Complete Guide to All 25 State Park Passport Programs (2024)

Table of Contents

Welcome to the ultimate guide to state park passport programs across the country. State Park passport programs offer an exciting way for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs to explore the beauty and diversity of state parks across the country, while also expand their park passport collection.

Many are already aware of the National Park Passport Cancellation program, with good reason. It is amazing! But did you know that 25 states offer their own passport program as well?

In this up to date and comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a general overview of these programs, as well as dive into a closer look at each state park passport program and what they have to offer for visitors.

Inforgraphic in blue showing US map an all State park programs highlighted
scrub brush on red rocks with mountains in background Valley of Fire state park
Valley of Fire State Park- Nevada

What are State Park Passport Programs?

State Park Passport Programs are a way to encourage people to explore and enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered by state parks. These programs typically involve obtaining a passport book to collect the stamps. Some programs are entirely digital, and you will use an app or website to track your progress. The programs are usually free although you may need to pay a small fee for the stamp book.

Passport holders visit participating state parks to learn and enjoy all that they have to offer. Sometimes this opens the door for families and outdoor enthusiasts finding new places for amazing outdoor activities like hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing that would not normally be known.

What are the benefits to joining these programs?

In the effort to promote the parks, some of these programs offer benefits and prizes. This can include discounts on camping, swag gifts like a mug or t-shirt, or even a free annual pass. Some states also offer special events or incentives that are promoted to the passport holders such as guided hikes or educational programs.

Girl walking on trail next to lake and bridge to island smith mountain lake state park
Smith Mountain Lake State Park – Virginia

How to Obtain a State Park Passport Book

Obtaining a state parks passport book will depend on the program that the state has developed. They will either provide you a Book (paid or fee) or they will have a digital tracking method on a phone app or their website.  If they have the physical book, you can usually obtain them at a visitor center at the state parks or on the state park website. Details for each state are provided below.

Exploring State Parks with Your Passport

Once you have the tracking method, book, app or website, then fun begins! Get out and explore the sites for the individual states. The most common method to record your visit is by inked stamps into the tracking booklet. Most stamps are kept at the contact or visitor centers at the state parks.

Can you get a stamp if a park is not staffed or is closed?

Yes! While there are some sites that are not staffed, thy still have a way for you to get a stamp. Some provide a lock box with the stamp inside, which can be accessed by a code found in the passport book. Others have a mold of the stamp where you can use a page from your book and a pencil/crayon to make a relief image of the stamp. Digital passport programs do not have this issue as you can record your visit by using an app or website.

hang gliders on large sand dune under blue sky in Jockeys Ridge State Park
Jockey’s Ridge State Park – North Carolina

Comprehensive State Park Guide

The alphabetically sorted list below identifies all 25 state parks that have a state park passport visitation program as of the beginning of this year:

1. Arizona

  • Program NamePassport for fun
  • Type of Program:  Passport Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 25

A Ranger at the contact center will stamp and date your book when you visit. When you show Your passport to ranger to get entered into a lottery for free Arizona state park annual pass. There is also a Jr. Ranger program where the kiddos can earn a special badge at each state park

Arizona passport for Fun Logo

2. Arkansas

  • Program NameClub 52
  • Type of Program:  Passport Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 52

Program called Club 52 for the 52 park sites you can visit. The passport book is free and can be picked up at visitor centers along with the passport stamps. You can make a rubbing of the stamp in parks where the is not a visitor center. Prizes such a T-shirts, playing cards and stickers, can be received by showing your stamped book at visitor centers. 

Brown Arkansas State Park Passport Book

3. California

California partnered with a 3rd party app, OuterSpatial to create this digital program. The program promotes visits to all 280 locations (largest state park system in the USA). The app provides a lot of information on the individual parks, but the ‘passport program’, program is a little buried in a “challenges” section.

4. Colorado

  • Program Name: Colorado Passport Program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 57

The Colorado passport program provide a free color book where you can get a stamp at each of the 42 state parks and 15 hatcheries. If you visit all the state parks you can get a patch and a mug for visiting all state hatcheries.

image woman in car holding Colorado State Park Passport book

5. Delaware

  • Program Name: Passport Program
  • Type of Program:  Digital
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 21

Delaware has a digital program, where you ‘stamp’ by submitting a form and provide a selfie picture on a website. They provide a yearly challenge list for activities to do during your visits. Latest is due Nov 30, 2024. You can qualify for free annual pass if complete challenges.

