Are State Parks Free?

State parks tend to be underappreciated when it comes to the American park system.

They showcase some of the best natural features and serve as fantastic educational resources, but can be overshadowed by national parks.

Luckily, visiting many of these locations is relatively budget-friendly. But are state parks free? Today, we’re diving into the state park fees.

Unfortunately, most state parks come with an access fee. These can vary by state and by park. Some units have premium fees for out-of-state guests.

Are State Parks Free?

Luckily, not all state parks come with a fee. Eight states offer access to their parks for free. We’ve visited some of these units, and we found many well worth it.

Arkansas has 52 state parks, which feature 55,00 acres, 1,800 campsites, and 208 cabins. They welcome more than eight million visitors each year.


You’ll discover fantastic places to rest and relax while you explore the beautiful landscapes. If you like aquatic activities, 24 parks feature artificial lakes, which typically have beaches for swimming.


The Missouri State Park System is one of the top state park systems in the country. There are 92 state parks, which combine for 150,000 acres.


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