Tishomingo State Park: This rocky park is known for its swinging bridge amongst picturesque nature trails and fascinating wildlife.
Bennett Spring State Park: This park is gorgeous in the Fall with lots of hiking and fishing to keep you occupied.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park: This unique park centers around the ruins of a castle ready to be explored amidst sinkholes, caves, and other wonders of nature.
Glacier National Park: This hiking exploration will allow you and your family to enjoy vibrant mountain views amongst winding nature trails and vast lakes.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park: Wander along Platte River through scenic trails and beautiful lakeside views.
Valley of Fire State Park: Experience colorful rock formations and climbing expeditions at this unique park. Hike across the red rocks through long winding trails.
White Mountain National Forest: Follow the Appalachian trail to the tops of alpine peaks and gorgeous lakes. White Mountain offers camping and is open to backpackers eager to explore the North East. This park has trails for everyone, from experienced climbers to those seeking leisurely hikes.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: New Jersey is a hidden gem for beautiful outdoor excursions, including this park with its picturesque views of the river and plentiful hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Holmdel Park: Come here to experience a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, ice skating, and tennis. Alexis M. says that she likes this park because “there are fun trails, a small area with animals, flowers, and more!”
Bandelier National Monument: This park is home to historic ancient Pueblos ready to be explored over top scenic canyons. Hike through history via the ample amounts of hiking trails Bandelier has to offer.
Adirondack Park: It seems as though you’ll never run out of places to explore at this park with over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, wilderness, and bodies of water. The Adirondacks are pet friendly with many different places to stay overnight that offer access to animals. Whether you choose tent camping or prefer a cabin, there’s a place for you here.
Hawk’s Nest: This gorgeous riverside park is located just outside of Port Jervis and supplies hikers with picturesque views of the Delaware River, as well as access to many different kinds of wild birds.
Letchworth Park: Come to this park to experience what people have labeled the “Grand Canyon” of New York. Behold unbelievable views of waterfalls and plenty of hiking trails.
Veterans Park: This Staten Island park is a patch of greenery and trees, giving the townspeople a break from the surrounding buildings.
Anne Springs Greenway: One enthusiast who nominated this park says it has “beautiful views” and “very well maintained trails.”
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Travel through the 800 miles of hiking trails this park has to offer to experience dense forests, crystal waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park: This park is the perfect place for an intense weekend hike through the Badlands while experiencing various types of wildlife.
Clifton Gorge: Come for the hiking, stay for the views.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Escape Cleveland for a couple days to experience this nearby patch of nature that’ll make you feel far from the city.
Hocking Hills State Park: Ohio’s wilderness gem, this park offers cave explorations as well as walks through waterfalls, and steep cliffs overlooking amazing views.
John Bryant State Park: The Little Miami State and National Scenic River create a beautiful valley amongst the 752 acres of wilderness.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: This animal wonderland will allow you and your family to enjoy the company of bison, elk, and prairie talks while you hike through the winding trails of the park.
Crater Lake National Park: Hike through the many miles of trails while overlooking the hauntingly blue waters of Crater Lake.
Silver Falls State Park: Outdoor-lovers describe this park pet friendly and not too busy with multiple waterfalls to walk behind.
Allegheny National Forest: Allegheny is Pennsylvania's only National Forest. After a period of widespread deforestation followed by strong conservation efforts, Allegheny is now one of the most diverse forests in the country.
Ricketts Glen State Park: Pennsylvania is known for its cheesesteaks and pickles, but have you tried its state park? Here you’ll get to experience 24 different waterfalls amongst miles of wilderness and wildlife.
Beavertail State Park: Explore the 153 acres of therapeutic walking trails and stunning coastal landscapes.
Congaree National Park: Stroll along the boardwalk through the largest expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest this country has to offer in this chunk of marvelous South Carolina nature.
Palisades State Park: Located just south of Garretson, this South Dakota gem offers unique views of pink Sioux Quartzite rock formations and 157 acres of hiking trails for you and your pup to enjoy.
Big South Fork National Park: Explore 125,00 acres of wilderness and wildlife with your family and friends.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: This national landmark is truly a masterpiece of concealed nature with a little something for everyone. Historical monuments, charming hiking trails, exciting wildlife, and perfect picnicking spots. Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in the United States and for good reason.
Big Bend National Park: All along the Rio Grande this magnificent park will not let you down with its colorful views and beautiful trails.
Zion National Park: This iconic national park is worth the hype with its gorgeous plummeting canyons, endless hiking trails, and unique rock formations.
Green Mountain National Forest: Enjoy the pleasant wilderness surrounding the miles of hiking, camping, fishing, and biking trails this diverse park has to offer.
Shenandoah National Park: Embark on a journey through one of the United State’s most famous outdoor wonderlands to enjoy the Skyline Drive on top of once in a lifetime views through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Trails on the Blue Ridge Mountains: Experience what musician John Denver sang about with beautiful views and plentiful nature trails.
Deception Pass State Park: Wander along the water or through the woods across this 4,000 acre long nature wonderland.
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park: Take the family on a quiet, pleasant camping trip along the Green River.
Olympic National Park: This unique park offers a multitude of fun nature-esk activities with scenic rainforest walks, tall glaciers, and extraordinary views of Washington’s wilderness.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve: Take your afternoon run across the infamous New River Gorge Bridge or on another one of the long, winding, wildlife packed trails that these lavish grounds have to offer.
Devil’s Lake State Park: Take in the views of this 360 acre sized lake from atop stunning hilltops. Devil’s Lake also offers year long naturalist programs, lakeside picnicking, and camping.
Willow River State Park: One of the park lovers says that there’s a “beautiful waterfall that you can go under and behind,” and claimed that the hiking here is “breathtaking!”.
Yellowstone National Park: Soak in the sights from the first ever national park and enjoy the wandering wildlife throughout these intricate and exciting hiking trails.
We hope that you find ways to enjoy the outdoors, whether on a solo hike, with family and friends, and/or with your furry friends wherever you are! Whether you choose to explore a grand national preserve or play kick a ball around at your local community park, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had.