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10 Spots for Your 2014 Camping List
Bumping Lake Campground, Washington
Open: May 9 through September 14 1 of 11
The stunning landscape of this lakeside campground—with rugged mountaintops towering over the pristine Bumping Lake—makes it a necessary addition to your 2014 camping list. Glaciers created the lake and helped sculpt the land. Now, the lake is refilled each year by snowmelt from the surrounding mountains. As a self-sustaining natural area, this campground is abundant with wildlife, including deer, porcupine, gray wolves and more.
Explore with a 9-mile out-and-back hike along Bumping Lake Trail. The path winds along the shoreline, through wildflower meadows and between thick conifer forests.
Bear Creek Lake State Park, Virginia
Open: Year Round 2 of 11
The Cumberland State Forest plays host to those who visit this campground, offering plenty of opportunities for active travelers. Splash around or take a non-motorized boat ride in the 40-acre Bear Creek Lake. If you want to stay on land, take a hike on the 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail. It doesn't loop back to the park, so choose a turnaround point ahead of time.
Dolliver Memorial State Park, Iowa
Open: Year Round 3 of 11
With 594 acres of land, this Iowa state park is ideal for your 2014 camping list. Explore on the park's trail system, 6 miles of which wind through 100-foot tall sandstone formations that tower above Prairie Creek called the Copperas Beds. And don't stop there. Take the trail north to Bone Yard Hollow, a canyon where early settlers once found bison bones.
City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho
Open: Year-Round 4 of 11
City of Rocks was created after decades of weathering. Most sites are nestled between looming granite formations, creating a private camping space for almost everyone. Reserve your spot at Site 15, named Cave Rock after the distinct structure located next to the tent bed, or Site 22, called Lookout Rock thanks to a large formation perfect for viewing the surrounding landscape.
Henderson Beach State Park, Florida
Open: Year Round 5 of 11
Pitch your tent on the sandy shores of Florida at this tropical campground. Sun yourself next to the ocean, grill dinner in one of the six available pavilions, and don't forget to hike around. Walk along the state park nature trail for a view of a dune ecosystem and the wildlife that lives there. After a long day, enjoy a sunset picnic and wake up to a view of the sunrise from your tent.
Fillmore Glen State Park, New York
Open: May 2 through October 12 6 of 11
Add this to your 2014 camping list if you want to have a truly unforgettable hiking experience. While you trek through meadows, up mountain inclines and along flat woodland terrain, keep your eyes peeled for all five waterfalls that dot the scenery. Trails to try include the 2-mile North Rim Trail, 1 1/4-mile South Rim Trail and the 2-mile Gorge Trail, which winds along Dry Creek with a number of scenic bridge crossings.
Vega State Park, Colorado
Open: April 16 through November 30 7 of 11
Stay at one of four campgrounds in this Colorado state park, all of which provide a relaxing camping experience. Pitch your tent at Aspen Grove Campground if you want campsite privacy or at Pioneer Campground for great views of the surrounding landscape right from your tent. Take a hike along the 1.6-mile Vega Trail, which winds around the Vega Reservoir. Or, grab a blanket and a good book for a relaxing afternoon on the park's high-mountain lake.
Oconee Point, South Carolina
Open: May 1 through September 29 8 of 11
Enjoy lakeside camping when you pitch a tent at this campground, with all 70 campsites located on the water. As one of the most visited public recreation spots in the Southeast, there's plenty to do away from your tent, including swimming, fishing and hiking. Trek along one of six maintained trails, some of which are out and back while others are loops. Don't miss the scenic Tamassee Knob Trail.
Cayo Costa State Park, Florida
Open: Year Round 9 of 11
Escape the wet spring weather when you add this Florida state park to your 2014 camping list. There are 27 tent sites and 12 cabin sites, all of which are situated on sandy terrain with just a short walk to the water. Once there, try a number of tropical camping activities like snorkeling or ocean boating.
Look for dolphins and manatees when you're in the water, both of which are often seen at this state park. Don't forget to explore this island with a hike along Scrub Trail, Pinewoods Trail and more.
San Luis State Park, Colorado
Open: May 1 through September 30 10 of 11
Escape the busy crowds of Great Sand Dunes National Monument at this nearby campground. With unique desert wetlands and plenty of wildlife, it's the perfect addition to your camping list for 2014. Look for raptors and songbirds while you hike or bike along 9 miles of easy hiking trails. If you want to try something new, give waterskiing or amateur archaeology a try, both of which are offered within the park.