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Related: Plan Ahead 1: Book Resort State Parks Now for Spring and Summer
Idaho: Bruneau Dunes State Park
Hike, sand board (boards can be rented) or simply admire North America’s tallest single sand dune, a mound rising a commanding 470-feet high. NASA came to the site to study the theoretically similar topographical conditions on Mars. A 5-mile self-guided nature trail around the dunes explains the habitat. At the park’s two lakes, fish for bass and bluegill and at the onsite observatory, savor a close encounter with the night sky. Cabins and camp sites are available. Bruneau Dunes is located 64 miles south of Boise.
Kentucky: Lake Cumberland State Resort Park
The 50,000-plus acre lake forms the heart of Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, unofficially nicknamed “The houseboat capital of the world.” Along with 100 open slips, the marina rents fishing, pontoon and houseboats. In season, anglers can hope to catch bass, bluegill, crappie, rockfish and walleye. You can also ride horses as well as play disc golf, miniature golf, and tennis. Lodge rooms, cabins and campsites are available. The park is situated in Jamestown, Kentucky.
Nebraska: Fort Robinson State Park
Fort Robinson State Park, a former military base, sprawls on 22,000-acres that include pastures, pine ridges and sandy colored buttes. In summer sign-up for Jeep rides into the Cheyenne Outbreak Buttes, named for the route the Indians used to escape from the Fort in 1879; go horseback riding; tour the park by stagecoach or wagon; watch the weekly rodeo; gather for chuck wagon cook-outs, and hike to catch sight of the buffalo herd. The park, located in Crawford, offers hotel rooms, cabins and camping.
Situated in eastern Oklahoma on opposite shores of 19,000-acre Fort Gibson Lake, the parks draw water-lovers for boating, sailing, fishing and swimming. At Sequoyah State Park, you can also golf on an 18-hole course, horseback ride and bike part of the way around the lake. Sequoyah State Park offers lodge rooms, cabins and campsites while Sequoyah Bay State Park, near Wagoner, offers cabins and camping. Sequoyah State Park, near Hulbert, is situated 45 minutes southeast of Tulsa.
West Virginia: Cacapon Resort State Park
Cacapon State Park’s 6,000 acres offers golf, horseback riding, tennis and fishing in the reservoir or the lake plus swimming. The park is minutes from the historic mineral waters of Berkeley Springs where George Washington reputedly enjoyed the healing waters. The town is still known for its therapeutic soaks and its relatively inexpensive massages. Choose from lodge rooms or cabins.