Wildlife Watching


There are many places to see wildlife across Pennsylvania, from elk in the north to bats in the south. Navigate with the map or view the chart below.

The best way to see wildlife is to sit quietly and remain still. For the best results, use binoculars and keep a safe distance between yourself and wildlife.

Please do not attempt to handle any wild animal. If an animal does not run away from approaching people, it might be sick or injured. If you observe any unusual behavior by wildlife, please contact a park employee immediately.

Click on a region in the map or zoom in on the map using the zoom tool on the left. Clicking on a park in the map will reveal an information box with a listing of amenities in the park, and a link to the park in the listing far below.

The direction links below will take you to a listing of parks with good wildlife watching opportunities.

North   -   South   -   East   -   West


 

North


Bald Eagle State Park

The huge lake is a haven for wildlife, including nesting Bald Eagles. Old field habitat provides homes for bluebird, monarch butterfly, woodchuck, and cottontail rabbit, while squirrel and downy woodpecker inhabit the woodlots. A mature oak and hickory forest covers the Bald Eagle Mountain and provides homes for porcupine and turkey. Explore Bald Eagle for more information.

A widow skimmer dragonfly rests on a plant at Bald Ealge State Park, Pennsylvania.
Black Moshannon State Park

The forests of the park are home to deep forest birds and eve some that are south of the usual ranges due to the park's cool climate. The Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area is the largest reconstituted bog in the state and features unique plants and wildlife. Explore Black Moshannon for more information.


A tan wood frog floats in a wetland.
Bucktail Natural Area

Many animals live in river valleys or follow them during migrations. Osprey, bald eagle, kingfisher, many duck species, merganser and other birds, otter, deer, mink and other animals are noteworthy river valley inhabitants and can be seen in Bucktail State Park.


This red, white and blue bird is a kingfisher at Colonel Denning State Park, Pennsylvania.
Chapman State Park

The lake and wetlands are reststops for migrating waterfowl. The surrounding forests are home to deep forest wildlife.


This five-toed footprint is from a black bear.
Cherry Springs State Park

The darkest skies in the northeast make Cherry Springs a destination for astronomers. Explore Cherry Springs for more information.


The Triangulum Galaxy is one of the wonders you might see in the dark skies of Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania.
Elk Country Visitor Center

The ECVC is the premier elk viewing location in Pennsylvania and home to the largest elk herd in the northeastern US. Through outstandng exhibits, the visitor center has information about elk history, behavior, and conservation. Explore Elk Country Visitor Center for more information.


A bull elk walks in a field near autumn-colored leaves.
Hills Creek State Park

Wildlife abounds in and around Hills Creek State Park. Along with an active beaver colony, there are other water-loving creatures including muskrat, wood duck, great blue heron, and osprey. Bald eagles are frequent visitors to the park. Explore Hills Creek for more information.


This black and white bird is a hooded merganzer swimming on a lake.
Leonard Harrison State Park

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania is a National Natural Landmark and a State Park Natural Area. The large abundance of deciduous hardwood trees display beautiful autumn shades of yellow, orange, red and purple. Raptors are often seen riding updrafts in the canyon. Explore Leonard Harrison for more information.


This brown and white raptor is an osprey at Pymatuning State Park, Pennsylvania.
Little Pine State Park

In the spring, bald eagle, osprey, and many kinds of waterfowl visit the lake and streams. In the summer, herons and otters may be seen on the lake. The fall season brings many migratory birds, like loon, snow goose and many raptors. Explore Little Pine for more information.


A ring-necked duck cruises across water.
Lyman Run State Park

Depending on the season, visitors can see woodland wildlife like bobcat, coyote, white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey. In the spring, Lyman Lake is visited by migrating waterfowl like common loon, wood duck, and common merganser.


A black and white duck, a bufflehead, cruises across water.
Milton State Park

The rich soil of the floodplain supports a diversity of vegetation. The southern part of the island is undeveloped and covered in a forest of predominantly silver maple, river birch and sycamore. The island is a rest area for migrating songbirds and waterfowl.


A mockingbird raises its wings in a courtship display.
Ole Bull State Park

Surrounded by the deep forests of Susquehannock State Forest, Kettle Creek flows through Ole Bull State Park providing habitat to many species of wildlife. Many wetlands, some created by beavers, are home to specialized anials and plants.


A red dragonfly, a meadowhawk, perches on a rock at Swatara State Park, Pennsylvania.
Parker Dam State Park

Parker Dam State Park and the surrounding Moshannon State Forest harbor deep forests where wildlife thrives in unbroken wilderness. Look for black-throated green and blackburnian warblers and ravens in conifer forests. Explore Parker Dam for more information.


