Here’s where to swim at state parks in the PA Wilds
If you’re looking for outdoor family fun and adventure, the state parks in the Pennsylvania Wilds offer all kinds of activities. In the summertime, swimming and water recreation opportunities are probably at the top of your list!
There are 29 state parks in the region, and several provide swimming access, in addition to the beautiful scenery and bountiful other outdoor experiences. Depending on where you go, you might be able to swim, and then follow-up with staying over at a remote campsite or in a rustic cabin, or participate upon all sorts of other activities.
(Pictured above: top, left to right, Hills Creek State Park and the pool at Sizerville State Park; bottom, Parker Dam State Park.)
Here’s a quick list of regional state parks that include opportunities for swimming, organized by landscape.
Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds
- Chapman State Park – This 805-acre state park, located adjacent to the Allegheny National Forest, provides a 68-acre lake perfect for swimming and fishing. Other available opportunities include camping, cottages, yurts, and hiking.
Cook Forest & the Ancients
- Clear Creek State Park – This 48-acre state park offers a small beach for swimming, in addition to being a scenic getaway with rustic cabins and camping, trails for hiking, and a frisbee golf course.
- Cook Forest State Park – This 8,500-acre park known for its stands of 300-year-old forests and the old-growth Forest Cathedral, a National Natural Landmark, also offers swimming and canoeing access. Other opportunities include hiking, camping and rustic cabins.
- Hyner Run State Park – This 180-acre park includes a swimming pool, in addition to opportunities for fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking, and modern cabins.
- Lyman Run State Park – 595-acre park provides access to a 45-acre lake where people can swim, fish and boat. Other opportunities include hiking and hunting. There’s also an ATV trail.
- Ole Bull State Park – 132-acre park along Kettle Creek provides swimming and fishing opportunities, as well as chances to camp, rent modern cabins, picnic and hike.
- Sizerville State Park – 386-acre park surrounded by Elk State Forest includes opportunities to swim, fish, hunt, hike, and picnic.
- Bendigo State Park – 100-acre day-use park offering swimming, trout fishing and picnicking.
- Parker Dam State Park – 968-acre park is surrounded by Moshannon State Forest and accesses the Quehanna Wild Area. A 20-acre lake provides a small beach for swimming, in addition to fishing and boat rentals. Other activities include camping, cabin rentals, and picnicking.
- Bald Eagle State Park – 1,730-acre lake for power boating, warm water fishing and swimming. Other opportunities include camping, environmental education, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife watching.
- Black Moshannon State Park – 3,394-acre state park offers a 250-acre lake where people can swim, fish and boat. Other opportunities include picnicking, camping, cabins, hiking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, and hunting.
Pine Creek Valley & the PA Grand Canyon
- Hills Creek State Park – 407-acre park features a 137-acre lake used for swimming, boating and fishing. Modern cabins and campsites are also available.
- Little Pine State Park – 2,158-acre park includes a 94-acre lake that provides access to swimming, fishing and boating. Other opportunities include camping, picnicking, hunting, a shooting range, hiking, and eagle watching.
Also — don’t forget your Pennsylvania State Parks & State Forests Passports! Click here to learn more.
*Photo credits: All photos provided by DCNR.
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