We know that RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers LOVE state parks across the U.S.
And why wouldn’t you? After all, there are more than 6,000 state park units across the nation. That means that while RVing, chances are you will find some beautiful locations.
Of course, it means it can be challenging to put together a list of the “The Best State Parks for Fall Camping” as Travel Pulse recently did (and not to be confused with the “5 U.S. Destinations to Visit in the Fall” that we recently brought you).
They didn’t include one of our fall favorites in Michigan — Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. (Be sure to add your favorites, if missing, in comments below!)
Still, it’s a great list to at least consider working into your RV travel plans. Here it is:
A destination we recently covered because its become one of our favorites. Letchworth State Park has been voted one of the best attractions in the U.S., and New York, and is known to some as the Grand Canyon of the East. In addition to plenty of spots to RV, it offers tent and trailer sites as well as winterized cabins and group camping facilities.
Campers reportedly love Pawtuckaway State Park as its located in one of the best U.S. states for fall colors in New Hampshire. Activities abound: hiking, mountain biking, boating, swimming and fishing. If you’re looking for a change of scenery you can always head 30 minutes west to Bear Brook State Park.
Tennessee’s popular Fall Creek Falls State Park spans an impressive 26,000 acres and is home to one of the highest waterfalls campers will find in the eastern U.S. in the 256-foot Fall Creek Falls. There are 220-plus campsites available in addition to cabins and back-country options for serious explorers.
Allegany State Park is the largest in New York and must-see in the fall. The sprawling park boasts 424 campsites and 375 cabins, so finding a spot shouldn’t be a problem when you head the for phenomenal leaf-peeping.
The fall foliage found in Pennsylvania’s Ricketts Glen State Park is second to none but there’s so much more to see here, including nearly two dozen waterfalls (among them the 94-foot Ganoga Falls). Campers will have plenty of choices too as there are a wide variety of options located within this park that spans more than 13,000 acres.
It may be the smallest state, but you can’t afford to miss out on Burlingame State Park, a 3,100-acre hidden gem surrounding Watchaug Pond in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The park’s namesake campground is massive too, offering visitors more than 700 campsites along with 20 comfortable cabins.
West Virginia’s scenic Blackwater Falls are named for the color produced as a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The campground here is home to 65 total tent and trailer sites, nearly half of which offer electricity. Cabins are also available.
The Uvalde bigtooth maples located within Texas’ Lost Maples State Natural Area are a big draw come fall as they turn remarkable shades of red, orange and yellow. There are also more than 10 miles of hiking trails as well as primitive campsites and campsites equipped with electricity.
Towering redwoods and dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean sound good? Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and nearby Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are as picturesque as camping settings come no matter the season. If your stay is brief, hop on the PCH and head north to explore places like Natural Bridges State Beach and Big Basin Redwoods State Park in and around Santa Cruz. Be sure to check out previous coverage of the area by the RV Lifestyle!
Every winter from November to mid-April, a spit of water called the Blue Springs Run is filled with manatees, often called sea cows. The Blue Springs Run flows into the St. Johns River and emanates from a deep underground spring that burps up crystal clear water that never varies from a temperature of 72 degrees. This is another location that was featured by the RV Lifestyle, which you can find here.
Camping is available year-round in Tettegouche State Park so don’t hesitate to take advantage this fall. Visitors will discover mesmerizing waterfalls along with stunning wildlife and rock formations. We can attest to the beauty of the area, too, having been to this park as part of our Great Lakes Shoreline Tour several years ago.
A renowned camping destination in large part because of its unrivaled scenery, Indian Cave State Park boasts spectacular views, awesome autumn colors and miles of hiking trails. October’s annual Haunted Hollow is also a huge draw for campers looking to participate in hayrides and campsite decorating contests, among other games and activities. Note that there has been recent flooding in the area so be sure to check the website here.
Located a little over an hour north of Washington, D.C., Cunningham Falls State Park isn’t short on natural or man-made wonders as campers can experience the park’s namesake 78-foot waterfall as well as a 40-plus-acre lake. Campsites are available through October at the larger William Houck Area Campground (which also features cabins) and year-round at the nearby Manor Area Campground.
American history buffs will love Kentucky’s Fort Boonesborough State Park, which is the site of the namesake frontier fort founded along the Kentucky River by Daniel Boone in 1775. Campers looking to experience the site at their own pace can choose from more than 160 sites equipped with electricity and water hookups. For more on the area, check out the Off the Beaten Path report from episode 96 of the RV Lifestyle podcast.
OK, so probably not going to be RVing there, but experienced hikers and campers seeking out a challenge this fall might want to at least be aware of Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park in Kauai. Keep in mind that camping here comes with certain restrictions given the obstacles and potential dangers of the area. Hanakoa and Kalalau are the only two authorized areas for camping along the Kalalau trail and hikers must obtain permits in advance.
Pedernales Falls State Park is the place to be for a relaxing swim, hike or mountain bike ride in Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin. RVers can reserve sites with water and electric hookups or hike several miles to primitive spots for a much more rewarding experience.
The nation’s oldest state park should be on every American’s bucket list and campers don’t have an excuse to miss it as the region offers plenty of campgrounds within close proximity to the powerful natural wonder, including an ideal basecamp in the Niagara Falls/Grand Island KOA just a few miles away.
Head to the Black Hills this fall to experience Custer State Park, which offers a bundle of campgrounds including the inviting Blue Bell Campground. Legion Lake, French Creek and other areas also offer visitors an array of camping options, including back-country and even horse camping. Be sure to check out the video below for “Our Five Favorite Stops in South Dakota.”
Hungry Mother State Park is one of Virginia’s original six state parks, offering visitors an excellent option for camping each autumn, including Camp Burson on one end of the park’s 108-acre lake, which is surrounded by colorful woodland come fall.
A trip to Babcock State Park is like bringing a postcard to life. Not only is the park home to the Mountain State’s most iconic landmark and located just minutes from the nearly 900-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge, but it offers 52 camping sites and 28 cabins for vacation rentals, including more than a dozen along scenic Glade Creek.