The 25 Best State Parks in America You Absolutely Must Visit

While America's 59 national parks may get all the glory and the Ken Burns documentaries, nearly three times as many people visit the country's 10,234 state park areas each year. Spanning a total of more than 18 million acres across the US, America's state parks take up the equivalent land area of 13.6 million football fields -- or roughly the size of South Carolina.

So yeah, there's kind of a lot to explore. To help us narrow down a list of the cream of the crop, we consulted locals throughout the country to give us their top picks of their favorite state parks with Hunting Island making the list. Behold, our glorious unveiling of America's top 25.

Coming in at number 6 is Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort, SC. It may be South Carolina's most visited state park, but that doesn't stop this secluded barrier island located 15 miles east of Beaufort from being one of the most picturesque destinations in the South, thanks to its famous lighthouse, pristine beaches, and popular fishing lagoon. Fun fact: many of the Vietnam scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed at Hunting Island.

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