The Largest City Parks in the United States

By Geoffrey Migiro on September 17 2019 in World Facts

Chugach State Park is located mainly within the boundaries of Anchorage, Alaska.

The United States has about one hundred parks occupying a land area of over 1,000 acres, with the largest being Chugach State Park in Alaska. Most of these parks were constructed to protect the geographical features in the area while others are purely for recreational purposes. These parks provide some of the best hiking and picnicking regions in the world. Some parks also allow for fishing and hunting.

5 Largest City Parks in the United States

1. Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park is on the eastern part of Anchorage Bowl in Alaska. It occupies a land area of about 495,204 acres. Although Chugach State Park is in the municipality of Anchorage, the northern part of the park which includes part of Lake Ekiutna is outside of the city. The park was created to protect the Chugach Mountains and all the other geographical features in its vicinity. The park also guarantees the safety of the water supply in the municipality. Visitors are allowed to fish and hunt in the park, but they must adhere to the regulations set by the Fishing and Gaming department. The state prohibits target practice within the park.

2. Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park is a park in El Paso, Texas. It is the largest American urban park and occupies about 24,247.56 acres of land. It is open all year long and is a great place for scenic driving, picnicking, mountain biking, and recreational hiking. The park is named after Benjamin Coons Franklin who bought a ranch in present-day El Paso in 1849. It was previously known as Coon’s Ranch but the name was changed to Franklin in 1851. A plan to establish a park at this site was made in 1985, and the park was opened in 1987. The mountains are 3 miles wide and 23 miles long, stretching from New Mexico to El Paso.

3. Trinity River Project

Trinity River Project is a public works venture in Dallas, Texas which started during the 2000s with the primary target of redeveloping the Trinity River. The plan was to convert the path along the river into a collection of nature centers, sports fields, and trails. Occupying an area of about 10,000 acres (which includes the 6,000 acre Great Trinity Forest), the project is one of the biggest urban parks in the country. Mayor Ron Kirk championed the project in 1998, and construction of Margaret Hunt-hill Bridge began on December 12, 2005. The bridge was opened on March 29, 2012, while the Audubon center opened in October 2008.

4. Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve

The Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve is a 9,951 acre reserve located on the Northeastern side of Honolulu, Hawaii. It is on the northwestern side of Mount Olympus, northeastern side of Mount Tantalus and southwestern side of Mount Konahuanui. The Honolulu Watershed is a beautiful natural retreat near the city which hosts the Nu’uanu Reservoir, waterfalls, and a number of trails plus it offers access to Manoa Falls. The park has one of the most famous 1.8 miles trails in the reserve known as the Puu Pia trail.

5. Cullen Park

Cullen Park was constructed in 1983 after the Cullen Foundation committed about six million dollars over a couple of years to help develop the 9,270 acre park. The city council of Houston approved the lease plan for a huge tract from the Corps of Engineers in 1973 and named it Cullen Park. They signed the lease in 1983 and construction of the park started in 1984. Cullen Park is one of the Biggest Urban Parks with recreational potentials in the United States. It has a field for athletes and soccer enthusiasts, picnic areas, and an archery range. The park has beautiful scenery for visitors who can either ride their bikes or walk on a 3.34 miles paved trail.

The Benefits of City Parks

The majority of these parks were established to protect surrounding natural features which include lakes, forests, and mountain ranges. Parks like Chugach State Park help protect the beauty of Anchorage municipality while preserving the water reservoir in the region.

The Largest City Parks in the United States

RankParkLocationSize (Acres)
1Chugach State ParkAnchorage, Alaska464,318
2Franklin Mountains State ParkEl Paso, Texas25,809
3Trinity River ProjectDallas, Texas10,000
4Honolulu Watershed Forest ReserveHonolulu, Hawaii9,951
5Cullen ParkHouston, Texas9,270
6Topanga State ParkLos Angeles, Califronia8,873
7Cary State ForestJacksonville, Florida8,322
8Timucuan Ecological and Historic PreserveJacksonvile, Florida7,870
9George Bush ParkHouston, Texas7,800
10North Mountain PreservePhoenix, Arizona7,500
11Mission Trails Regional ParkSan Diego, California7,219
12Jefferson Memorial ForestLouisville, Kentucky6,011
13William B. Umstead State ParkRaleigh, North Carolina5,571
14Ahupua'a O Kahana State ParkHonolulu, Hawaii5,229
15Forest ParkPortland, Oregon5,157
16Eagle Creek ParkIndianapolis, Indiana4,766
17False Cape State ParkVirginia Beach, Virginia4,321
18Mustang Island State ParkCorpus Christi, Texas4,219
19Pumpkin Hill Creek PreserveJacksonville, Florida3,994
20Cavalier Wildlife Management AreaChesapeake, Virginia3,770
21Griffith parkLos Angeles, California4,217
22Fairmount ParkPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania4,167
23Walter E. Long ParkAustin, Texas3,715
24Bidwell ParkChico, California3,670
25Fort Worth Nature Center Forth Worth, Texas3,662

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