Which State Has the Most State Parks? 2,280 Parks Mapped

When the weather is nice (and sometimes even when it’s not), nature-lovers break out their hiking sticks to take trips to the best state parks in the US. States offer protected state park status to places with picturesque beauty, historical importance, or recreational potential, so each and every state park is bound to impress. Depending on where you live, you could visit more than 160 different state parks and still not have seen them all. So, which state has the most state parks, and which state has the least? Where are the largest state parks in the US or the oldest state parks located? The map below contains information about Michigan state parks, Texas state parks, and all the state parks in between.

View State Parks in a full screen map

We gathered the data for this map of US state parks from Wikipedia. A note: some of the state park systems include beaches, state fish and wildlife areas, forests, historic parks, recreation areas, reservations, and other state-protected areas. However, we only included places with “state park” in the name, of which there were 2,280. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the state parks in Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana, as the data was unavailable. That said, once you discover which state has the most state parks and exactly how many there are, it’ll take years to visit them all.

Which State Has the Most State Parks?

All 50 US. states have at least one state park. However, it’s to be expected that some states have more state parks than others. Whether motivated by larger populations or just a higher priority for natural spaces, the following list taken from the map answers the question of which state has the most state parks?

  1. New York
  2. Florida
  3. Washington
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Connecticut
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Michigan
  9. Ohio
  10. Minnesota

Keeping in mind that due to lack of easily accessible data, those in Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana aren’t on the map, New York has the most state parks of any US state: 178. Of the 51 counties in New York with state parks, Suffolk County is the location of the highest amount of New York’s state parks (23). Jefferson County and Niagara County are also home to over 10 of New York’s state parks as well. When combined with Suffolk County, these three NY counties account for over 27% of the state’s state parks.

Florida has the second-most state parks (148) while Washington has just seven state park less than Florida at 141. Florida has more counties with state parks (55) than New York but of them, Monroe County is the most concentrated with state parks: 10 are located there. There are 35 counties that house Washington’s state parks. San Juan County, King County, Jefferson County (a seemingly popular county name), and Mason County all hold 10 or more state parks.

Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and California own 110, 99, 90 state parks, respectively while Texas state parks add up to 78. Michigan state parks aren’t too far behind Texas state parks: Michigan has 77. To see how many state parks the rest of the top 10 states hold, check out the map. Otherwise, stay tuned for the states with the least state parks.

States With the Least State Parks

Just as some states are bound to have more state parks than others, the opposite must also be true. Several US states have very few state parks and the following are the 10 with the least.

  1. Nebraska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Nevada
  4. North Dakota
  5. South Dakota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Alabama
  8. Delaware
  9. Arizona
  10. Kentucky

It appears Nebraska has the least state parks of the states on the map: just 8, though it’s worth noting it could be because Nebraska isn’t a very populous state. Following Nebraska’s low numbers are those in Wyoming, another state with a lower population. The state has just 11 state parks. Although is it any wonder? What state park can compete with Yellowstone National Park? Look here to see a map of other major US national parks.

Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota each have just 13 state parks, while Rhode Island has 14. The rest of the states on the list are home to 15 parks or more. To count them for yourself, use the map. Otherwise, stay tuned to learn the massive acreage of the largest state parks in the US.

Largest State Parks in the US

Sometimes bigger is better. If you’re planning a two-hour drive to a state park, it would be nice to have plenty of hiking trail options and views for days instead of just a small acreage. The following are the largest state parks in the US.

Park name County or city State Size (acres) Year established
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park San Diego California 585,930 1933
Big Bend Ranch State Park Presidio, Brewster Texas 311,000 1988
Baxter State Park Piscataquis Maine 209,501 1931
Henry W. Coe State Park Santa Clara California 89,164 1959
Falcon State Park Zapata, Starr Texas 83,654 1965
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park Collier Florida 75,000 1975
Custer State Park Custer South Dakota 71,000 1919
State Forest State Park Jackson Colorado 70,838 1970
Allegany State Park Cattaraugus New York 64,800 1921
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park Bureau Illinois 60,314 1970

One of the largest state parks in the US is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park located across the three counties of San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside, California. At nearly 600,000 acres, this state park is the size of over 440,000 football fields. Another of the largest state parks in the US is the Big Bend Ranch State Park of Presidio and Brewster, Texas. Like the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, this 311,000-acre state park is so large it takes up more than one county. The last state park over 100,000 acres on the map is Piscataquis, Maine’s Baxter State Park. It’s 209,501 acres large.

The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” is true for Texas state parks. With both Big Bend and Falcon State Park, Texas state parks are certainly some of the largest state parks in the US; some might even say they’re the best state parks in the US. Now, several of the largest state parks in the US are quite old. For example, Allegany State Park was established way back in 1921. But that isn’t even the oldest state park on the map.

Oldest State Parks

More than just the size of state parks, you can also sort the map by the years the parks were established. The years of establishment range from 1777 all the way up to 2019.

