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State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty , historic interest , or recreational potential. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U.S. state, some of the Mexican states, and in Brazil . The term is also used in the Australian state of Victoria. The equivalent term used in Canada , Argentina , South Africa and Belgium , is provincial park . Similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries , but the terminology varies. State parks are thus similar to national parks, but under state rather than federal administration. Similarly, local government entities below state level may maintain parks, e.g., regional parks or county parks. In general, state parks are smaller than national parks, with a few exceptions such as the Adirondack Park in New York and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California .