Runny Nose Causing Havoc? The Best And Worst Parks For Hay Fever Sufferers This Summer

Runny Nose Causing Havoc? The Best And Worst Parks For Hay Fever Sufferers This Summer

2 minute read time

Going for a summer walk can be an enjoyable experience – if you don’t suffer from hay fever, that is.

For those with seasonal allergies, the symptoms can be overwhelming and quickly lead to itchy skin, watering eyes and lots of sneezing.

Hay fever occurs when the immune system sees pollen as a threat, leading to an allergic reaction. Signs of hay fever can be very similar to those who also have nut allergies – for example a scratchy throat or itchy skin, so it’s important to narrow down what’s causing them. As, even though there isn’t a cure for pollen allergy, avoiding areas that are high in pollen count can help to control and manage symptoms.

YorkTest has conducted research that reveals the best and worst parks across the US for hay fever sufferers. We have analyzed the tree pollen count surrounding the 100 largest public parks to establish where you might be caught with a hay fever attack – and where to avoid the dreaded itchy eyes and runny nose.

The top 10 best parks for low pollen counts:

For those who regularly travel to Alaska and Hawaii, you’re in luck, as these two states host parks with low to zero pollen.

Hawaii and Texas parks were revealed as offering safe green areas for those with severe allergies. Parks like Ka’ena Point State Park and Rancho Diana came first and third for being the top parks with the lowest pollen count.

1Ka’ena Point State ParkHawaii
2Koko Head District ParkHawaii
3Rancho DianaTexas  
4Kincaid ParkAlaska
5Far North Bicentennial ParkAlaska
6Ahupua’a O Kahana State ParkHawaii
7Chugach State ParkAlaska
8River Legacy ParkTexas
9White Rock Lake ParkTexas
10Fort Worth Nature CenterTexas

The top 20 worst parks for hay fever sufferers

According to our research, Ohio parks are among those most likely to have the highest levels of pollen.

Brecksville Reservation, North Chagrin Reservation and Stinchcome Wildlife Refuge took the top three spots, suggesting that on hot summer days walks in parks across Ohio may not be the best choice for those with severe hay fever.

Another state that has super high pollen levels is New York. With over five parks in the top 20, including renowned tourist spot Central Park, it might be best to stroll through the area first thing in the morning or in the evenings to avoid your allergies flaring up.

1Brecksville ReservationOhio
2North Chagrin ReservationOhio
3Stinchcomb Wildlife RefugeOhio
4Mohawk ParkOklahoma
5Pennypack ParkPhiladelphia
6Wissahickon Valley ParkPhiladelphia
7Franklin Mountains State ParkTexas
8Fairmount ParkCalifornia
9Sabre Springs Open SpaceCalifornia
10Pelham Bay ParkNew York
11Eisenhower ParkNew York
12Van Cortlandt ParkNew York
13Delaware ParkNew York
14Central ParkNew York
15Gateway National RecreationNew York
16El Dorado ParkCalifornia
17Liberty State ParkNew Jersey
18Hidden Valley Wildlife AreaCalifornia
19Flushing Meadows ParkNew York
20Cobb’s Creek ParkPennsylvania

As well as rising pollen counts, summer months also bring BBQs, picnics and other changes to our diets to suit the warmer weather. If you start experiencing a reaction with symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, headaches, and flaky skin – rather than the classic hay fever symptoms – you may be suffering with a food sensitivity rather than a seasonal allergy. Taking a food sensitivity test is an essential first step for pinpointing whether the food you eat, or something else, could be causing your symptoms this summer.


Using The Trust for Public Land’s list of the 100 largest parks across the US, YorkTest analyzed the expected grass pollen levels in each geographic area over the course of a four-day period using It then came up with an average of the four-day period to create this index.


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