Tag: top 10

My list of America’s top 10 state parks

While our national parks contain some of America’s most prized natural features, some of America’s most beautiful landscapes and historical landmarks are located in state parks. Sadly, our nation’s state parks are often unappreciated by the public and by politicians, as many states have severely cut, or even eliminated, public funding to state parks in recent years.

I’m going to list my ten most favorite state parks in the entire country. In order to qualify for consideration for this list, a “state park” is a park, forest, recreation area, historical site, or other type of area administered by a state government agency that is responsible for the operation of state parks.

#10: Bethpage State Park, New York

Bethpage State Park, located near Farmingdale, New York on Long Island, is not your typical state park. Instead of natural beauty, Bethpage consists of five 18-hole golf courses. Bethpage’s Black Course, one of the most difficult golf courses in the entire country, hosted the 102nd and 109th U.S. Open golf championships in 2002 and 2009, respectively. In addition to golf courses, Bethpage State Park also has a polo field.

#9: Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas

Arkansas is home to the only publicly-accessible diamond-bearing site: Crater of Diamonds State Park, located in the Ouachita Mountains near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Tourists can search for diamonds in 37.5-acre plowed field in the park.

#8: Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Located along the Illinois River near North Utica, Illinois, Starved Rock State Park is proof that Illinois has some impressive natural wonders. Outcroppings of soft sandstone provide some very impressive geography, including cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls.

#7: Custer State Park, South Dakota

Named after U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, who was killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, Custer State Park includes some of the majestic terrain of South Dakota’s Black Hills, the scenic Needles Highway, and a heard of free-roaming bison.

#6: Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona

While Arizona’s Superstition Mountains are located in a federally-administered national forest, you can get an impressive view of the mountains from nearby Lost Dutchman State Park. The park includes desert scenery and hiking trails that lead into the national forest. The park gets its name from the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.

#5: Washington Monument State Park, Maryland

Believe it or not, there are actually three monuments to George Washington, our nation’s first president. The most famous Washington Monument is run by the federal government and located in Washington, D.C., and there’s also a Washington Monument in Baltimore, Maryland. However, a lesser-known Washington Monument is located west of Boonsboro, Maryland, in Washington Monument State Park. The Boonsboro Washington Monument is the oldest of the three, having been completed in 1827, The monument sits near the top of Monument Knob, one of many peaks on South Mountain, a long ridge that extends from Maryland into Pennsylvania.

#4: Red Rock Canyon State Park, California

Located at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada near Cantil, California, Red Rock Canyon State Park provides some of the most beautiful desert scenery you’ll find anywhere. Cliffs, buttes, and rock formations provide a spectacular landscape that has been featured in many movies.

#3: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Florida

Located near Key Largo in the Florida Keys is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an underwater state park in Florida. Named after conservationist John Pennekamp, the park features coral reefs and associated marine wildlife.

#2: Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Located near Davis, West Virginia, Blackwater Falls State Park provides some of Appalachia’s most splendid scenery. The park gets its name from the 62-foot Blackwater Falls, where the tannic acid-darkened water of the Blackwater River flows into Blackwater Canyon.

#1: Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin

While Wisconsin Dells and Door County state parks are far more famous, Wisconsin’s Copper Falls State Park, located near Mellen in the northwestern part of the state, is what I consider to be Wisconsin’s most beautiful state park, and my favorite state park in the entire country. The Bad River and Tylers Forks, a tributary of the Bad River, flow over a series of waterfalls within the park. The park also includes Loon Lake, trails, a campground, and a ton of opportunities for recreation.

State parks provide this country with natural scenery, historical landmarks, and wonderful recreation opportunities. They deserve more funding and public support.

Wisconsin Democrats troll launch of Scott Walker PAC

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The previous post on here was supposed to be my last post on here for the next month or so, but I couldn’t resist writing this one.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) officials were waiting for Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to launch a leadership PAC, whose name was recently announced as “Our American Revival”, for his 2016 presidential campaign to troll him (technically, Walker’s new PAC is not actually a PAC, but a 527 organization that is legally prohibited from expressly campaigning for him, although, in effect, it’s the closest thing Walker has to a leadership PAC).

An unnamed individual or group bought the “americanrevivalpac.com” domain name and linked to a BuzzFeed article written by an unnamed Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) operative that shows a Dave Letterman-style “Top 10” list of “rejected names for Scott Walker’s PAC” (although the DPW’s list counts upward instead of downward like Letterman’s lists do), which attacks Walker for various things that he’s said and done since being elected Governor of Wisconsin. While it’s not clear as to who bought the domain name, and it’s not clear as to who wrote the Buzzfeed post, if I were to guess, the DPW probably bought the domain name using money from the party’s coffers (although it’s possible that some other Democratic group or Democrat with an interest in Wisconsin politics bought the domain name), and, if I were to guess, the BuzzFeed article was probably written by DPW Communications Director Melissa Baldauff, as it appears to be her style of writing, although it could have been someone else using the DPW’s BuzzFeed account.

While I’m not exactly fond of the DPW using party resources on domain names for the sole purpose of trolling GOP politicians, this is clearly payback for the Republicans buying up the “maryburke.com” domain name before Mary Burke announced that she was running in last year’s election for Governor of Wisconsin and using it to set up a webpage in order to, among other things, use my words to attack Burke without my permission.

Scott Walker has left Wisconsin with a massive budget deficit and a wrecked economy. Walker’s idea of a “revival” is turning America into a third-world country by handing out tax cuts to the rich, getting the U.S. involved in unjustified wars, and handing out corporate welfare to his cronies. That’s not a “revival”, that’s a destruction of American’s economy and reputation.