We were lucky enough to catch a showing of Syfy’s Bigfoot a few weeks ago, which got us thinking about everyone’s favorite mysterious forest dweller and inevitably led to hours of Googling. As it turns out, we’re not the only ones who enjoy frequenting the state parks; Bigfoot apparently likes to hang there as well! A number of reported Bigfoot sightings have happened in our dear state parks. If, like us, you’re intrigued by all things Bigfoot and are dying to catch a glimpse of the maybe-mythical-maybe-real creature, here are some of the parks where Sasquatch supposedly likes to make an appearance:
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (Del Norte County, CA)
In 1975, a park ranger claimed he not only spotted but also befriended a Bigfoot in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. According to the ranger, he came upon a Bigfoot building a nest and, despite the Bigfoot’s English being “spotty at best,” the two somehow struck up a friendship and shared an unspoken bond. What was said, however, was the widely held belief among cryptozoologists that the ranger was either crazy, a prankster, or both.While the ranger’s story was discredited, more serious attention has been paid to a grainy video taken in the park by a film crew in 1995, when Bigfoot evidently returned from his 20-year hiatus to appear once more. The dark, blurry video shows a large figure doing something, so it might be Bigfoot (or a bear, or a man in a costume, or a large, hairy camper sleepwalking through the park, but hey). We watched the video ourselves and for all we can tell, the film might well be of one of those creepy Times Square Elmos stumbling around after dark. Watch the film, or visit Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and let us know what you think.
Wilderness State Park (Emmet County, MI)
This July 2009 encounter was more of a Bigfoot smelling than a sighting. A park goer was mountain biking along Swamp Line Trail, enjoying the scenery and fresh air, until he neared Nebo Trail when the air turned decidedly less fresh. The visitor described the scent as, “The thickest wall of live human body odor that you could ever imagine.” Hmm, stinky body odor? Sounds like us after a vigorous bike ride.The visitor, however, was certain that what he smelled was not his own pits and launched a series of investigations throughout the course of his multiple-day camping trip. The Bigfoot evidence he found included three faint tapping sounds and a 16-inch long right footprint. Is Bigfoot roaming the woods at Wilderness State Park? You may want to visit and see, or smell, for yourself.
Indiana Dunes State Park (Porter County, IN)
In 2008 an anonymous park goer uploaded to YouTube a video he took at Indiana Dunes State Park showing some Bigfoot-like activity just south of the park on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The blurry video captured from the man’s car shows a dark creature several feet away moving around on two feet. Rather than attempt to befriend the creature, the man sped off when his daughter began to cry, leaving the Bigfoot to enjoy the scenic lakeshore in peace.
On the basis of this sighting, the park was the lucky choice of setting for a 2012 episode of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot (presumably shortened from its original title Looking Hard For But Not Ever Actually Finding Bigfoot). While the Bigfoot Finders came up short, we can’t say for certain that there’s not a Bigfoot or a creep in a gorilla suit wandering around Indiana Dunes State Park.
Salt Fork State Park (Guernsey County, OH)Salt Fork State Park has actually been referred to as a “Bigfoot hotspot,” so if you’re looking for a happening place where all the Bigfoots come to party, this is it! In addition to the reported oodles of Bigfoots, the park has also drawn NBC’s Today Show’s Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who conducted their own Bigfoot search on the property (results: no Bigfoot, but it was unclear if this was because he doesn’t exist or rather was merely hiding from Kathy Lee and Hoda). The park even got a shout out from the History Channel as “a place where eyewitnesses have long told stories of a creature that evokes the fear of a boogeyman.” While the sightings in the area are too numerous to list, the Internet tells us that the Orange Loop and the White Loop are Bigfoot’s favorite hang spots in the park. Who knew Bigfoot was a hiker?
So there’s our evidence. Inconclusive as it may be, we’re hardly surprised to find that if Bigfoot does exist, he shares our enjoyment of the scenic pleasures of the state parks. As
embarrassed devoted Bigfoot enthusiasts, we’re dying to hear what you think. Let us know if you’ve had any encounters with a Bigfoot in any of the state parks, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled at your next visit!