The state of Pennsylvania contains over 120 state parks. One of the great things about these is their free admission! Some states surrounding Pennsylvania charge a fee to enter the park and use their facilities. Thankfully, Pennsylvania grants access to hiking trails, picnic facilities, beaches, and pools for free!
Over the years, my family has visited about 15 different state parks. We took day trips to some of them, and we went camping at some.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintains these state parks. Their website is very helpful in researching each state park.
Many parks have something specific they are known for. For example, Ricketts Glen State
Park has trails through many beautiful waterfalls. The lake at Black Moshannon State Park looks dark because of vegetation in the water. Hyner View State Park is a popular place to go hang-gliding. Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks overlook the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. And that is just to name a few!
Some parks offer camping, others offer picnic areas, and others have many hiking trails. Some have showers and modern restroom facilities, others are primitive. The great thing about the DCNR website is the chart they provide to show all available amenities.
Camping at a state park is rather inexpensive. The base price of a camp site is $15 per night! There are various add-ons, such as weekend camping, electric hook-up, and other amenities. To stay at a campsite on a Saturday night, with showers, electricity, and water comes to $37.50 per night.
Booking a campsite is simple on the DCNR website! When you click on the “Reservations” tab of the homepage, it refers you to an online form, where you complete questions such as “What kind of campsite are you looking for?” and “What date(s) do you plan on camping?” It then gives you a list of available sites in each park. From there, you can see a laundry list of details and pictures of each site within that park, and then, should you choose, reserve your campsite!
If camping is not your cup of tea, there is still plenty to do and see throughout these parks! Many parks have a lake, perfect for fishing and boating, and some have sand and a swimming area, making a “beach.” There are many, many miles of hiking trails available, and many of the park websites give a description of the available trails. There are also picnic tables, pavilions, charcoal grills, and other picnic amenities at some of the parks.
Pennsylvania’s State Parks have so much to offer! My goal is to visit as many of these parks as I can and write a post on this blog about each one! My hope is that you will get to explore some of these parks with me, and hopefully go on a few adventures of your own!
Have you ever visited a Pennsylvania State Park? Or, if you live in a different state, do you have state parks? What are they like? I would love to read about your camping, hiking, and swimming adventures! You can also post a picture of a park on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using #stateparkblog.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you come back to follow me on more of my Pennsylvania State Park adventures!