Pennsylvania State Parks

When you think of must-see parks in Pennsylvania, what comes to mind? Point State Park? Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County? Hillman State Park in Washington County?

The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is encouraging state residents to participate in the 100 Icons of Summer Campaign to nominate their favorite parks and forests. These submissions should reflect what residents “see” after closing their eyes and then thinking of their parks and forests. Throughout May and June, the foundation will accept suggestions for the 100 icons.

Keith Ewing / Flickr

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer – which means, among other things, swimming! 

Sen. Rop Teplitz (D-Dauphin) has introduced a bill that would return lifeguards to state park public beaches.

“In 2008, the lifeguards were eliminated at all but two parks due to budgetary reasons, but I think the public safety requires that the lifeguards be restored,” Teplitz said.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources estimates the state saved roughly $800,000 a year by not having lifeguards on duty at all parks. Teplitz said those savings aren't worth risking public safety.

New Map Shows Fracking on PA State Lands

Mar 9, 2015
Courtesy photo/ PennFuture

  There are more than 8,000 Marcellus Shale natural gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania, with 430 on public lands. Now the public can see exactly where drills are on state lands, thanks to environmental interest group PennFuture, which collaborated with digital media artists from the FracTracker Alliance to create an interactive map that shows the overlap between public lands and gas wellheads.

Three State Parks You Need to Visit this Summer

Jun 5, 2014
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors this summer, you can’t go wrong visiting one of the Commonwealth’s many state parks. From Erie to Scranton and all points in between, our guide to some of Pennsylvania’s state parks is travel contributor Elaine Labalme.

State parks can be found in 61 of Pennsylvania's 66 counties. Cherry Springs, Ricketts Glen, and Pine Grove Furnace are among Labalme's favorites.  

Free Fishing Opportunity During Holiday

May 22, 2014

Families and friends enjoying the outdoors on Memorial Day now have the opportunity to add free fishing to their plans.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering a “fish-for-free” day on Monday during which individuals can fish in state waters without a license.

Typically, a one-day license would cost $11.70 for a PA resident and $26.70 for a visitor. However, on Memorial Day, residents and non-residents alike can enjoy the sport free of charge.

April showers bring May flowers, yet April is one of the worst months for wildfires in Pennsylvania. 

Mid-March through Mid-May is designated as fire prevention season in Pennsylvania. Terry Brady of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) said there were easily more than 100 wildfires in Pennsylvania .

It’s a common New Year’s resolution – to get more exercise. In hopes of jump starting those efforts, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is sponsoring free, guided hikes in 19 state parks.

“This is actually part of a nation-wide effort to get people active outdoors,” said DCNR spokeswoman Chris Novak. “Here in Pennsylvania, it’s to remind people that our state parks and forests are open year-round, including winter, and can offer great activities including not only hiking, but ice fishing, sledding, all kinds of things in the winter.”

State Parks Remain Open & Ready for Visitors

Oct 10, 2013
Brook Ward / flickr

While Washington remains at a standstill and many national parks have closed their gates, travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests an alternative trip to the many American state parks. She says autumn is the perfect season to see some beautiful nature only a short drive away!

It’s “Great Outdoors Month” across the nation, and for the fifth year, just about every one of Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks has planned something special to encourage people to explore outdoor recreation. 

There’s a Twilight Paddle in Moraine State Park on Tuesday geared toward people who have never kayaked before, a wildlife program focusing on bears at Keystone State Park on Thursday and an early morning wildlife viewing by boat on Friday at Ohiopyle State Park, just to mention a few.