These sticks and branches are a beaver dam at Parker Dam State Park, Pennsylvania.
Poe Valley State Park

Big Poe and Little Poe mountains cradle Big Poe Creek. Deep forests and the creek valley host many species of wildlife. The lake is a restop for migrating waterfowl.


This green and black dragonfly resting on a rock is a clubtail at Poe Valley State Park, Pennsylvania.
Ravensburg State Park

The most outstanding geologic feature in the park is Castle Rocks. Tall erosional spires of sandstone are silhouetted against the sky, like the towers of an ancient castle. You can see Castle Rocks from Mid State Trail in the southern end of the park. A 'Trail of Geology Guide' is available at the park office. The deep forest of Tiadaghton State Forest surround the park.


A black and yelllow tiger swallowtail butterfly sips nectar from a flower.
Raymond B. Winter State Park

Although the forests of Pennsylvania have been logged several times, visitors to R.B. Winter State Park can step back in time and encounter the forest as it appeared in 1850. The 39 acres surrounding the Rapid Run Nature Trail is one of the first State Park Natural Areas. Explore Raymond B. Winter for more information.


Ferns carpet the forest floor of the natural area at Raymond B Winter State Park, Pennsylvania.
Reeds Gap State Park

The dominant habitat in and around the park is forest of towering white pines, hemlocks and oaks. Maple, ash, tulip poplar, gum, hickory, and dogwood trees, and mountain laurel and rhododendron add to the year-round scenic beauty. Honey Creek is riparian habitat for wildlife.


Hemlock trees shade the creek at Reeds Gap State Park, Pennsylvania.
Shikellamy State Park

Shikellamy State Park is a wonderful place to watch wildlife, especially migrating birds and butterflies. The confluence of the branches of the Susquehanna is a reststop for igrating waterfowl and wading birds.


Four ring-necked ducks float on water.
Sinnemahoning State Park

Sinnemahoning offers the visitor a variety of wildlife watching experiences. Depending upon the season, one could encounter nesting bald eagles, elk nursing their calves in a small nursery group, hear a coyote howling as it advertises it’s territory or maybe catch a glimpse of a bobcat slinking through the thick spruce as it stalks its evening meal. Explore Sinnemahoning for more information.


A common merganzer stands on a rock in the creek at Sinnemahoning State Park, Pennsylvania.
Sizerville State Park

In the spring and summer, small woodland flowers, flowering trees and mountain laurel blossom in profusion. During the fall, the flaming foliage of the mixed hardwood forest provides a colorful backdrop for visitors to enjoy the park. The topography of the entire park is a severely dissected plateau with narrow stream valleys.


Dense ferns lap at the roots of trees in the forest of Sizerville State Park, Pennsylvania.

 

 

South


Blue Knob State Park

Mountinous Blue Knob State Park is a great place to see wildlife in all seasons. In spring, heptica and spring beauty bloom. Warblers and vireos arrive from the south. Summer is a time for wildlife babies, like deer, and many birds. In winter, Blue Knob is a winter wonderland.  Explore Blue Knob for more information.


A cedar waxwing perches on a spruce trees at Shawnee State Park, Pennsylvania.
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area

The conservation area’s many trails offer good opportunities for seeing white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, grouse, black bears and a variety of songbirds depending on the season. Eastern bluebird boxes are around the main parking lot. Please enjoy viewing the bluebirds but do not disturb the boxes. The field hosts thousands of butterflies in the summer. Explore Boyd Big Tree Preserve for more information.


This yellow and black butterfly is a tiger swallowtail at Boyd big Tree Preserve Conservation Area, Pennsylvania.
Canoe Creek State Park

Old fields, wetlands, a lake and a limestone deep mine are interspersed with deciduous woodlots, which provide excellent habitat for over 200 species of birds and mammals. The park hosts a little brown bat nursery and hibernaculumn. Explore Canoe Creek for more information.


A little brown bat clings to tree bark.
Codorus State Park

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 magnate for migrating waterfowl like ruddy ducks, and scaups and shorebirds like dunlins an sandpipers. Explore Codorus for more information.


A mother wood duck and her ducklings swim at Codorus State Park, Pennsylvania.
Cowans Gap State Park

Cowans Gap State Park is in Allens Valley, a narrow, highland valley between Tuscarora and Cove mountains. In spring, wildflowers bloom, warblers stop and rest in the forests and waterfowl explore the lake. In summer, veery and wood thrush call. Explore Cowans Gap for more information.