6. Florida

  • Program Name: Real Florida Passport
  • Type of Program:  Book (currently out of stock)
  • Passport Cost: Yes
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 175

The Florida state park program promotes the visits to the 175 available stamp locations in the state. You can qualify for a free family annual pass when you visit all the sites and fill out completion form. Note: the passport book is currently out of stock and is not available. They said that it should be available sometime in the future, but they did not indicate when. The Florida Trail Association also has their own program you can check out.

7. Georgia

The Georgia State Park & Historic Site passport is an actively managed program by the ‘Friends of Georgia State Parks’. The program offers a full color spiral book that you can use to record your visits. You can purchase the passport book online, at parks or at metro-Atlanta REI outlets. Registering your passport will allow you to receive discounts, special challenges and information about special events.

Blue Georgia State park Passport book

8. Indiana

The program is a digital ‘nature’ passport. You sign up on their website to get a digital passport. Once signed up, you can digitally ‘check-in’ to record your visit. Checking in qualifies you to redeem certain prizes.

9. Iowa

  • Program Name: Iowa State Park Passport
  • Type of Program:  Digital
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 83

Iowa has five digital passport programs. Wine, Beer, Distilleries, Scenic byways, and state parks. You can sign up on their website to get a digital passport. Once signed up, you can digitally ‘check-in’ to record your visits to the state park, which earns you points.  You can redeem the points for specific prizes like a sticker, coffee mug or overnight camping credit.

10. Maine

  • Program Name: Passport Program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $1
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 48

Maine has a convenient pocket-sized Passport that cost only $1. You can find stamps at brown passport stations any of the 32 state parks. The stamp is in a locked box with a combination lock. You open it by using the code in the passport book (hint, it is the park’s established date). More stamps you collect more prizes you earn. Prizes are available based on the number of state parks you visit.  If you collect all 48, you get a free annual vehicle pass.

11. Massachusetts

  • Program Name: Parks Passport Program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 76

This stamp program is designed specifically for kids, similar to the Jr. Ranger program for the National Park Service. You can download and print pages from the website and visit one of the 76 locations to get a stamp. The stamp is in a lockbox and the book has the combination to get the stamp. You can earn a free T-shirt for collecting all stamps in a region. There are five regions in the commonwealth.

12. Minnesota

  • Program Name: Minnesota Passport Club
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $14.95
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites:67

Designated as ‘Clubs’, you join either the hiking club or the passport club by purchasing one of the books. You find the stamps at the entrance stations or at kiosks in the parks. Here are hiking club passwords you can include in the books during hikes. The Passport club members can earn pins and free camping certificates for visiting state park and recreation areas. Hikers can earn patches and free camping certificates.

Minnesota Hiking Club Book

13. Nebraska

  • Program Name: Nebraska Passport program 
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 70+

The Nebraska Passport program is a yearly program that in 2024 runs from May 1st – Sep 30th. You can request a free booklet online. Sites are various businesses, state parks, etc. and prizes are earned based on the number of stamps collected. If you get over 70 stamps you receive a champion t-shirt plus $45 in Nebraska Lottery tickets and more.

14. Nevada

  • Program Name: Nevada Passport program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 15

The Nevada Passport program booklet can be picked up for free at visitor centers and can also be used as a travel aid.  If you get it stamped at all 15 state parks you will get a free annual pass to all of the state parks.

15. North Carolina

Free booklets are provided for the North Carolina Passport program. You can get stamps at any one of the 34 state parks and recreation areas to fill the full color booklet. Prizes were once given out but are no longer provided.

North Carolina state park passport booklet

16. North Dakota

  • Program Name: North Dakota Passport program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $9.95
  • Benefits and Awards: No
  • Number of Park Sites: 34

The North Dakota Passport program promotes not only the 14 state parks but also the 11 state historic sites and museums. For $10 you get the booklet, crayons, and a backpack filled with activities. The programs provide options for a combination of stamps at visitor centers and rubbings if they are not staffed.

black North Dakota Passport backpack and book

17. Ohio

  • Program Name: Park Passport
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $10
  • Benefits and Awards: No
  • Number of Park Sites: 75

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources sells a full-color booklet that lists out all 75 state parks. While visiting the parks you can stamp the book at the visitor centers or just use included decal stickers that come in the book.

18. Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Parks Passport program was developed for 4th graders to promote fitness and physical activity by encouraging visitation to state parks. The kids can earn stickers by visiting state parks and completing activities and challenges. After visiting parks, they are eligible for a special token. Six different tokens are available. Booklet is available at the parks or as a download. I would suggest picking it up at the park.

