Codorus State Park
The 3,500-acre Codorus State Park is in the rolling hills of southern York County. The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg has 26 miles of shoreline and is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. The lake is also popular with sailboaters and motorboaters. Anglers love the lake for warmwater fishing and can also fish Codorus Creek for trout. Picnicking, swimming in the pool, and camping are popular activities.
Hiking - Mountain Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Swimming - Scuba Diving - Boating - Mooring - Fishing - Hunting - Disc Golf - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Sledding - Snowmobiling - Iceboating - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Yurts - Camping Cottages - Camping
Picnicking: There are three picnic areas in the park. Restrooms and some charcoal grills are in each area.
The Swimming Pool Day Use Area is near the pool and boat rental. Many tables are in the shade of the forest. There are also two picnic pavilions, which each hold 70 people. Picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
The grassy Main Launch Day Use Area is near the band shell, equestrian trails, and the Main Boat Launch.
Swimming Pool: The pool and sprayground sit on a bluff overlooking Lake Marburg. The pool has a ramp for people with disabilities. The summer hours are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Admission is charged. Swimmers arriving after 4:00 PM receive a discount. Season passes are available at the park office. The pool is very popular and reaches capacity on holidays and many weekends. Mid-week swimming is often less crowded.
A seasonal snack bar has hot and cold foods and beverages.
Due to the extreme water level fluctuations of Lake Marburg, it is impossible to maintain a swimming beach. Swimming in the lake is prohibited.
GPS DD: Lat. 39.7822 Long. -76.91752
Explore swimming for more information.
Scuba Diving: Due to the volume of boat traffic on Lake Marburg, scuba diving is only permitted in Sinsheim Cove, in the east side of the park. Divers must register and show their certification at the park office before diving, then sign out at the park office after diving. Divers must use the buddy system and a diving flag for safety.
Fishing: The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg is a warmwater fishery. Popular species are yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge. Bow fishing is permitted in the shallow cove areas.
Lake Marburg is in the Big Bass Program. Large and smallmouth bass must be a minimum of 15 inches long to be harvested and the daily limit is four fish of either species, combined.
East Branch Codorus Creek along Park Road, is an approved trout stocking stream.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 2,800 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, and waterfowl.
Hunting is limited to the use of three types of short-range weapons, shotgun, muzzleloader, and bow during the appropriate hunting seasons. Waterfowl hunting is popular and 15 duck blinds are awarded by lottery on the third Saturday in August. Hunting waterfowl is prohibited until the day after Labor Day.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: 19 miles of trails
Mary Ann Furnace Trail: 3.5 miles, more difficult hiking
LaHo Trail: 1.5 miles
Mountain Biking: 6.5 miles of trails
Horseback Riding: 8 miles of trails
A parking lot off of the Main Launch Day Use Area entrance road can hold 40 trailers.
Disc Golfing: The site of the 2005 state championships, Codorus Disc Golf Course is rated one of the most challenging courses in Pennsylvania. The course is just inside of the entrance to the Marina Day Use Area and affords views of the lake. The 54 holes have paved tees and are spread through fields and forests. On the west side of Marina Road is a nine-hole, mini disc golf course for children. During the summer, golf discs can be purchased at the marina concession building.
Boating: up to 20 hp motors permitted
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Mooring: Mooring spaces may be rented from April 1 to October 31. Codorus State Park has the following boat storage facilities: canoe and kayak racks; sailboat racks; sailboat dry storage; small marina slips for boats up to 17 feet long; and large marina slips for boats up to 26 feet long.
Boat Rental: The boat rental in the Marina Day Use Area offers pontoon boats, motorboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats, and is open during the boating season. The Oar House boat rental in the Swimming Pool Day Use Area offers canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
The campground opens the second Friday in April and closes November 1. There are about 190 campsites which are suitable for tents or recreational vehicles up to 50 feet in length. Many campsites have electric hookups. Pets are permitted on designated sites for a fee. Seven campsites with electricity can accommodate people with disabilities. Fifteen sites are available for tents only. Hot showers, flush toilets, boat launch, shoreline mooring, and a sanitary dump station are available. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the maximum stay in the campground is 14 consecutive nights. All camping equipment must be removed from the park for 48 hours before returning.
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 2 host positions
Camping Cottages: Located in the campground, the three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring, and electric lights and outlets.
Yurts: Located in the campground, the two round, canvas and wood walled tents have a wooden deck and sleep four or five people in bunk beds. Yurts have a cooking stove, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring, and picnic table.
Cross-country Skiing: There are 6.5 miles of trails in the 195-acre Mountain Biking Area on Bankert Road. Skiers may also use the fields of the marina, Main Launch, and the campground. Please wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons.
Sledding: A 500-foot sledding slope is at the upper end of Chapel Cove, just off of PA 216. Park in Chapel Cove and walk along PA 216 to the park entrance sign and the trail to the slope. This slope is steep and too much speed can be a problem, therefore, ramps are prohibited. Pigeon Hill in the Marina Day Use Area is a gentler slope. Park in the Pigeon Hills Monument lot and sled toward the lake.
Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles may use 6.5 miles of trails in the 195-acre Mountain Biking Area on Bankert Road. Snowmobiling is permitted only after antlered deer season in late December. Please wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons.
Use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice. Check with the park office to determine ice conditions in the skating area. Other areas of the lake are not monitored.
Ice Fishing: Except for the ice skating area, all of the 1,275-acre Lake Marburg is open for ice fishing. Popular species caught through the ice are yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge.
Ice Skating: When conditions allow, a 10-acre area in Chapel Cove, near the restrooms, is available for ice skating. When conditions are good, lights are provided to extend the skating time until 7:30 PM. Skating is only permitted when the ice is posted as safe.
