Here are the top state park news stories for December 2023. We are working to provide you with a summary of the most interesting state park news stories each month. If you have a state park news story we missed, let us know by leaving a comment.
Waimea Canyon Hiking in Hawaii
We love state parks and continue to be impressed by some of the natural beauty and outdoor adventure opportunities. We recently had the chance to visit parks in Hawaii where we experienced some amazing views and incredible hikes. What a beautiful place. One place we especially enjoyed was Waimea Canyon State Park. The canyon was as amazing as the Grand Canyon. The view was spectacular and the hiking was fantastic. More to come on that adventure soon.
Pinchot State Park Expansion
The Pennsylvania DNR has announced the addition of 2,500 acres to Pinchot State Forest. This will expand outdoor recreation opportunities at Pinchot State Park. The expansion includes a 2,216 foot peak.
This already looks like a fantastic state park. At 2,338 acres, it is a fairly large park. Pinchot Lake provides opportunities for fishing and other water sports. There are hiking trails and an 18-hole disc golf course.
Camping opportunities include 119 electric campsites, 143 without electricity, a group tent site, 10 cabins, 3 camping cottages, and 2 yurts.
Pinchot State Park is open year-round. We are definitely adding this one to our list of places to visit in Pennsylvania.
Please check the Pennsylvania DCNR Pinchot State Park website for further details.
Sibley State Park Campground Upgrade
The Lakeview Campground at Sibley State Park in Minnesota closed starting in November and will remain closed through the spring of 2025. The campground will be updated to better suit the needs of newer and larger RV campers.
This is a major renovation project. The roads, campsites, water, and electric systems will all be updated. In the end, there will be 41 campsites with only one having no electricity. That’s down from the current 52 electric sites and 19 non-electric sites.
Like many state parks, Lakeview was constructed in the 1930s. There are several historic buildings in the park from that era. These will be modernized to ensure they an be safely enjoyed by visitors.
For more information about the Lakeview Campground Project, check out the Minnesota DNR website.
Sinks Canyon Dark Sky Designation
Sinks Canyon State Park has recently been designated as an International Dark Sky Park . These places take steps to ensure clear viewing of the night sky. The park has taken steps to reduce light pollution including installing motion-detector lights and light shields. The park also provides interpretive programs to help visitors better enjoy the night sky.
Sinks Canyon looks like an amazing and unique place. Located along the fork of the Pop Agie River in the Wind River Mountains, the park offers a variety of activities. You can take a cave tour, hike or bike on a trail, or maybe do some rock climbing.
Sinks Canyon State Park has a campground with 16 non-electric sites, 9 tent sites, and four yurts. For more details on this interesting state park, check out the Sinks Canyon State Park website.
Gulf State Park Pier
Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores Alabama is a large state park situated on the Gulf of Mexico. This 6,150 acre state park offers a variety of fun things to do. There are 29 miles of paved trails & boardwalks. Or, you could visit the beautiful 3.5 mile white sand beach. Gulf State has a dog pond where your four-legged friends can play. There are even multiple restaurants in the park.
However, there is temporarily one less amenity available. The pier is temporarily closed for repair. It was damaged by Hurricane Sally and part of the pier collapsed. After work is completed in Summer 2024, the pier and the nearby parking & beach access will reopen.
More information on the pier restoration can be found on Outdoor Alabama.
Fun Activities at Pocahontas State Park
If you are looking for a fun December activity, check out what’s going on in a state park. Here is one example. Pocahontas State Park in Virginia will be hosting holiday craft events throughout December. You can make a fun holiday keepsake as part of Handmade Holidays which is from 10-3 on December 3, 7, or 17, 2023. You might also like to try making a wreath at the Winter Wreaths Workshop December 2 & 3. You can find all of the details on the Pocahontas State Park website.
If hiking is more your thing, you might like to join Pocahontas State Park for a Winter Solstice Ramble on December 21, the shortest day of the year. They will be doing a series of ranger-led hikes for the solstice.
For additional information to help you plan your visit to Pocahontas, check out our Pocahontas State Park Review.
State Park News on YouTube
We share state park news on our YouTube channel. Check out our December 2023 state park news video.
We started sharing our State Park News posts & videos at the start of 2023. We have been enjoying learning about state parks all across the US and sharing what we learned with you. Hopefully you are finding it interesting and helpful. Let us know what you think. We’d sure appreciate the feedback. And If you have a state park news story to share, we’d love to hear it. Leave a comment to let us know.
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