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State Park Guide | Pennsylvania

Guide to Pennsylvania State Parks


The Poconos | Hiking & Skiing | Forests & Lakes  | Raft & Canoe Rivers | Great Lakes Seaway | Beaches & Lighthouses | Majestic Waterfalls | Wildlife + Find Campgrounds near Pennsylvania State Parks

Top State Parks in Pennsylvania

Big Pocono State Park

Big Pocono State Park is located on the top of Camelback Mountain, this park has spectacular mountaintop views. The park has lots of rug terrain, making it a good destination for recreation.  There are miles of trails, many of which have steep and rough grades providing some challenging hikes, as well as some easier hiking options. During the winter visitors can go downhill skiing and snowboarding at the Camelback Ski Area, the largest ski area in the Poconos. Visitors can also enjoy the great scenic drive the circles up the mountaintop.

Black Moshannon State Park

Within this park visitors will find thousands of acres of forest and wetland. The park is surrounded by the Moshannon State Forest, making the park a relatively wild and natural area. In addition the Black Moshannon Lake is located within the park. This lake is surrounded by small streams and bog land, which give the water a dark color, which give it the name “Black.” Visitors to Black Moshannon State Park can enjoy a diversity of recreation, including swimming, boating, fishing, mountain biking and plenty of hiking.

Cook Forest State Park

This park is a fantastic destination for hikers. There are almost 30 trails marked throughout the park. On these trails visitors can enjoy the old-growth trees within the forest, including white pine and hemlock. In addition visitors can enjoy recreating on the Clarion River which borders the park, including rafting and canoeing.

Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run State Park is located in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains. Visitors will find many wonderful natural features and plenty of outdoor recreation within the beautiful landscape of this park. One feature not to be missed is Boulder Field, an area covered with boulders. Within this park visitors can enjoy swimming at Sand Spring Lake, fishing in the park’s springs, hiking on 44 miles of trails, camping and more.

Ohiopyle State Park

Through this park visitors to Pennsylvania can access the Laurel Mountains as well as the stunning Youghiogheny River Gorge. This gorge cuts through the park and is a wonderful destination for recreation.  The section know as the Lower Yough has excellent whitewater rafting. In addition this park has some spectacular waterfalls including the Ohiopyle Falls and the Cucumber Falls. Visitors to this park will also enjoy plenty of options for hiking and enjoying wildlife and beautiful scenery.

Oil Creek State Park

Visitors to Oil Creek State Park can learn about this history of the oil industry at this site of the first commercial oil well in the world. This park tells the story of how the landscape was changed by the oil industry, especially during the late 1800s and contrasting that with the beautiful clean streams and landscapes of the park today. Visitors should be sure to spend time at the Train Station Visitor Center, which has a slideshow of the region over time. Throughout the park there are historic areas for visitors to explore, which include buildings, machinery and more that demonstrate the park’s history.

Presque Isle State Park

Located along the Great Lakes Seaway and designated as a National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle State Park is a wonderful Pennsylvania destination. Visitors to this park can enjoy a wide variety of nature watching, including some rare and endangered species. The park is also great for enjoying miles of beaches, as well as hiking and biking throughout the area. Visitors during the winter can also enjoy plenty of activities, including ice fishing, cross-country skiing and more. The park is also home to two historic lighthouses, which visitors can explore.

Promised Land State Park

This park is located on the Pocono Plateau and is surrounded by the Delaware State Forest. Visitors will love exploring the forest and the diverse species, as well as the two beautiful lakes and a few streams. Within this park and the surrounding forest there are over 50 miles of trails for hiking. Along these trails visitors can enjoy seeing waterfalls, seeing the rhododendron’s and the fall foliage and more. Promised Land State Park is also great for biking and plenty of water recreation.

Ricketts Glen State Park

The expansive acreage of this park provides visitors many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the region. Visitors can explore this park by hiking on the Falls Trail, which traverses the Glens and all of the features. Ricketts Glen State Park has many wonderful natural features, including waterfalls, wildlife and much more. Visitors should be sure to see the highest of the many waterfalls in the park, Ganoga Falls.

Worlds End State Park

Worlds End State Park protects a the valley of Loyalsock Creek. Visitors to this park can enjoy the beautiful landscape and views within this park. In addition, this park provides wonderful opportunities for recreation. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the designated swimming area created by a dam on Loyalsock Creek. In addition the creek is a good destination for whitewater boating as well as fishing. Visitors can also enjoy hiking within the park, and should be sure to hike to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista to enjoy the views.

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