10 of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks are worth a hike

Pennsylvania’s state parks are some of the most beautiful in the United States, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy hiking. These parks are an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or a summer vacation with friends and loved ones. The parks are also a great way to see Pennsylvania’s natural environment, and with 121 to choose from, it can be hard for vacationers to decide which ones to explore. Well, these are 10 of the most popular state parks in the state worth checking out.


Related: 10 Virginia State Parks You Should Visit (And Their Most Scenic Trails)

10/10 Rickets Glen State Park, Benton

Rickets Glen State Park is not only one of the best and most popular state parks in Pennsylvania; it is one of the most impressive in the country. The park is a perfect choice for travelers looking for magnificent waterfalls. Covering over 13,000 acres, Rickets Glen offers a waterfall hike, a seven-mile trail featuring over 22 waterfalls, 94′ Ganoga Falls being the largest. Besides waterfall hunting, there are several activities in this park, including boating on Lake Jean, swimming on the lake beach, and picnicking.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

9/10 Trough Creek State Park, James Creek

Trough Creek State is one of Pennsylvania’s smallest state parks, but has some of the most impressive travel gems vacationers explore in a single day. Located along the southeast shores of Raystown, this state park is known for its Balanced Rock Trail, home to spectacular attractions including the Suspension Bridge, Rainbow Falls, and Balanced Rock. The views of Lake Raystown are amazing. Hikers definitely won’t want to miss this state park, given all it has to offer.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

8/10 Almost Isle State Park, Erie

Jutting out into Lake Erie, Almost Isle State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks, and it’s very easy to see why. The park features a spectacular coastline with many outdoor activities including boating, hiking, biking, swimming, and hiking. While hiking in this park, vacationers have an incredible chance of spotting migrating birds, and the many unique habitats are home to some of the rarest, most threatened, and endangered species. The park is also home to some of the finest sandy beaches.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

7/10 Pymatuning State Park, Jamestown

Covering 16,892 acres, Pymatuning State Park is definitely one of the largest state parks in the Commonwealth and one of the most visited in Pennsylvania for good reason. The park offers many opportunities, which is worth it. One can boat, fish or swim on its 17,088-hole reservoir, which is the largest lake in the Commonwealth. The state park is always open at all times of the year, from sunrise to sunset. Park beaches and certain areas only operate at specific times of the year.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

6/10 Hickory Run State Park, Carbon

Located in eastern Pennsylvania in Carbon County, Hickory State Park is one of the largest and most beautiful state parks in the state. The park has two beautiful lakes, the famous Hawk Falls and a spectacular boulder field, so it is well worth exploring. Travelers can hike any of the 44 miles of trails and enjoy a refreshing dip at a swimming beach located within the grounds of the park. Located in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains, visiting the 15,990-acre Hickory Run State Park is always a pleasure.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

5/10 Leonard Harrison State Park, Wellsboro

Leonard Harrison State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks and offers some of the most impressive modern facilities. The park is one of the two closest parks to the Grand Canyon in Pennsylvania and has some of the best hiking trails to reach the canyon. Travelers can enjoy spectacular views of the canyon from various vantage points. Turkey Path Trail allows vacationers to enter the canyon and passes many beautiful waterfalls along the way. The trail leads travelers to another popular hike, the Pine Creek Rail Trail, at the base of the canyon.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Related: 10 Awesome Wisconsin State Parks Worth Visiting

4/10 Prince Gallitzin State Park, Patton

Surrounded by the forested hills of the Alleghany Plateau, Prince Gallitzin State Park offers breathtaking views of breathtaking Lake Glendale, as well as its 26-mile coastline. Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities to do in this park, giving vacationers the chance to spot different wildlife, sometimes from their unique habitats. There are many experiences at this park, including environmental education programs, guided tours, and recreational activities.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

3/10 Codorus State Park, Hannover

Covering 3,500 acres of space, Codorus State Park is located in York County in the rolling hills of the southern part of the county. The park includes a 1,275 acre Lake Marburg with a beautiful coastline stretching 26 miles and is a favorite spot for birdwatching as migrating shorebirds are plentiful. Programs are offered at the park year-round, including historical walks and talks, campfires, and audio-visual presentations. Scuba diving is permitted, but only at Sinsheim Cove on the east side of the park.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

2/10 Tyler State Park, Newton

Located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Tyler State Park spans 1,711 acres and is one of the most popular state parks in the state. With beautiful trails, facilities, and some of the best hiking trails, Tyler State Park is well worth the trip. Various educational programs are held in the park, the purpose of which is to stimulate stewardship of historical, natural and cultural resources. Travelers can join the workshops, guided park tours, and historical hikes to learn more about the park.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

1/10 Moraine State Park, Portersville

Surrounded by rolling hills, lush jungles, and crystal clear waters, Moraine State Park isn’t just one of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks. it is among the most impressive. The park’s main highlight is 3,225-acre Lake Arthur, with a beautiful shoreline stretching 32 miles. The park receives over one million visitors each year. The park offers several tours, educational activities and workshops for its visitors.

  • Opening hours:
    8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

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