Iceboating: Most of Lake Marburg is open for iceboating. A state park launch permit is required for iceboats.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park provides programs from May to October. Programs include ecological and historical walks and talks, audiovisual presentations, campfires, school environmental educational activities, and youth programs. There are nature trails and a bird viewing station.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Codorus State Park has many different habitats, like forests, fields, wetlands, and a large lake, which make it a great place to see wildlife.
The lake is a magnet for birds, especially migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. In the spring and fall, ruddy ducks, mergansers, and scaups often float in large flotillas in the middle of the lake. Near the edges of the lake are grebes, coots, and wigeon. Yellowlegs, dunlins, and sandpipers frequent the mudflats of the lake to rest and refuel.
The wetlands in the coves and flats of the lake are great places to see wildlife, especially wood ducks, herons, red-winged blackbirds, kingfishers, turtles, and muskrats.
Osprey frequent the lake and can be seen diving into the water to catch fish. An active bald eagle nest near the lake can be viewed from the classroom building overlook.
The fields of the park are great places to see white-tailed deer, sparrows, swallows, and bluebirds. Volunteers monitor about 175 bluebird boxes.
The forests of the park are habitat for thrushes and warblers, birds that are often absent from the open land surrounding the park.
Please remember that feeding wildlife and spotlighting are prohibited in the park. Always enjoy viewing wildlife from a safe distance.
The common birds brochure lists the birds most likely to be seen in the park and in which habitat. Common Birds of Codorus State Park (.pdf) (315 kb, 7/16)
When Europeans reached the land that became Codorus State Park, it was the territory of Susquehannock Indians, a powerful tribe that controlled much of the land near the Susquehanna River. Wars and the push of settlers led to the demise of the Susquehannocks.
The early settlers were German farmers, but industry soon followed.
Built in 1762, Mary Ann Furnace is believed to be the first charcoal furnace built on the western side of the Susquehanna River. The furnace supplied cannon balls and grapeshot for the continental army and employed Hessian prisoners to run the ironworks while many of the available workforce were off fighting the British. Nothing remains of the ironworks except memories.
The four original founders of Mary Ann Furnace had a great impact on the United States.
George Stevenson emigrated from Ireland and was employed as a deputy surveyor by the Penn Family. Stevenson organized wagons and supplies for the Forbes Campaign during the French and Indian War. When the British occupied Philadelphia and York became the capital of the Colonies, George Washington called on George Stevenson to take charge of the supply lines.
George Ross was a lawyer from Lancaster. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Provincial Assembly, the Provincial Conference, and the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence. He also introduced George Washington to the widow of his nephew, the flag maker Betsy Ross.
William Thompson emigrated from Ireland. In the French and Indian War, he served as a officer under John Armstrong in the Kittanning Expedition and as a captain of the light horse in the Forbes Campaign. In the American Revolutionary War, he became the colonel of the first colonial infantry and advanced to brigadier general. He was captured in the Second Assault on Quebec and held prisoner for four years, only to die not long after his release.
Mark Bird was the son of ironmaster William Bird of Hopewell Furnace. In the American Revolutionary War, Mark Bird served as deputy quartermaster and as a colonel. He used his own money and ironworks to supply cannons and munitions. After the war, he was never repaid. Deep in debt, he went bankrupt and fled to North Carolina to avoid his creditors.
The Up and Down Lake
The impoundment of Codorus Creek was the result of a cooperative project between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Glatfelter Paper Company of Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. This undertaking was the first of its kind in the commonwealth and was designed to serve the water supply needs of a private industry and the town of Spring Grove, and to provide a public recreation area.
The Glatfelter Paper Company constructed the dam and still owns and runs the dam. The gates first closed, impounding water, in December of 1966. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the park land in 1965-1966. Originally the park was known as Codorus Creek State Park. Lake Marburg is named for the small community of Marburg that is covered by the lake.
The Glatfelter Paper Company and the town of Spring Grove are permitted to draw water from the lake for their needs. This means that the lake water level can drop over 22 feet in a summer, only to rise with rainfall.
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Scouts and organized groups can earn free camping by completing service projects.
Join a Friends Group
The Friends of Codorus State Park is volunteer-operated and staffed group is dedicated to the betterment, preservation and enjoyment of Codorus State Park. www.friendsofcodorus.org
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of good conservation, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) was created in 1999 to give supporters and users of Pennsylvania's parks and forests a positive way to contribute to the conservation of our publicly-owned properties. The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation welcomes the support of individuals and businesses who share a commitment to conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural, scenic, and recreational areas of this commonwealth. www.paparksandforests.org
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We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
Do you take conservation personally? iConservePA is a Web site managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources whose vision is to inspire citizens to value their natural resources, engage in conservation practices and experience the outdoors. Take conservation personally.
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Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offer a wide range of civil service and non-civil service jobs, from foresters, to rangers, to engineers, to educators, to botanists and so much more. Learn what is currently available.
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Codorus State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from:
York County Convention and Visitors Bureau www.yorkpa.org
Hanover Chamber of Commerce www.hanoverchamber.com
Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau www.gettysburg.travel
Fly fishing is permitted on a two-mile section of Codorus Creek along Porters Road, below the Glatfelter Dam. It is designated as Trophy Trout Water by the PA Fish and Boat Commission and has a naturally reproducing population of brown trout.
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
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Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Common Birds Brochure
Common Birds of Codorus State Park (.pdf) (315 kb, 7/16)
From I-83, take Exit 8. Go 18 miles west on PA 216 to the park. From Hanover, follow PA 216 to the park.
GPS DD: Lat. 39.79066 Long. -76.91891
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Codorus State Park