Over the past few months Coca-Cola has been encouraging Americans to vote for their favorite park through the “America is Your Park” campaign. With more than 5.7 million votes cast, the competition for the title of the country’s top park was decidedly fierce, and with a $100,000 grant up for grabs, there was a lot of interest in the outcome. When the competition was over, and the votes were tabulated, the winner was Bear Head Lake State Park in Minnesota.
Yep, that’s right, America’s favorite park isn’t Yellowstone or Yosemite, but a little known state park that falls along the Boundary Waters near Ely, Minnesota. Bear Head Lake received more than 1.6 million votes, easily outpacing the rest of the competition, and earning the $100,000 prize. The Minnesota DNR says they intend to use those funds to build a new trail center for hikers and paddlers to enjoy before heading out on their adventures.
While Bear Head Lake may not be as famous as some other parks in the U.S., it does offer some great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. The park has 17 miles of hiking trails for summer use, and 9 miles of cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails for the winter. Paddlers can spend hours exploring the scenic shorelines by kayak or canoe, while wolves, moose, and black bear wander the beautiful Northwoods forests.
For more than 40 years Coca-Cola has been a major supporter of America’s National Parks. In fact, they donated more than $500,000 to the National Parks Foundation this summer alone and $4 million over the past four years. The company has also helped to build and maintain more than 260 miles of trail while giving away annual passes and other prizes to entice more visitors to visit the parks. You can find out more about these efforts, as well as America’s Favorite Park, at LivePositively.com.