19. Pennsylvania

The PA state parks passport program allows visitors to record their visit in passport book with a stamp or by putting in comments/pictures. For the odd price of $13.78 (?) you can pick up the passport book and start going to the 124 state parks and 20 state forest districts. If you go to all the parks, you can fill out a form and get your name posted on the website as an ultimate challenge winner. You can also perform certain activities to earn a ‘champion tag’ that you can order and hang on your backpack.

PA state Park blue passport book sitting on hiking shoes and a green t-shirt

20. South Carolina

  • Program Name: Ultimate Outsider
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $1
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 47

South Carolina’s Passport program goes by the Ultimate Outsider program. You can order the booklet online for only $1. Collect a stamp when visiting one of the 47 state parks. After getting all 47 state park stamps, have a ranger verify your last stamp and fill out a form so you can get an official “I visited all 47 State Parks” T-shirt. They also support a yearly scavenger hunt at the parks as well.

21. South Dakota

South Dakota has four digital ‘passport’ programs; Great Finds, State of Create, Peaks to Plains, and Tribal Nations: Oceti Sakowin. The State Park passport is the Peaks to Plains. Once signed up, you can digitally ‘check-in’ to record your visits to the state park and earn points. You can then redeem the points for specific prizes like a sticker, coffee mug or overnight camping credit.

make standing in front of rock feature Custer State Park
Custer State Park – South Dakota

22. Tennessee

Get the stamp book at Visitor Centers at one of the 57 state parks. After seeing all the state parks and filling your passport book with stamps, you can fill out a form to become a Tennessee State Park Ambassador. Your story can then be shared on the state website.

23. Texas

  • Program Name: Texas State Passport program
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Yes, $12.95
  • Benefits and Awards: No
  • Number of Park Sites: 89

You can purchase a Centennial edition passport from the state park website for $12.95. Allows you to get a unique stamp at all 89 Texas state parks.

24. Virginia

  • Program Name: Trail Quest Program
  • Type of Program:  Digital
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 42
five colorful pins for Virginia Trail Quest program

The Virginia state parks trail quest program is a digital program you sign up on the department of Conservation and Recreation’s website. After visiting one of commonwealth’s 40 parks, you record your progress with an online account. After each visit milestone 5, 10, 20, 30; you will be sent a pin. Once you visit all the parks you earn the Master Hiker and can arrange a special recognition at a park of your choice with a park ranger!

View of walkway and of the Natural Bridge at Natural Bridge State Park
Natural Bridge State Park

25. Wyoming

  • Program Name: Passport to Adventure
  • Type of Program:  Book
  • Passport Cost: Free
  • Benefits and Awards: Yes
  • Number of Park Sites: 37

The Passport to Adventure books are free at all Wyoming state parks and museums. Visitors can collect stamps to fill a region in the book. After a region is completed, you can collect a regional sticker. Visitors can qualify for a free family annual pass when they visit all 37 state sites and fill out completion form.

Outdated and Expired State Programs

New Jersey State Park Passport program

The state of New Jersey had a state park passport and sticker program that is currently not active. The program is not listed on the state website. Based on some first had input, there are some state parks that still have the old books and stickers. If you are interested call ahead and see if you can get lucky. Just do not expect to see them at all locations.

Missouri National Park passport challenge

There was a one-year program that ran in 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. A passport book was offered free but used the National Park passport stamps. The goal was to promote visitation to the six national park sites located within the state of Missouri. Awards and prizes were awarded at the end of the year.

Tips for Making the Most of Your State Parks Passport Experience

  • Check the state website or local Visitor center: Always check on the state parks passport requirements to ensure you understand how the program works.
  • Confirm Specific Park Information: Before leaving for a park, make sure you know if they participate in the program. A call ahead can sometimes save a lot of confusion.

Frequently Asked Questions about State Parks Passport Programs

 Are the State passport programs the same as the National Park Passport program?

No, the state passport programs are usually completely separate from the programs supported at National Park Service sites. The goal of the state programs is to promote visitation to the state, and these usually do not overlap with NPS sites. 

Are the State passport programs the same as an entry pass?

Sometimes this can be confusing, as some states call their entry/parking passes to their state parks a “Passport Program.”  These states usually do not have a stamping or collecting passport at all. For example, Idaho has a program for state residents where they can get a $10 vehicle pass to state parks, but they call it the Idaho State Parks Passport

Lighthouse Passport Stamp Program

There is also a Lighthouse Passport Stamp Program created by the non-profit United States Lighthouse Society.

With over 700 stamps across the USA and Canada (and some other countries as well), it will certainly keep you busy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *