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List of Pennsylvania state parks


List of Pennsylvania state parks

Map of state parks of Pennsylvania
(Each dot is linked to the corresponding park article)

There are 120

  • Official Pennsylvania DCNR Welcome to Pennsylvania State Parks page

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Find a Park: Alphabetical Listing of All 120 Pennsylvania State Parks".   Note: this list of all 120 parks is the default reference for current individual Pennsylvania state parks.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dan Cupper (Winter 1994). "A Century of Conservation: The Story of Pennsylvania’s State Parks". Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.   Note: URL is to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reprint of article
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Cupper, Dan (1993). Our Priceless Heritage: Pennsylvania’s State Parks 1893-1993.  
  4. ^ a b c d "The Goddard Era". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  5. ^ a b "National Natural Landmarks: Pennsylvania".  
  6. ^ "Short Version of the History of Pennsylvania State Parks". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  7. ^ a b "The First Park". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  8. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  9. ^ a b "The Early Years of Pennsylvania State Parks". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  10. ^ "The CCC Years". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  11. ^ "Growing Greener: What is Growing Greener?".  
  12. ^ "Raymond B. Winter State Park: History: Halfway to Winter". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  13. ^ "High Rocks State Park".  
  14. ^ "Delaware Canal". National Canal Museum. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  15. ^ "Nockamixon State Park: History". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  16. ^ "Worlds End State Park: History". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  17. ^ "Clear Creek State Forest: History". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  18. ^ "Kennerdell Tract, Venango County, Clear Creek State Forest (inset map title)" (PDF). map. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  19. ^ "Welcome to Blue Marsh Lake". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  20. ^ "Blue Marsh Lake Trail System". map. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  21. ^ "Brandywine Battlefield State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  22. ^ a b c d e "Pennsylvania Trails of History". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  23. ^ "Bushy Run Battlefield State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  24. ^ "Colerain Picnic Area". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  25. ^ "Rothrock State Forest: Recreation". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  26. ^ "Rothrock State Forest Map" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  27. ^ "Crooked Creek State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  28. ^ "Crooked Creek Lake". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  29. ^ "Curwensville State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  30. ^ "Corps Lakes Gateway: Curwensville Lake". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  31. ^ "Drake Well State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  32. ^ "Fort Necessity State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  33. ^ a b "Fort Necessity National Battlefield".  
  34. ^ "George W. Childs State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  35. ^ "Guide to the Gap: Childs Park – Renewing A Woodland Paradise" 1 (1). National Park Service. Summer 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  36. ^ "Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area".  
  37. ^ a b  
  38. ^ "Tuscarora State Forest: Natural & Wild Areas of the Tuscarora State Forest". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  39. ^ "Independence Mall State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  40. ^ "Independence National Historical Park".  
  41. ^ "Snyder-Middleswarth State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  42. ^ "Snyder-Middleswarth Natural Area, Tall Timbers Natural Area". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  43. ^ a b c "Bald Eagle State Forest (map)" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-27.  Note: shows Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area, Hairy Johns Picnic Area
  44. ^ "Valley Forge National Historical Park".  
  45. ^ "Voneida State Forest Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  46. ^ "Washington Crossing Historic Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  47. ^ "Braddock Grave State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  48. ^ Mike Faher (2009-11-11). "Seven Springs signs lease to operate Laurel Mountain". The Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  49. ^ "Reports on Skiing Conditions". The New York Times. 1965-03-20. p. 22. 
  50. ^ "Find A Park: 25 Must-See Parks". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  51. ^ "Pennsylvania has everything!" (PDF). Brochure (Pennsylvania State Publicity Commission). 1937. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 


a. ^ As of 2012, three Pennsylvania state parks are also the site of ski areas run by private contractors: Susquehanna (operated by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce), Prompton (operated by non-profit "Friends of Prompton"), and Salt Springs (operated by non-profit "Friends of Salt Springs").[1]
b. ^ The Pennsylvania counties without state parks as of 2012 are: Armstrong, Juniata, Lehigh, Montour, Snyder, and Wyoming counties. Two of these counties are sites of former state parks: Crooked Creek in Armstrong County, and Snyder-Middleswarth in Snyder County.[1][3]
c. ^ The goal of having a state park within 25 miles (40 km) of every resident was set by Maurice K. Goddard (Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, and then of the Department of Environmental Resources from 1955 to 1979).[4]
d. ^ The seven Colton Point and Leonard Harrison), and Presque Isle. One National Natural Landmark, Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area, is a former state park.[5]
e. ^ The date of establishment for many Pennsylvania state parks is not always clear, especially for parks developed from state forest property. As an example, consider Upper Pine Bottom, which, as of 2012, is a picnic area surrounded by Tiadaghton State Forest. These state forest lands were acquired by the state by the early 1900s, the site was "Upper Pine Bottom Class B Public Campground" by 1924, the CCC built a pavilion there in 1936 (which is no longer extant), but it was not officially transferred from the Bureau of Forests to State Parks until 1962.[3]
f. ^ This park was one of twenty-one chosen by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Parks for its "25Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list.[50]
g. ^ This park has one or more historic sites or districts on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]
h. ^ There have been a considerable number of changes in Pennsylvania's categorization of its state parks and other protected areas over the years, so that what can be called a former state park is not always clear. This can be seen by comparing the following three lists from 1923, 1924, and 1937.
In 1923, the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters listed seven "State Forest Parks": Caledonia, Childs (now part of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area), Hairy John's (now a picnic area in Bald Eagle State Forest), James Buchanan, Leonard Harrison, Mont Alto, and Valhalla (now Ole Bull). Note this does not include Snyder-Middleswarth State Forest Park, established in 1921.[3]
One year later the state listed twenty-six public campgrounds in state forests, which included three of the previous year's state forest parks, plus twelve sites that later became state parks. The ten Class A Public Campgrounds (with space for cars and tents, on main highways) were: Adams Falls (now Ole Bull, Promised Land, and Tea Springs. The sixteen Class B Public Campgrounds (lean-to shelter, on secondary roads) were: Baldwin, Bear Valley, Cherry Springs Drive, Clear Creek, Donnelly, Joyce Kilmer, Kansas, Kooser, Laurel Hill Summit (now Laurel Summit), Laurel Lake Park, Locusts, McCall's Dam, Ravensburg, Sizerville, Sulphur Springs, and Upper Pine Bottom.[3]
In 1937, the state published a brochure listing the following forty-nine protected areas: six State Parks (Washington Crossing); ten Forest Recreational Reserves (Clear Creek, Colton Point, Cowans Gap, Kooser Lake, Parker Dam, Pecks Pond, Promised Land Lake, Snow Hill, Whipple Dam, Whirl's End); sixteen Wayside Areas (Big Spring, Black Moshannon, Cherry Spring, Colerain, Greenwood Furnace, Halfway (now R.B. Winter), Joyce Kilmer, Kettle Creek, Mont Alto, Pine Grove Furnace, Reeds Gap, S.B. Elliott, Sideling Hill, Sizerville, and Tea Spring); seven Forest Monuments (Alan Seeger, Bear Meadows, Ole Bull, Detweiler Run, McConnell Narrows, Mount Logan, and Snyder-Middleswarth); and three State Forest Lookouts (Leonard Harrison, Martins Hill, and Mount Riansares).[51]
Only twelve of the twenty-six public campgrounds from 1924 are on the 1937 list. Of the forty-nine areas on the 1937 list, twenty-eight are state parks as of 2012, while nine are former state parks, and twelve are in state forests (eight of these still retain their names as state forest picnic, natural or wild areas).


See also

Panoramic view of the Pine Creek Gorge from the main vista terrace in Leonard Harrison State Park
Former or alternate names of former Pennsylvania state parks
Former or alternate name County or counties Date name changed Former park name Remarks
Braddock Grave State Park[47] Fayette County 1961 Part of Fort Necessity State Park Now part of Fort Necessity National Battlefield (National Park Service)[33]
Hairy John's State Forest Park[3] Centre County unknown Voneida State Forest Park Now a State Forest Picnic Area in Bald Eagle State Forest (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry),[43] it was originally named for "Hairy John" Voneida, a 19th-century hermit who lived nearby.

The following are significantly different former or alternate names for two former Pennsylvania state parks. One former park dropped one word from its name ("Colerain Forge" became "Colerain" sometime between 1924 and 1937). Such minor name changes are not included in this table.

Other names of former parks

Former Pennsylvania state parks
Former state park County or counties Date jurisdiction changed Current name Remarks
Allegheny River State Park[3] Venango County 1980[17] Kennerdell (or Allegheny River) tract[18] Now part of Clear Creek State Forest (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry)
Blue Marsh State Park[2][3] Berks County 1978 Blue Marsh Lake and Pennsylvania State Game Lands Number 280[19][20] Park was completed, but without funds to operate it, so was given to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, now also partly a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers site.
Brandywine Battlefield State Park[3][21] Delaware County unknown Brandywine Battlefield[22] Now a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission site
Bushy Run Battlefield State Park[3][23] Westmoreland County unknown Bushy Run Battlefield[22] Now a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission site
Colerain State Park[3] Huntingdon County unknown Colerain Picnic Area[24] Now part of
Conrad Weiser Memorial Park[3] Berks County 1953 Conrad Weiser Homestead[22] Now a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission site
Crooked Creek State Park[2][3][27] Armstrong County unknown Crooked Creek Lake Recreation Area[28] Now a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers site
Curwensville State Park[2][3][29] Clearfield County unknown Curwensville Lake on the West Branch Susquehanna River[30] Now a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers site, recreation area operated by Clearfield County
Drake Well State Park[3][31] Venango County 1943 Drake Well Museum[22] Now a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission site
Fort Necessity State Park[3][32] Fayette County 1961 Fort Necessity National Battlefield[33] Now part of a National Park Service site
George W. Childs State Park[3][9][34][35] Pike County 1983 [36] Now part of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a National Park Service site; it was donated to the state for a park in 1912 by the widow of Dr. Childs.
Hemlock State Forest Park[37] Perry County unknown Hemlocks Natural Area[38] Now part of Tuscarora State Forest (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry)
Independence Mall State Park[3][4][39] Philadelphia County 1975 Independence National Historical Park[40] Now a National Park Service site
Moosic Lake State Park[3] Lackawanna County 1930s No longer in existence The Pennsylvania state legislature created park in early 1930s, but did not fund it, so it never came into existence.
Snyder-Middleswarth State Park[3][41][d] Snyder County 1980s Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area and Picnic Area[42][43] Now part of Bald Eagle State Forest (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry), established 1921
Valley Forge State Park[3][7] Montgomery County 1976 [44] Now a National Park Service site, it was established in 1893 as the first state park in Pennsylvania.
Voneida State Forest Park[3][45] Centre County unknown Hairy Johns State Forest Picnic Area[43] Now part of Bald Eagle State Forest (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry), it was established 1922 and named for "Hairy John" Voneida[3][37]
Washington Crossing State Park[2][3][46] Bucks County unknown Washington Crossing Historic Park[22] Now a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission site, established July 1917

The following eighteen were once Pennsylvania state parks, but have been transferred to federal (National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) or state (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry) agencies, or ceased to exist.[h]

Former parks

Former or alternate names of current Pennsylvania state parks
Former or alternate Name County or counties Date name changed Current park name Remarks
Adams Falls Class A Campground[3] Westmoreland County unknown Linn Run State Park Adams Falls is a waterfall on Linn Run within Linn Run State Park (which has both an "Adams Falls Picnic Area" and "Adams Falls Trail").
Halfway State Park[12] Union County 1955 R. B. Winter State Park Park was renamed for Raymond B. Winter, a Forest Ranger who established it and worked there 45 years; also known as "Halfway Dam State Park".
High Rocks State Park[13] Bucks County unknown Ralph Stover State Park "High Rocks" refers to part of park added in 1956; this name is listed in the USGS GNIS, but was never an official DCNR name or separate park.
Pennsylvania State Park at Erie[2] Erie County unknown Presque Isle State Park This was only the second "State Park" by name in the state when established in 1921; also known unofficially as "Peninsula State Park".
Sandy Creek State Park[3] Mercer County 1969 Maurice K. Goddard State Park Proposed as "Sandy Creek" (on Sandy Creek), but the name was changed (despite the objections of Dr. Goddard) before park officially opened in 1972.
Theodore Roosevelt State Park[14] Bucks and Northampton Counties 1989 Delaware Canal State Park Park was originally named for Theodore Roosevelt, who had no connection to it; renamed for its focus, the Delaware Canal.
Tohickon State Park[15] Bucks County 1965 Nockamixon State Park Park was proposed in 1958 as "Tohickon" (on Tohickon Creek), but the name was changed before the park officially opened in 1973.
Whirl's End State Park[16] Sullivan County 1936 and 1943 Worlds End State Park "Whirl's End" 1936–1943 (for whirlpool in Loyalsock Creek); "Worlds End" 1932–1936 and 1943 to present (for remote location); also known as "Whirl's Glen"
Valhalla State Forest Park[3] Potter County 1920s Ole Bull State Park "Valhalla" was a settlement in Ole Bull's failed Norwegian colony, now within the boundaries of Ole Bull State Park.

The following are significantly different former or alternate names for nine current Pennsylvania state parks. Note that many parks were originally "State Forest Parks" or were state public camping or picnic areas in Pennsylvania state forests. In modern times, some "State Parks" have become "Environmental Education Centers", while other parks have dropped one word from their name ("Cherry Springs Drive" is now Cherry Springs, "Codorus Creek" is now Codorus, "Kooser Lake" is now Kooser, "Laurel Hill Summit" is now Laurel Summit, and "Promised Land Lake" is now Promised Land). Such minor name changes are not included in this table.

Other names of current parks

Current Pennsylvania state parks
Park name County or counties Area in acres (ha) Date
Stream(s) and / or lake(s) Remarks Image
Allegheny Islands State Park Allegheny County 43 acres
(17 ha)
1980 Allegheny River Three alluvial islands near Pittsburgh with no facilities, and accessible only by boat
A large body of water between two tree-lined shores, with a bridge in the background.
Archbald Pothole State Park Lackawanna County 150 acres (61 ha) 1964 None One of world's largest potholes, 38 ft (12 m) deep, largest diameter 42 feet (13 m) by 24 feet (7 m)
A platform with a fence around it above a deep rocky hole
Bald Eagle State Park Centre County 5,900 acres (2,388 ha) 1971 Bald Eagle Creek, Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir 1,730 acre (700 ha) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir named for Medal of Honor recipient
An uncut field with trees at right and a long mountain range in the distant background
Beltzville State Park Carbon County 2,973 acres (1,203 ha) 1972 Pohopoco Creek, Beltzville Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake is 949 acres (384 ha) with 19.8 miles (31.9 km) of shoreline.
An aerial view of a large dam and lake surrounded by forest with low mountains in the background
Bendigo State Park Elk County 100 acres (40 ha) 1959 East Branch Clarion River Only 20 acres (8.1 ha) developed, name a corruption of Abednego
A smooth creek flows between two banks covered with lush vegetation
Benjamin Rush State Park Philadelphia County 275 acres (111 ha) 1975 None Site of one of the world's largest community gardens, otherwise undeveloped
Mounds of soil with young plants and stakes in a fenced-in garden
Big Pocono State Park Monroe County 1,306 acres (529 ha) 1954 None On Camelback Mountain, site of Camelback Ski Area and Waterpark
View from a high vantage point of a mountainous landscape beneath a party cloudy sky, there are twisted small trees in the foreground
Big Spring State Forest Picnic Area Perry County 45 acres
(18 ha)
1936 Big Spring Run Park has trail to partially completed railroad tunnel in Conococheague Mountain.
Three rustic picnic shelters in a forest
Black Moshannon State Park Centre County 3,394 acres (1,374 ha) 1937 Black Moshannon Creek, Black Moshannon Lake Park has bog with three carnivorous plant species and 17 orchid varieties.[f][g]
The shore of a lake lined with brown bog plants, dark water is at right. The lake is surrounded by evergreen trees and is under a bright blue sky.
Blue Knob State Park Bedford County 5,874 acres (2,377 ha) 1945 None This former Recreation Demonstration Area on the state's second highest mountain has Blue Knob All Seasons Resort (skiing).
View of a distant tree-covered mountain with fields and forests in the foreground
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area Dauphin County 914 acres (370 ha) 1999 Unnamed tributary of Fishing Creek On Blue Mountain, one of three Conservation Areas, named for donor Alex Boyd
A meadow under a partly coudy sky with a tree-covered ridge in the background
Buchanan's Birthplace State Park Franklin County 18.5 acres
(7 ha)
1911 Buck Run Stone pyramid marks the birthplace of James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States.
A fieldstone pyramid surrounded by a fence with pine trees in the background
Bucktail State Park Natural Area Cameron and Clinton Counties 21,039 acres (8,514 ha) 1933 Sinnemahoning Creek, West Branch Susquehanna River Park, named for the Bucktail Regiment, is a 75 mile (121 km) undeveloped scenic drive on PA 120.
A river curves between two forested mountains under a bright blue sky with a few clouds
Caledonia State Park Adams and Franklin Counties 1,125 acres (455 ha) 1903 Rocky Mountain Creek, Carbaugh Run, East Branch Conococheague Creek Park, named for Thaddeus Stevens' iron furnace, is home to summer stock Totem Pole Playhouse.
A fieldstone iron furnace with a metal plaque reading
Canoe Creek State Park Blair County 658 acres (266 ha) 1979 Canoe Creek (tributary of Raystown Branch Juniata River), Canoe Creek Lake Home of largest nursery colony of little brown bats in the state[f]
A row of six large stone structures with arched openings, leafless trees are in the background.
Chapman State Park Warren County 805 acres (326 ha) 1951 Farnsworth Run, West Branch Tionesta Creek, Chapman Lake Trailhead for trail system in surrounding Allegheny National Forest
Water from a forest-surrounded lake spills over a stairstep dam
Cherry Springs State Park Potter County 48 acres
(19 ha)
1922 None Park known for some of the clearest, darkest night skies in the state and eastern US.[f][g]
Two white observatory domes in a snow-covered field, wooden stairs are beside one dome and a cabin and trees are in the background
Clear Creek State Park Jefferson County 1,676 acres (678 ha) 1922 Clear Creek, Clarion River Start of popular canoe trip on 10 miles (6 km) of Clarion River to Cook Forest State Park[g]
A snow-covered log cabin with a porch supported by stone pillars
Codorus State Park York County 3,329 acres (1,347 ha) 1966 Codorus Creek, Lake Marburg Man-made lake is 1,275 acres (516 ha), named for former village of Marburg now flooded by it.
One blue and two yellow kayaks on the shore of a lake, which reflects surrounding pine trees
Colonel Denning State Park Cumberland County 273 acres (110 ha) 1936 Doubling Gap Creek, Doubling Gap Lake Park named for William Denning, an American Revolutionary War veteran who was never a colonel.
Trees in autumn colors reflected in a smooth lake
Colton Point State Park Tioga County 368 acres (149 ha) 1936 Pine Creek On west rim of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, 800 feet (244 m) deep here[d][f][g]
Cook Forest State Park Clarion, Forest, and Jefferson Counties 8,500 acres (3,440 ha) 1927 Toms Run, Clarion River National Natural Landmark, one of America's top-50 state parks (National Geographic Traveler)[d][f][g]
Several large trees stand on the bank of a rock-strewn creek
Cowans Gap State Park Franklin and Fulton Counties 1,085 acres (439 ha) 1937 Little Aughwick Creek, Cowans Gap Lake Site of French and Indian War road, pioneer homestead, lumbering, and CCC camp[g]
Snow covers a simple wooden footbridge which crosses a stream in a forest
Delaware Canal State Park Bucks and Northampton Counties 830 acres (336 ha) 1931 Delaware River Park runs 60 miles (97 km) along Delaware Canal, the only 19th century U.S. towpath canal left continuously intact.[f][g]
A narrow stone-lined canal lock filled with water surrounded by grass. In the background a path follows the canal at left and a modern bridge crosses it.
Denton Hill State Park Potter County 700 acres (283 ha) 1951 None Site of Ski Denton resort, also open for summer mountain biking
A snowy ski slope with several skiers on it and bare trees in the background
Elk State Park Elk and McKean Counties 3,192 acres (1,292 ha) 1963 East Branch Clarion River, East Branch Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake is 1,160 acres (470 ha).
A large lake between two hilly shores, seen through trees in the foreground
Erie Bluffs State Park Erie County 540 acres (219 ha) 2004 Lake Erie Park has 1.0 mile (0.6 km) of lake coastline and bluffs 90 feet (27 m) tall, and is being developed.
A stream spills over layered rock on a lake shore covered with small flat rocks
Evansburg State Park Montgomery County 3,349 acres (1,355 ha) 1979 Skippack Creek Park has 18 hole Skippack Golf Course and many outdoor recreational opportunities.[g]
A path through several green trees in dappled sunlight
Fort Washington State Park Montgomery County 493 acres (200 ha) 1953 Wissahickon Creek American Revolutionary War's Philadelphia campaign.
A stream curves between two banks lined with bare trees
Fowlers Hollow State Park Perry County 104 acres (42 ha) 1936 Fowlers Hollow Run Trailhead for the trail system of the surrounding Tuscarora State Forest
A stream flows in front of a bank with many trees and a picnic table
Frances Slocum State Park Luzerne County 1,035 acres (419 ha) 1968 Abrahams Creek, Frances Slocum Lake Park named for a girl kidnapped by the Lenape who lived the rest of her life with the Miami in Indiana.
A lake covered with green algae and bright brown bog plants, a forested shore is in the background
French Creek State Park Berks and Chester Counties 7,339 acres (2,970 ha) 1946 French Creek Former Recreation Demonstration Area, adjacent to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site[f][g]
A flock of Canadian geese flying in front of a yellow sailboat with a yellow and white sail on a blue lake
Gifford Pinchot State Park York County 2,338 acres (946 ha) 1961 Beaver Creek (tributary of Conewago Creek), Pinchot Lake Gifford Pinchot was a Pennsylvania governor, conservationist, and first US Forest Service Chief.
A gravel path runs across grass dotted with trees
Gouldsboro State Park Monroe and Wayne Counties 2,880 acres (1,165 ha) 1958 Gouldsboro Lake Park named for village named for Jay Gould, next to Tobyhanna Army Depot.
A sunny lake with an island and shore covered in autumnal foliage under a blue sky with some clouds
Greenwood Furnace State Park Huntingdon County 423 acres (171 ha) 1924 Standing Stone Creek, Greenwood Lake Includes ghost town of Greenwood, former ironworks and charcoal hearths[f][g]
A large stone iron furnace with openings on each of the two sides visible
Hickory Run State Park Carbon County 15,550 acres (6,293 ha) 1945 Hickory Run, Lehigh River, Sand Spring Lake Former Recreation Demonstration Area with a large boulder field that is a National Natural Landmark.[d][f]
 A large field of pink and grey boulders ringed by trees in the far distance. A few tiny human figures give a sense of the immense size of the boulder field.
Hillman State Park Washington County 3,600 acres (1,456 ha) 1960s Raccoon Creek Managed for hunting by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and largely undeveloped
An overgrown field surrounded by bushes and trees under a blue sky
Hills Creek State Park Tioga County 407 acres (165 ha) 1953 Hills Creek, Hills Creek Lake Land previously used as a pigment mine for the paint industry
Two trees in front of lake with some rushes and water plants in it.
Hyner Run State Park Clinton County 180 acres (73 ha) 1958 Hyner Run On the site of Civilian Conservation Corps Camp S-75-PA
A sunlit dappled scene with many straight tree trunks, grass between, and a few picnic tables
Hyner View State Park Clinton County 6 acres
(2 ha)
1965 None Scenic view of the West Branch Susquehanna River and launching point for hang gliding[f]
A person dangles below a red, yellow and white parasail, in the background is a lush forest with a large river and a tree-covered island.
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center Northampton County 1,168 acres (473 ha) 1959 Bushkill Creek Park surrounds Jacobsburg National Historic District, where rifles were manufactured during the American Revolution.[g]
An unpainted wooden barn with a shingle roof in the sunlight
Jennings Environmental Education Center Butler County 300 acres (121 ha) 1979 Big Run Park contains the only publicly protected relict prairie ecosystem in Pennsylvania, 20 acres (8.1 ha).[f]
A field full of different wild plants, some flowering, with a line of trees in the background
Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area Dauphin County 350 acres (142 ha) 2000 None On Peters Mountain, one of three Conservation Areas, named for donor Joseph E. Ibberson
A path leads through a green forest
Kettle Creek State Park Clinton County 1,793 acres (726 ha) 1954 Kettle Creek, Kettle Creek Reservoir U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir is 160 acres (65 ha), park has many recreational facilities built by CCC.
A view from atop a mountain of a blue lake between roling green hills and low mountains under a partly cloudy sky
Keystone State Park Westmoreland County 1,200 acres (486 ha) 1945 Keystone Run, Keystone Lake Park is named for the Keystone Coal and Coke Company that once owned the land and created the lake.
About a dozen canoes and small boats on a grassy shore of a lake at left, with a large puddle and a bulletin board and trees at right
Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center Cumberland County 1,454 acres (588 ha) 1973 some vernal pools, Kings Gap Hollow Run, Irish Gap Run Training center for park rangers of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
A flagpole and pine tree in front of a large two story stone building with many windows
Kinzua Bridge State Park McKean County 329 acres (133 ha) 1970 Kinzua Creek Had 1882 Historic Civil Engineering Landmark railway bridge, once the world's highest and longest, destroyed by a tornado in 2003.[f][g]
A trestle bridge across an autumnal valley at left ends in a drop off at center, with collapsed remnants at right, all under a bright blue sky
Kooser State Park Somerset County 250 acres (101 ha) 1922 Kooser Run, Kooser Lake Site of battles between Native American tribes, part of Whiskey Rebellion [g]
A cross-country skier in red beneath a pine tree covered in a heavy snow
Lackawanna State Park Lackawanna County 1,411 acres (571 ha) 1972 South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, Lake Lackawanna On site of a Turn of the Century era community fair
A grey lake under grey skies with snow and ice blocks on its shore and snow covered low mountains in the background
Laurel Hill State Park Somerset County 3,935 acres (1,592 ha) 1945 Laurel Hill Creek, Laurel Hill Lake Former Recreation Demonstration Area with the largest CCC architecture collection of any Pennsylvania state park[g]
Two children run across a grassy field to a wooden one-story cabin with a wall of trees behind
Laurel Mountain State Park Somerset and Westmoreland Counties 493 acres (200 ha) 1964 None Opened in 1939 by Richard K. Mellon and Rolling Rock brewery as one of the state's first ski areas, donated to the state in 1964
A road through a forest leads to a fieldstone building with a chmney and steep roof next to a stop sign
Laurel Ridge State Park Cambria, Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland Counties 13,625 acres (5,514 ha) 1967 Conemaugh River, Youghiogheny River and tributaries The park surrounds the 70 mile (113 km) long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
A metal sink with running water supported by wooden beams in the foreground, a wooden open shelter with a stone chimney amidst the trees in the background
Laurel Summit State Park Westmoreland County 6 acres
(2 ha)
1964 None Day use picnic area and trailhead, 2,739 feet (835 m) above sea level
A path leads through flat stones and moss to a green forest with large trees, one of which has a blue trail blaze
Lehigh Gorge State Park Carbon and Luzerne Counties 4,548 acres (1,841 ha) 1980 Lehigh River The Lehigh Gorge Trail follows the river through the park for 26 miles (42 km).
Leonard Harrison State Park Tioga County 585 acres (237 ha) 1922 Pine Creek On east rim of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, 800 feet (244 m) deep here[d][f]
Linn Run State Park Westmoreland County 612 acres (248 ha) 1924 Grove, Rock and Linn Runs and Adams Falls Once a barren wasteland, now a thriving second growth forest with an excellent trout stream[g]
A small body of water surrounded by large rocks, evergreen trees and leaf covered ground
Little Buffalo State Park Perry County 923 acres (374 ha) 1972 Little Buffalo Creek, Holman Lake Park named for the bison that are believed to have once roamed the ridge and valley region of Pennsylvania.[g]
A red-orange sunset and the black silhouette of a line of trees are reflected in a smooth lake
Little Pine State Park Lycoming County 2,158 acres (873 ha) 1937 Little Pine Creek Historians believe a Shawnee village and burial ground were just north of the park.
View from atop a grassy dam of a lake between and reflecting green mountains
Locust Lake State Park Schuylkill County 1,089 acres (441 ha) 1966 Locust Creek, Locust Lake In a thriving second growth forest on the side of Locust Mountain
In the foreground a road with three wooden posts, a choppy blue lake behind with one small boat, ringed by green trees and low white clouds beneath a blue sky
Lyman Run State Park Potter County 595 acres (241 ha) 1951 Lyman Run, Lyman Run Lake Site of a Prisoner of War Camp during World War II
A wooded mountain with bright fall leaves is reflected in a small lake with many plants sticking out of the surface
Marsh Creek State Park Chester County 1,705 acres (690 ha) 1974 Marsh Creek, Marsh Creek Lake The village of Milford Mills was flooded by the creation of the lake, last Project 70 / 500 park.[g]
A blue lake with small waves, the distant shore is wooded and there is a tree at right
Maurice K. Goddard State Park Mercer County 2,856 acres (1,156 ha) 1972 Sandy Creek, Lake Wilhelm Park named for Maurice K. Goddard, who led the creation of 45 state parks in 24 years of service.
Trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves reflected in a lake
McCalls Dam State Park Centre County 8 acres
(3 ha)
1933 White Deer Creek In a remote location on a dirt road between
R. B. Winter State Park and Eastville.
A small stream flows through dappled sunlight between grassy banks and trees
McConnells Mill State Park Lawrence County 2,546 acres (1,030 ha) 1957 Slippery Rock Creek Features a deep scenic watermill and a covered bridge[d][f][g]
A wooden two-story building atop a stone foundation
Memorial Lake State Park Lebanon County 230 acres (93 ha) 1945 Indiantown Run, Memorial Lake Surrounded by Fort Indiantown Gap, headquarters of the Pennsylvania National Guard
A bench and a picnic table on a grassy slope with a lake visible through trees in the distance
Milton State Park Northumberland County 82 acres
(33 ha)
1966 West Branch Susquehanna River On an island in the river, destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and rebuilt
A green soccer field with trees and picnic tables along one edge and a highway bridge behind that
Mont Alto State Park Franklin County 24 acres
(10 ha)
1902 West Branch Antietam Creek Pennsylvania's current oldest state park and first State Forest Park, former iron works
A conical green metal roof supported by many black pillars, the whole structure is in the midst of woods
Moraine State Park Butler County 16,725 acres (6,768 ha) 1970 Muddy Creek, Lake Arthur Park served as the location of the 1973 and 1977 National Scout Jamborees.[f]
Three hot air balloons over a lake with a sailboat and forested shore
Mt. Pisgah State Park Bradford County 1,302 acres (527 ha) 1979 Pisgah Creek, Mill Creek, Stephen Foster Lake Lake named for renowned American composer Stephen Foster.
A grassy lawn with picnic tables, trees and a boat with a curving lakeshore at right
Nescopeck State Park Luzerne County 3,550 acres (1,437 ha) 2005 Nescopeck Creek One of the newest state parks in Pennsylvania
A fallow field in the foreground, with a line of trees and bushes and a forested ridge behind
Neshaminy State Park Bucks County 330 acres (134 ha) 1956 Delaware River Park, on an estuary, donated by descendant of James Logan, colonial secretary to William Penn
View across a lake to a silhoutted skyline of a major city
Nockamixon State Park Bucks County 5,283 acres (2,138 ha) 1973 Tohickon Creek, Lake Nockamixon Nockamixon means "place of soft soil" in the Lenape language.
A lake with a canoe and forested far shore, a flock of Canadian geese and picnic table are on the grassy near shore
Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center Berks County 665 acres (269 ha) 1970 Wyomissing Creek Once a forest privately owned by Jacob Nolde
A wooden dock on the shore of a small lake in which autumnal trees are reflected
Norristown Farm Park Montgomery County 690 acres (279 ha) 1995 Stony Creek Managed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks
Two wings of a white barn with two silos under a blue sky with cirrus clouds
Ohiopyle State Park Fayette County 19,052 acres (7,710 ha) 1965 Youghiogheny River and tributaries One of the most popular white-water rafting destinations on the East Coast[d][f]
Dozens of people wearing yellow life preservers and helmets in several blue inflatable rafts float down a river
Oil Creek State Park Venango County 6,250 acres (2,529 ha) 1931 Oil Creek Edwin Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the world here in 1859.[f]
A wooden derrick at left on grass, with trees and a mountain ridge in the background
Ole Bull State Park Potter County 132 acres (53 ha) 1925 Ole Bull Run, Kettle Creek Location of a Norwegian colony established by renowned violinist Ole Bull
A stream flows between several trees with a pyramidal-shaped mountain in the background
Parker Dam State Park Clearfield County 968 acres (392 ha) 1936 Laurel Run, Parker Lake A herd of elk lives in and near the park.[g]
A line of trees reflected in a still lake under a cloudy sky
Patterson State Park Potter County 10 acres
(4 ha)
1925 None Day use picnic area on PA 44, surrounded by Susquehannock State Forest
A green pyramidal roof supported by log pillars over three picnic tables, leafless trees are around it and a road runs behind
Penn-Roosevelt State Park Centre County 41 acres
(17 ha)
1983 Sassafras Run, Standing Stone Creek Once a segregated black Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Great Depression
Water pours over a narrow spillway with a sunlit stone dam structure on either side
Pine Grove Furnace State Park Cumberland County 696 acres (282 ha) 1913 Mountain Creek, Fuller Lake, Laurel Lake The furnaces at Pine Grove could consume an acre of trees a day.[f][g]
A ruined two-story fieldstone wall with a doorway and window holes surrounded by forest
Poe Paddy State Park Centre County 23 acres
(9 ha)
1938 Big Poe Creek, Penns Creek Noted by anglers for the shadfly hatch that occurs in late spring
A forest with a bench along a stream in the background
Poe Valley State Park Centre County 620 acres (251 ha) 1938 Big Poe Creek, Poe Lake Built during the Great Depression by the CCC
Several trees with autumnal foliage on the shore of a lake reflecting a forested mountain
Point State Park Allegheny County 36 acres
(15 ha)
1974 Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio rivers In downtown Pittsburgh at meeting of three rivers, site of Fort Pitt[g]
Red, orange, and yellow leaves on trees in an urban park on the shore of a river, a yellow bridge rises in the background
Presque Isle State Park Erie County 3,200 acres (1,295 ha) 1921 Lake Erie The most visited state park in Pennsylvania, on a peninsula in lake with many beaches[d][f][g]
A small pale yellow metal lighthouse with a red roof on the shore of a lake with a massive white cloud behind
Prince Gallitzin State Park Cambria County 6,249 acres (2,529 ha) 1965 Beaverdam Run, Glendale Lake Park named for Demetrius Gallitzin, Russian nobleman turned Roman Catholic priest.
A pontoon boat on a lake with a forested shore
Promised Land State Park Pike County 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) 1905 Wallenpaupack Creek, Promised Land Lake, Lower Lake Name is an ironic commentary created by immigrant residents, once owned by the Shakers.[f][g]
A field of ferns with a green forest behind
Prompton State Park Wayne County 2,000 acres (809 ha) 1962 Lackawaxen River, Prompton Lake Being developed with the help of Friends of Prompton
A lake with a gravel shore in the foreground and a forested distant shore
Prouty Place State Park Potter County 5 acres
(2 ha)
1925 Prouty Run Day use picnic area on Long Toe Road
A rock-filled narrow stream flows through a forest
Pymatuning State Park Crawford County 21,122 acres (8,548 ha) 1934 Shenango River, Pymatuning Lake This is the largest state park in Pennsylvania, with one of the largest lakes.[f]
A marina with several sailboats
R. B. Winter State Park Union County 695 acres (281 ha) 1933 Halfway Creek, Halfway Lake Park has first cement and stone dam ever built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.[g]
Sunlit water spills over a stone dam in a bright green grassy landscape
Raccoon Creek State Park Beaver County 7,572 acres (3,064 ha) 1945 Little Traverse Creek, Raccoon Lake Park was built by the CCC and WPA as one of five National Park Service Recreation Demonstration Areas in state.[f][g]
A waterfall pours through a semicircular hole in a rock ledge
Ralph Stover State Park Bucks County 45 acres
(18 ha)
1931 Tohickon Creek High Rocks portion of the park was donated to Pennsylvania by James Michener in 1956.
View from a high rock of water in trees, some bare and some with autumn leaves
Ravensburg State Park Clinton County 78 acres
(32 ha)
1933 Rauchtown Run Park named for the [g]
White water spills over a stone dam in a grassy setting with a highway guardrail in the background
Reeds Gap State Park Mifflin County 220 acres (89 ha) 1938 Honey Creek Once a gathering place for the locals to hold picnics and listen to travelling evangelists
Two picnic tables, a bench and wooden footbridge in a forest
Ricketts Glen State Park Columbia, Luzerne, and Sullivan Counties 13,050 acres (5,281 ha) 1942 Kitchen Creek Known for its many waterfalls, it was slated to become a National Park, but did not due to redirection of funds during World War II.[d][f]
A very tall waterfall in the midst of snow-covered rocks and trees
Ridley Creek State Park Delaware County 2,606 acres (1,055 ha) 1972 Ridley Creek Adjacent to the John J. Tyler Arboretum[g]
Several streams of water fall over a dam made of large rocks under autumn leaves
Ryerson Station State Park Greene County 1,164 acres (471 ha) 1967 North Fork of the Dunkard Fork of Wheeling Creek, Ronald J. Duke Lake 52 acre (21 ha) man-made lake, 38 miles (61 km) from next nearest Pennsylvania state park (Hillman)
A small stream in the foreground lined with tangled small trees, in the background is a level are with standing water and fields edged by forest
S. B. Elliott State Park Clearfield County 318 acres (129 ha) 1933 Stony Run Park named for Simon B. Elliott, a noted Pennsylvania conservationist and legislator.[g]
Rustic picnic shelters, one stone and one timber, with red, orange and yellow leaves on surrounding trees
Salt Springs State Park Susquehanna County 405 acres (164 ha) 1973 Fall Brook Park has three waterfalls and its hemlocks are over 500 years old and some of the largest trees in the state.
A curving boardwalk through a forest of massive hemlock trees
Samuel S. Lewis State Park York County 85 acres
(34 ha)
1954 None Park named for its donor, a Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters; now popular for star gazing.
A red bench on a large expanse of brown cut grass, overlooking rolling forested hills and a lake
Sand Bridge State Park Union County 3 acres
(1 ha)
1978 Rapid Run This is the smallest state park in Pennsylvania, a day use picnic area on PA 192.
A brown wooden sign with yellow letters reading
Shawnee State Park Bedford County 3,983 acres (1,612 ha) 1951 Lake Shawnee Rental lodge on an island in the lake
A canoe on a lake surrounded by forest
Shikellamy State Park Northumberland and Union Counties 132 acres (53 ha) 1960 West Branch and North Branch Susquehanna River Park overlook is at confluence of West Branch and North Branch Susquehanna River, marina added in 1972.
A concrete highway bridge crosses a large river in front of a tall wooded bluff
Sinnemahoning State Park Cameron and Potter Counties 1,910 acres (773 ha) 1962 Sinnemahoning Creek, George B. Stevenson Reservoir U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir is 142 acres (57 ha), park home to rare elk and bald eagle.
View from a lookout of green tree-covered mountains under a blue sky with white clouds
Sizerville State Park Cameron and Potter Counties 386 acres (156 ha) 1924 Cowley Run Park named for the nearby ghost town of Sizerville.
A rockky stream between two grassy banks with picnic tables, forest in the background
Susquehanna State Park Lycoming County 20 acres
(8 ha)
1961 West Branch Susquehanna River Park operated by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, home to paddlewheeler Hiawatha.
A red, white and blue paddlewheel boat with a sign
Susquehannock State Park Lancaster County 224 acres (91 ha) 1965 Susquehanna River Park named for the Susquehannock, whose chief village was nearby.
View of a very wide river lined with bare trees in reddish light under a blue sky streaked with clouds
Swatara State Park Lebanon and Schuylkill Counties 3,515 acres (1,422 ha) 1987 Swatara Creek Rail trail is on the former Lebanon & Tremont Branch of Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, park being developed.[g]
A metal-frame bridge over a broad stream in a forest
Tobyhanna State Park Monroe and Wayne Counties 5,440 acres (2,201 ha) 1949 Tobyhanna Creek, Tobyhanna Lake Once part of an artillery range for Tobyhanna Army Depot
Red and yellow foliage in the right foreground, with a smooth lake reflecting the distant forest and partly cloudy sky
Trough Creek State Park Huntingdon County 554 acres (224 ha) 1936 Great Trough Creek, Raystown Lake Bald eagles have migrated here naturally since the early 1990s.[f][g]
View from a flat rock across a forest to several wooded mountain peaks
Tuscarora State Park Schuylkill County 1,618 acres (655 ha) 1971 Locust Creek, Tuscarora Lake The Tuscarora moved to the area after the Tuscarora War in North Carolina, were later forced out by colonial settlement.
Several rowboats and canoes on the shore of lake with lily pads
Tyler State Park Bucks County 1,711 acres (692 ha) 1974 Neshaminy Creek Old original stone dwellings in park are fine examples of early farm dwellings of rural Pennsylvania.
View across a field to a large white building and woods
Upper Pine Bottom State Park Lycoming County 5 acres
(2 ha)
1924 Upper Pine Bottom Run A roadside park and picnic area for day use only, on PA 44
A low fieldstone wall next to a tree trunk in a wooded area
Varden Conservation Area Wayne County 343 acres (139 ha) 2001 Middle Creek One of three Conservation Areas, donated by Dr. Mead Shaffer, being developed
A mowed field in the center, an unmowed field at right, woods at left and in the background
Warriors Path State Park Bedford County 349 acres (141 ha) 1965 Raystown Branch Juniata River Park named for the Great Indian Warpath used by the Iroquois in war raids on the Cherokee and other tribes.
A path through a green forest with many shrubs
Whipple Dam State Park Huntingdon County 256 acres (104 ha) 1928 Whipple Lake There was a camp for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Campfire Girls on the north side of lake from 1928 to 1941.[g]
A metal rowboat chained to a metal pole with a lake behind
White Clay Creek Preserve Chester County 1,255 acres (508 ha) 1984 White Clay Creek Park was donated by DuPont to preserve "diverse and unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area".
Two streams with rock strewn banks meet in a wooded area
Worlds End State Park Sullivan County 780 acres (316 ha) 1932 Loyalsock Creek A "Must See Park" known for trout fishing, white-water kayaking, camping, and hiking on the Loyalsock Trail.[f][g]
A man in an orange shirt and tan vest fishes in a stream with rapids and large boulders
Yellow Creek State Park Indiana County 3,140 acres (1,271 ha) 1963 Yellow Creek, Yellow Creek Lake Crossed by the Kittanning Path, a major east-west Native American trail during the 18th century
A tree-lined lake with lily pads and four pontoon boats at a dock in the distance

Current parks

In 1955, there were forty-four state parks in Pennsylvania, mostly in rural areas. Forty-five parks had been added by 1979, mostly near urban areas, and the system had increased by 130,000 acres (53,000 ha). This was thanks largely to the efforts of Maurice K. Goddard, who served as director of the precursors to the DCNR for twenty-four years under six administrations. The number of visitors to parks more than tripled in this time and two voter approved bond issues (Projects 70 and 500) raised millions of dollars for park expansions and improvements.[4] All this expansion was not without costs and by 1988 there was an estimated $90 million in deferred maintenance. In 1993, as the park system celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary, new tax and bond revenues were earmarked for the parks.[2] Since 2000, parks are being improved through the state's Growing Greener and Growing Greener II and bond programs.[11]

In addition to preserving historic sites, Pennsylvania also sought to preserve natural beauty and offer opportunities for recreation in its state parks. In 1902 Mont Alto State Forest Park was the second park established, a year after the state "Bureau of Forestry" was set up to purchase, preserve, and restore Pennsylvania's forests, which had been ravaged by lumbering, charcoal production, and wild fires. Parks were added sporadically until the 1930s, some mere camping and picnic areas in state forests, while others preserved unique sites.[9] The 1930s saw a great expansion of parks and their facilities under Governor Gifford Pinchot, who cooperated with President Franklin Roosevelt, despite their being of different political parties. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established 113 CCC camps in Pennsylvania (second only to California). Using CCC and Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor, the NPS built five Recreation Demonstration Areas, which became Pennsylvania state parks in 1945 and 1946: Blue Knob, French Creek, Hickory Run, Laurel Hill, and Raccoon Creek. The CCC also "fought forest fires, planted trees, built roads, buildings, picnic areas, swimming areas, campgrounds and created many state parks".[e][10]

Pennsylvania's first state park was National Park Service (NPS) on the Bicentennial of the United States, July 4, 1976.[7] Many state parks still preserve history: as of 2012, forty-two Pennsylvania state park sites are on the National Register of Historic Places, including two National Historic Landmarks (Delaware Canal and Point), twenty-eight Civilian Conservation Corps sites in nineteen parks, and twelve other parks' historic sites and districts.[8] Eight of the former state parks were also chiefly historic.[3]


According to the DCNR, the 120 state parks in Pennsylvania are on more than 283,000 acres (115,000 ha) with some 606 full-time and more than 1,600 part-time employees serving approximately 36 million visitors each year. Admission to all Pennsylvania state parks is free, although there are fees charged for use of cabins, marinas, etc. Pennsylvania's 120 state parks offer "over 7,000 family campsites, 286 cabins, nearly 30,000 picnic tables, 56 major recreational lakes, 10 marinas, 61 beaches for swimming, 17 swimming pools" and over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of trails.[6]

Seven parks are undeveloped with no facilities: Allegheny Islands, Benjamin Rush, Bucktail, Erie Bluffs, Prompton, Swatara, and Varden; the last four of these are in the process of being developed. Five state parks are small picnic areas: Laurel Summit, Patterson, Prouty Place, Sand Bridge, and Upper Pine Bottom. Five state parks have major U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams and/or lakes: Bald Eagle, Beltzville, Elk, Kettle Creek, and Sinnemahoning. Three former parks now belong, at least partly, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Seven parks preserve the industrial past: Canoe Creek is the site of a former lime kiln, and Caledonia, French Creek, Greenwood Furnace, Kings Gap, Mont Alto, and Pine Grove Furnace (plus one former park) are all former iron furnace sites.[1][3] Eight current parks and one former park contain at least part of eight different National Natural Landmarks.[5][d]

There are state parks in 61 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties,[b] which nearly reaches Pennsylvania's goal of having a state park within 25 miles (40 km) of every resident in the Commonwealth.[4][c] Ten of the 120 parks do not have "State Park" in their name. Three are "Conservation Areas": Boyd Big Tree Preserve, Joseph E. Ibberson, and Varden; four are "Environmental Education Centers": Jacobsburg, Jennings, Kings Gap (also a "Training Center") and Nolde Forest; White Clay Creek is a "Preserve"; Norristown is a "Farm Park"; and Big Spring is a "State Forest Picnic Area".[1]



  • Overview 1
    • History 1.1
  • Current parks 2
  • Other names of current parks 3
  • Former parks 4
  • Other names of former parks 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

The list gives an overview of Pennsylvania state parks and a brief history of their development since the first park opened in 1893. State parks range in size from 3 acres (1.2 ha) to 21,122 acres (8,548 ha), with nearly one percent (0.96%) of Pennsylvania's land as state park land. According to Dan Cupper (1993), "Pennsylvania is the thirty-third largest state, but only Alaska and California have more park land".[2][3]

The first Pennsylvania state park, at National Park Service (NPS) for America's bicentennial in 1976. There are a total of eighteen former Pennsylvania state parks: four former parks have been transferred to the NPS, five to the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, two to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one to both the Corps and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, five to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, and one has ceased to exist. Nine current and two former state parks have had major name changes or have been known under alternate names.


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