One of the oldest state parks on the map, the Princeton Battlefield State Park in Princeton, New Jersey, was technically established in 1777. As the site of an American Revolution battle between George Washington’s troops and British forces on January 3, 1777, it’s been around for a while. However, it seems this state park was officially deemed as such at a later date because New York’s Niagara Falls State Park is actually considered the oldest state park in the US. When you think of Niagara Falls, you’re probably unknowingly picturing the view from the Observation Tower at Prospect Point in the Niagara Falls State Park. Established in 1845, the state park offers a coveted view of all three waterfalls.

Photo of Niagara Falls State Park by Vinayak Sharma on Unsplash

More state parks that have been around for some time include the Putnam Memorial State Park in Fairfield, Connecticut, Itasca State Park in Hubbard, Minnesota, and the Interstate State Park Chisago, Minnesota, among others.

More Grouping Options with BatchGeo

To view even more state parks over a century old, change the grouping option on the map to “Year established.” Since your data often contains more than just location, with BatchGeo, you can group your map by the extra data for even more insights. It’s helpful to be able to view the map grouped by different data, in this case, by both state park size and year established. When making your own maps, you can add and group by even more data, all with batchgeo.com.

ICU Beds in the US: Explore a Map of Coronavirus Readiness

COVID-19 has caused chaos and mass disruption in the lives of everyone around the world, especially those in major cities. In the U.S., New York City accounts for over 70% of the state’s coronavirus deaths. Yet some cities in the U.S. are better equipped to handle the sudden influx of severely ill patients than others. Part of a city’s pandemic response depends on the number of available intensive care units—or ICU—beds. ICU beds are reserved for patients with severe or life-threatening illnesses—like COVID-19—and injuries. These patients require constant medical attention, which they’ll get in an ICU.

There are roughly 93,000 ICU beds in the U.S. and they are differently distributed around the country’s cities. Each city’s ICU data is available as the number of ICU beds per 10,000 people older than 15. The U.S.’s national average is 3.6 beds per 10,000 people. Several states also have over five cities with more than average number of ICU beds. Others aren’t as prepared. There are some clear regional differences in ICUs, which we can see thanks to BatchGeo’s automatic ranges on the map below.

View ICU beds by city in a full screen map

We gathered this ICU data in late March 2020 from The Washington Post. In areas where more beds are needed, regional governments may be working to improve the situation. That said, this map helps show preparedness as the outbreak ramped up. To take into account the differing populations of these cities, the data was gathered as number of ICU beds per 10,000 people. Let’s discover the cities with the most—and the least—beds available.

Ten Cities With the Most and Least ICU Beds

With patients facing severe or life-threatening illnesses and injuries—COVID-19 related or not—the more ICU beds available, the faster and better care they receive. While the U.S.’s national average is about 3.6 ICU beds per 10,000 patients, the following cities have ICU beds nearly double that. Out of the 307 cities with accessible ICU data, the ten below are home to the most ICU beds.

City State ICU beds per 10,000
AUGUSTA GA 7.2 (*tie*)
FLORENCE SC 7.2 (*tie*)
HUNTINGTON WV 7.2 (*tie*)
LONGVIEW TX 6.5 (*tie*)
LUBBOCK TX 6.5 (*tie*)

As you can see on the table, Slidell, Louisiana is the city containing the most ICUs. With 10.6 beds per 10,000 people, Slidell can offer care-seeking patients 3.1x as many ICU beds per 10,000 people than even the second-best city. That second-best city is Duluth, Minnesota, which offers 7.5 ICU beds for every 10,000 patients. Next comes Augusta, Georgia, Florence, South Carolina, and Huntington, West Virginia. These Southeastern cities offer the same number of ICU beds (7.2) per 10,000 people.

Rochester, Minnesota has 6.9 beds available per 10,000 folks and frankly, we’ve decided to move there. Following Rochester are Birmingham, Alabama, Longview and Lubbock, Texas, and Durham, North Carolina, which all are just below seven beds per 10,000 people. Note that like Minnesota, Texas also has two cities in the top ten. Other than those four Minnesota and Texas cities, the top ten consists of cities located in the Southeastern states of Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina.

To view more cities with lots of ICU beds per 10,000 patients, check out the map. For now, let’s move on from the best cities to the worst cities.

Cities With Very Few ICUs

While the cities with the most ICU beds may occasionally see one or two beds go unneeded, cities with few ICUs aren’t likely to have any to spare. The following ten cities could really use some more ICU beds, especially as we combat the coronavirus.

City State ICU beds per 10,000
DUBUQUE IA 1.4 (*tie*)
SANTA CRUZ CA 1.4 (*tie*)
WICHITA FALLS TX 1.5 (*tie*)
EVERETT WA 1.5 (*tie*)
MODESTO CA 1.7 (*tie*)
LAFAYETTE IN 1.7 (*tie*)
MASON CITY IA 1.7 (*tie*)
PONTIAC Ml 1.7 (*tie*)
HACKENSACK NJ 1.7 (*tie*)
MORRISTOWN NJ 1.7 (*tie*)

As the table above depicts, Fort Collins, Colorado has exactly one ICU bed for every 10,000 patients—not the most comforting thing to hear in the middle of a pandemic. Following Fort Collins are Dubuque, Iowa and Santa Cruz, California, both of which can offer patients 1.4 ICU beds per 10,000. And Dubuque isn’t the only city in Iowa with a significantly low number of ICU beds. Mason City, Iowa has just 1.7 ICU beds per 10,000 patients. Along with Iowa, California also has two cities in the bottom 10, as does New Jersey. It’s time for these cities to step up their ICU game, especially during these trying times.

