Fans of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing campaign took to Facebook this summer to participate in Nature’s Waterpark Showdown.

According to a news release, each fan was invited to help determine the top eight natural “waterparks,” or state parks, for boating and fishing in America. Twenty-four predetermined parks were put to the test and after eight weeks of voting, the fans have spoken.

The winning parks are:

  • Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma.
  • Itasca State Park, Minnesota.
  • Blue Spring State Park, Florida.
  • El Dorado State Park, Kansas.
  • Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania.
  • Cave Lake State Park, Nevada.
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee.
  • Wellington State Park, New Hampshire.

Many families look for places that are both fun and affordable when planning vacations. Luckily for them, there are 7,804 state parks in the U.S. Additionally, 90 percent of Americans live within one hour of navigable water.

“Families are looking for unique, affordable trips,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF president and CEO. “The Nature’s Waterpark Showdown winners are just a few examples of enjoyable fishing and boating hotspots right in your own backyard that you can visit with your family.”

Spending time with family and enjoying nature are not the only joys and benefits that fishing and boating bring. Many may not realize that the purchase of a fishing license or boat registration helps to preserve natural places, like state parks, and is vital to aquatic conservation efforts.

“A portion of all fishing tackle and license sales, as well as boat supply and registration sales, fund the conservation and preservation of our nation’s waterways helping to ensure that future generations can enjoy all that nature has to offer,” said Peterson.

Since 2007, the Take Me Fishing campaign has generated nearly $30 million for state conservation efforts. The campaign increases awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s aquatic resources by encouraging participation in recreational boating and fishing.

For more information on the Nature’s Waterpark Showdown winners visit the Take Me Fishing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/takemefishing or go to www.takemefishing.org/community/blog/state-parks-boating-fishing/. The parks showcased in the campaign are just a fraction of the many outdoor recreation spots available throughout the nation. For more information on boating and fishing and a full list of places to participate in the sports, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.