When you plan a trip chances are you plan to visit a state or national park while you're on vacation. On a recent trip to Asheville North Carolina, I had to see Chimney Rock. Just about anywhere you go you will find a park for hiking, picnicking, and more.

The wild thing about the Hudson Valley is we are surrounded by parks and the question I have is have you been to one lately?  According to stateparks.com, we have 22 state parks in our region. And honestly, I think they might have missed a few because I didn't see Minnewaska or Witch's Hole State Forest on the list.

One of the Top Most Visited State Parks in New York

Maybe as you plan your summer to find a New York State Park to visit this year you should plan to include a New York State park or two. Turns out the Hudson Valley is home to a State Park that sees more visitors annually than some National Parks.

Lake Minnewaska

The Thrillest recently released a list of the most visited National Parks for 2023. Apparently according to the report last year was a good year for our National Parks. Attendance was up over 2022. It says that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million visitors in 2023.

The 10th most visited National Park was Olympic National Park in Washinton State with 2.94 visitors registered. So which park came close to that number that you can visit in the Hudson Valley? You may be thinking be thinking Minnewaska State Park but you would be wrong. The Answer is Bear Mountain, State Park.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Rochesterfirst.com released a list of the top 10 most visited New York State Parks and Bear Mountain was number 8 out of 10 and now other Hudson Valley Park was on the list. So when you are looking for a popular park to visit you don't have to look any further than Near Mountain State Park.

What to Do at Bear Mountain State Park

If you are wondering what there is to do at Bear Mountain State Park there are plenty of choices. You can hike. You can visit a zoo and you can go to the Historic Bear Mountain Inn for a meal and a Carousel Ride. You can even go on Monday for the Total Eclipse. The Bear Mountain Inn will be hosting an Eclipse Party from 2 PM to 4 PM on Monday, April 8th, 2024.

Bear Mountain Inn, Orange County New York, Hudson Valley Resorts
Canva / Bear Mountain Inn via Facebook
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RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

The 11 Most Visited National Parks In America

With 63 National Parks in America, there are lots of places to visit, but here are the 11 most popular tourist destinations when it comes to annual visitors according to More Than Just Parks.

Gallery Credit: Nick Northern