In some cases, residents of cities with few ICU beds may be able to be transferred to other areas. It can be useful to look beyond the city level to see which states offer the greatest—and least—ICU protection.

States With the Most and Least Cities Above Average

Nine states contain five or more cities with greater ICU bed amounts than the national average. In these states, extremely ill or injured patients have better chances to gain access to an ICU bed.

  • Texas – (14)
  • Florida – (13)
  • Ohio – (7)
  • Tennessee – (6)
  • Michigan – (6)
  • Louisiana – (6)
  • Indiana – (6)
  • North Carolina – (5)
  • Illinois – (5)

Fourteen cities in Texas have more ICU beds than the national average. These include previously-mentioned cities like Longview and Lubbock, along with Abilene, McAllen, Amarillo, San Antonio, Tyler, Victoria, Fort Worth, Dallas, Harlington, Corpus Christi, Houston, and Temple, Texas. Florida is similar to Texas in that it has 13 cities above the national average for ICU beds. These 13 cities are Ormond Beach, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Hudson, Orlando, Panama City, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, Miami, and Pensacola.

Ohio is home to the third-most cities above average: seven. Cities like Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Canton, and Kettering all have more ICU beds per 10,000 people than the nation’s average of 3.6 beds. To see the cities above average in Tennessee, Michigan, and the states on the list, click through the map. Inversely, the map can also help you identify the states with the most cities below average, though they’re also listed below.

States Below National Average

On the opposite end of the healthcare spectrum, there are a lot more states with five or more cities containing ICU beds below that of the national average (3.6 ICU beds per 10,000 people). These states are:

  • California – (21)
  • Pennsylvania – (10)
  • New York – (10)
  • Michigan – (9)
  • Texas – (8)
  • Illinois – (8)
  • Virginia – (7)
  • Wisconsin – (6)
  • Washington – (6)
  • Iowa – (6)
  • Oregon – (5)
  • New Jersey – (5)
  • Georgia – (5)
  • Florida – (5)
  • Colorado – (5)

Twenty-one cities in California have ICU beds below the national average. You may also note that Texas, Michigan, Illinois, and Florida appear on both the top and the bottom list. These states are home to both a large number of cities above and below national average. To see the many cities below national average in the other 13 states, take a peek at the map.

Regional Differences in U.S. ICUs

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

There are a lot of ways to analyze this data. Just browsing the map, we see regional differences in ICUs thanks to BatchGeo’s automatic ranges. When sorting the map by range to identify the ten cities with the most ICU beds (“10.6-6.1”), we see that the majority of these cities are based in the Southeast or the Midwest, along with the three cities in Texas that represent the Southwest. There is not one city in the West that is in the highest range of ICU beds. Even when we add the next-highest range to our sorting of the map (“6-5.1”), we see the same pattern: cities in the Southeast and the Midwest have more ICU beds.

When mapmaking with BatchGeo, our mapping tool automatically organizes any data not related to location into useful ranges that help with sorting your maps. You get the benefit of additional insight into your data, not just by visualizing it geographically, but also by sorting your map by the different ranges. Get started with BatchGeo today for free.

Student’s Map Becomes a Pandemic Resource

Nearly one of every five Philadelphia residents are unable to always afford sufficient food, according to Hunger Free America. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this problem could become a crisis. One graduate student found herself with a research project that took on a whole new importance. With the help of BatchGeo, she mapped free food resources in her neighborhood of South Philly.

View Free Food in South Philly in a full screen map

Laura Rathsmill is a graduate student at Widener University studying social work. Professor Marina Barnett assigned a project about food insecurity, so Rathsmill decided to research her neighborhood. “Then COVID-19 happened, so there became a special focus on food insecurity,” she told the South Philly Review.

Laura Rathsmill

Rathsmill intensified her research to create a comprehensive guide to free food in South Philly, covering its four zip codes. She organized the data in a spreadsheet with columns for special populations served, hours, and types of resources. Importantly, each location also includes an address.

Excel documents with location data can easily be converted into a map when you copy and paste them into BatchGeo. That’s exactly what Rathsmill did, making her map of food resources browsable by anyone in need.

There have been huge lines at locations that serve everyone. Rathsmill’s map can be used to only display sites serving children, for example. The color of map markers note the populations served. Map viewers can also click specific marker types to display only those that are selected.

Visualizing resources like this on a map helps people understand what options are closest. It might also aid social workers to determine areas currently being overlooked, based on where there are fewer locations.

You can bring important data to your community with a free BatchGeo map.