A bullfrog sits on a log in a swamp.
Gifford Pinchot State Park

The diverse habitats of Gifford Pinchot State Park support a variety of wildlife through all seasons. Spring brings wildflowers which bloom before the trees get leaves, and also migrating waterfowl to the lake and warblers to the forest. Butterflies peak in summer, including the giant swallowtail. Explore Gifford Pinchot for more information.


A giant (left) and tiger (right) swallowtail butterflies puddle in mud at Gifford Pinchot State Park, Pennsylvania.
Greenwood Furnace State Park

Wildlife is abundant in the area. The alert observer may see white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and many species of small animals. Duck, great blue heron and occasionally osprey visit the lake. At dusk in late May and June, whip-poor-will sing their unique call.


A porcupine climbs a striped maple tree at Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania.
Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area

The conservation area is in the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains, which is characterized by long parallel mountain ridges and wide, flat valleys. A diversity of trees produces nuts, seeds, berries and browse for wildlife like white-tailed deer, squirrels, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, black bear and many species of birds. Explore Joseph E. Ibberson for more information.


An orange butterfly, pearl crescent, sips nectar from a flower at Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area, Pennsylvania.
Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

The habitats of Kings Gap span from the mountaintop to valley floor. Birds of the mountaintop are pleated woodpeckers, wood pee-wees and kinglets. Birds of the valley are scarlet tanagers, ovenbirds and wood thrushes. Five-lined skinks are common on the mountaintop. Explore Kings Gap for more information.


A five-lined skink peers out of a crevice in rocks at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center, Pennsylvania.
Little Buffalo State Park

Holman Lake provides habitat for many animals, including green herons, egrets and beavers. Many species of warblers inhabit the forests of the park. Common yellowthroat, yellow warbler and the blue-gray gnatcatcher are common. Explore Little Buffalo for more information.


A cormorant and a turtle share a log at Little Buffalo State Park, Pennsylvania.
Penn-Roosevelt State Park

The alert observer may see white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey and many species of small game. The small, 3.5-acre lake at the confluence of Sassafras Run and Standing Stone Creek has wily native brook trout. On quiet evenings, muskrats can be seen on the lake and an occasional duck, goose or eagle visits from time to time.


A broad-winged hawk perches in the forests of Penn-Roosevelt State Park, Pennsylvania.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park

The diverse habitats of Pine Grove Furnace State Park support a variety of wildlife through all seasons. The historic use of the area during the iron furnace period created a varied combination of open areas, wetlands, and vegetation that make the area unique to wildlife. Explore Pine Grove Furnace for more information.


Perched on old mining debris, an immature barn swallow begs for food from a parent at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania.
Prince Gallitzin State Park

The diverse habitats of Prince Gallitzin State Park provide great opportunities for viewing wildlife. The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake, with its 26 miles of shoreline, is home to many species of fish, birds and animals. Wyerough Branch and the upper reaches of Slatelick and Mudlick branches are covered in wetland plants and are a good places to see ducks, herons and rails. Explore Prince Gallitzin for more information.


In this view from the vista on Headache Hill can be seen one of the branches of the lake at Prince Gallitzin State Park, Pennsylvania.
Samuel S. Lewis State Park

The 885-foot high Mt. Pisgah is the highest point in the area and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Susquehanna River and the towns and fertile farmlands that it borders. A wayside panel is on the summit of Mt. Pisgah near Pavilion C and identifies various points of interest along the river valley. Explore Samuel S. Lewis for more information.


A brilliantly colored male ring-necked pheasant struts in the snow at Susquehannock State Park, Pennsylvania.
Shawnee State Park

The lake and wetlands are home to many animals and plants. Waterfowl use the lake as a rest and refueling stop during migration. The forests harbor many deep forest birds like warblers.


This white flower with a yellow center is arrowhead, growing in the lake at Shawnee State Park, Pennsylvania.
Susquehannock State Park

Bald eagles, osprey and the more common turkey and black vultures regularly patrol the sky by the Hawk Point Overlook. Spring and fall are peak seasons for bird migrations and the park can provide great views of migrating hawks, gulls, eagles, ducks, geese, swans, songbirds and shorebirds. Explore Susuquehannock for more information.


These four-toed tracks in snow are from a bobcat at Susquehannock State Park, Pennsylvania.
Trough Creek State Park

Trough Creek State Park is in the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachian Mountains. Once a great mountain range, weathering and running water reduced the mountains into long, narrow, sweeping ridges. Great Trough Creek still carves the ridges, creating unique geologic features throughout the park and deepening the Great Trough Creek Gorge. Explore Trough Creek for more information.


