State forest visitors can find a whole host of recreational activities on Pennsylvania's 2.2 million-acre state forest system. Some of the most common activities include scenic driving, hunting, camping, hiking and nature watching. Others include hang gliding, dogsledding, and kayaking. Here is an inventory of the most common recreational activities and the sites, resources and facilities available.

Any organized races, contests, or commercial recreational events occurring on State Forest lands must be managed to minimize conflict with other forest users. Review the summary of Activity Agreements highlighted on the Do Business web page before you contact the appropriate Forest District office.


Visitor Use Monitoring Surveys

VUM surveys are conducted by Penn State documenting expectations of State Forest and State Park visitors.  For more information and to download the completed reports visit the Visitor Use Monitoring Survey webpage.

Hikers looking over a state forest vista


Whatever your hiking interest or ability, you'll find exactly what you're looking for within Pennsylvania's state forests.


Boy leaning near camp fire eating marshmellow


Enjoy the solitutude and tranquility of spending a few nights in a state forest.  From motorized and improved camping locations to true backcountry experiences, you'll find them in our state forests. Primitive Camping PDF factsheet

Young woman deer hunting


Pennsylvania's 2.2 million-acre state forest system is open to public hunting. Hunters can find everything from small game hunting to true backcountry wilderness experiences on state forest lands. PDF factsheet.


Brook trout in hand


State forests provide some the finest fishing in some of the most pristine locations that Pennsylvania has to offer. PDF factsheet

Girl in kayak on lake

Boating and Kayaking

Enjoy a paddle down the famous Pine Creek or a tour of one the many ponds in the Delaware State Forest.


Man with binoculars wildlife watching

Birding and Nature Observation

Pennsylvania's state forests are home to a myriad of species and feature some areas listed as Important Bird Areas.

View of the Pine Creek gorge

Scenic Driving

Take a road trip to some of the most breathtaking vistas in Pennsylvania. Auto tours PDF factsheet.


Group of mountain bikers on state forest trail

Mountain Biking

From the technical and challenging trails of the Michaux to the long and winding roads of the Bald Eagle, state forests have something to offer riders of all skill levels. PDF factsheet.

Cross-country skiing in newly fallen snow

Cross Country Skiing

Don't hibernate.  Get out on the trail for some of most scenic and extensive cross country skiing opportunities in the state. PDF factsheet.


Snowmobie riders on forested road

Snowmobile Riding

With miles of trails availabe throughout the state forest system, snowmobiling in state forests is second to none. 

ATV rider along forested trail

All Terrain Vehicle Riding

For the riding enthusiast there are many designated ATV trails within our state forests.


Man horseback riding in state forest


Horseback Riding

Most state forest roads and trails are open to horseback riding. Some state forests feature beautiful camping locations that can accomodate your horse and trailer. PDF factsheet.

GPS unit in hand


This increasingly popular activity draws visitors to all of our state forests.  Grab the GPS and see what you can find.



Leased Forest Campsites

DCNR Bureau of Forestry maintains more than 4,000 leased campsites across Pennsylvania. DCNR stopped leasing campsites in 1970, but existing leases are still utilized. Find helpful information about your lease.

Man dog sledding in the snow

Miscellaneous Recreation

Learn about other recreational activities on state forest lands such as gold panning, rock climbing, and hang gliding.



Search and Rescue

DCNR is the primary coordinator for search and rescue efforts on state forest and state park lands. Find search and rescue and outdoor safety information here.


Persons with Disabilities

Visitors with mobility disabilities may request permission to use a powered mobility device on State Park and State Forest property.