Hiking trails in state parks lead to beautiful vistas and waterfalls, or by wetlands bubbling with life, or through dark, old growth forests, and to uncountable adventures and chances to see wildlife. Some trails are scenic or leisurely, while others are self guiding educational, or rigorous exercise.
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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.
For comprohensive trail information on hiking trails in Pennsylvania, visit www.explorePAtrails.com.
The National Trail System was established in 1968 to promote the development of trails in both urban and rural settings for all people. Parts of this system wind through both Pennsylvania state forests and state parks, and continue to the surrounding states.
This trail system provides many options for the experienced hiker. You can choose to take a long trip, a short hike or a backpacking adventure through several states.
State park policy dictates that there is no camping on national trails on state park land. Trailside camping is restricted to areas outside the park lands. Camping is available in the developed park campgrounds, which have modern showerhouses.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
This trail hugs the crests of the Applachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine. Almost 175 people each year hike the entire trail, while millions of people find inspiration and adventure on shorter trips along the "A.T."
Appalachian Trail: www.nps.gov/appa
Caledonia State Park permits overnight parking with the proper registration. The closest camping on the trail is about 2.5 mi. north and 2.5 mi. south of the park.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park marks the halfway point along the Appalachian Trail. Obeying tradition, hikers eat a half-gallon of ice cream here. Although no camping on the trail is permitted within the park boundaries, there is a youth hostel located on the trail in the park for public use. The Appalachian Trail Museum is near the trail. Pine Grove Furnace does allow overnight parking with proper registration.
Swatara State Park sits between two overnight shelters, about a day’s walk apart. There are parking areas at Swatara, but as in most places, parking is at your own risk.
North Country National Scenic Trail
The northern tier of states offers some of the most outstanding scenic beauty to be found anywhere in America. The "North Country" is a land of diversity whose beauty is accentuated by its distinctly changing seasons. As you travel the North Counrty, the hills, valleys, lakes and streams, show how the glaciers molded the landscape. Historic sites along the way tell the story of how America was settled and grew as a nation.
North Country Trail: www.nps.gov/noco
Chapman State Park connects to the North Country Trail by a seven-mile trail through state game lands. Overnight parking is permitted with the proper registration.
Cook Forest State Park allows overnight parking with the proper registration. The Clarion River runs through the park.
McConnells Mill State Park has rest rooms and water provided for public use along the trail near the grist mill. This section of trail also runs through Slippery Rock Gorge and over a covered bridge.
Moraine State Park does not have parking available, but there are cabins, a large lake for fishing and group camping areas.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. An enterprise of many partners, the evolving trail network celebrates the heritage of the Potomac and upper Ohio river basins and offers opportunities for hiking, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. National Park Service Passport Stamps for the trail are available at the Laurel Hill State Park office and at the visitor center in Ohiopyle.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: www.nps.gov/pohe
Laurel Ridge State Park has a series of shelter areas and drinking water.
Ohiopyle State Park has one shelter area.