Great Trough Creek bends between autumn-colored leaves at Trough Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Warriors Path State Park

Several unique habitats exist as a result of the river carving it’s way through the land. A fresh water swamp follows the long axis of the park adjacent to the river bottomland. Also, across the river from the swamp is an excellent example of weathered shale cliffs with unique trees, plants, and animals associated with this environment. Explore Warriors Path for more information.


Two female mallard ducks creuise across the lake at Memorial Lake State Park, Pennsylvania.

 

East


Beltzville State Park

The 949-acre lake with wetlands is a magnate for migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall. The forests on the eastern and western endsof the park are home to deep forest birds like warblers. The fields attract birds that like open areas.


A red-winged blackbird perches on a branch near water.
Big Pocono State Park

The top of Camelback Mountain is a unique forest called a scrub oak shrubland. Wind-dwarfed gray birch, quaking aspen, red pine and scrub oak cover the mountaintop, with no tree over twenty feet tall. Lowbush blueberry and sweet fern grow under the short trees. Down slope, the forest offers more shade with mixed hardwoods including oak, maple, hickory trees and mountain laurel. Explore Big Pocono for more information.


Stunted grey birch and rock oak top Big Pocono State Park, Pennsylvania.
Delaware Canal State Park

The Delaware is the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi River and serves as a major migration corridor for birds and for the American shad. Nockamixon Clffs Natural Area is habitat for rare plants. Eleven river islands are protected as the Delaware River Islands State Park Natural Area. Explore Delaware Canal for more information.


Male and female blue-winged teals swim on blue water.
Evansburg State Park

Evansburg State Park is forested by a combination of northern and southern hardwood types in various stages of growth. The blending of these types results in a remarkably wide variety of trees, wildflowers, habitats and wildlife.Early morning and evening hours are the best time to see deer, rabbits and other wildlife.


Trees crowd Skippack Creek at Evansburg State Park, Pennsylvania.
Fort Washington State Park

All 16 species of raptors that migrate on the East Coast can be seen from the Observation Deck. The “Watch” begins on September 1st and lasts through October 31st. Volunteer compilers are on duty every day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., counting raptors that migrate past the deck. The deck provides a scenic overlook year-round, and also provides great views of the butterfly garden. Explore Fort Washington for more information.


A red-tailed hawk with its prey perches on a branch.
Frances Slocum State Park

The large lake is a reststop for migrating waterfowl, especially in the spring and autumn. The forests are home to warblers, thrushes and forest birds.


A mallard sleeps on a log.
French Creek State Park

Large oak, poplar, hickory, maple, and beech trees cover much of the park, with a sparse understory of mountain laurel, rhododendron and other brushy plants. Wetlands and pristine streams flowing through rich, damp creek valleys offer additional habitats for plants and animals. Two lakes are havens for waterfowl. Explore French Creek for more information.


A flock of Canada geese fly through blue sky at French Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Gouldsboro State Park

Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro state parks are in the Pocono Plateau, a rugged highland with rocky soil, nutrient-poor bogs, dark evergreen forests and a diversity of animals and plants. Explore Gouldsboro for more information.


This brown frog is a wood frog, floating in a wetland.
Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run has three state park natural areas, one of which is also a national natural landmark. Half of the park was covered by a glacier and has unique habitats like bogs, and unique plants and animals like Blackburnian warbler and red-breated nuthatch. The other half of the park has different forests and habitats which are home to deep forest birds. Explore Hickory Run for more information.


Hemlock trees shadow a  bog at Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania.
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Because of the wide variety of habitat found in and around Henry’s Woods, a rich array of birds and wildflowers may be seen, especially during the spring months. Henry's Woods is an old growth hardwood forest. Bushkill Creek bisects the park and provides riparion habitat. Explore Jacobsburg for more information.


Fresh snow coats the forest at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Pennsylvania.
Lackawanna State Park

The lake attracts waterfowl, especially in the spring and autumn. The forests are home to many birds and animals.


A large snapping turtle prowls a wetland.
Lehigh Gorge State Park

River corridors are natural transportation routes and so the Gorge has a great diversity of plants and animals. Great blue herons, mergansers, kingfishers and beavers are common river residents. In summer, the Lehigh Gorge Trail is a great place to see snakes, fence lizards and warblers, especially black-and-white and magnolia warblers.


The burgundy head identifies this as a female common merganzer at Colonel Denning State Park, Pennsylvania.
Marsh Creek State Park

Marsh Creek is a popular place for birding, especially during the spring and fall waterfowl migrations.


Wetlands and forests border the lake at Marsh Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Memorial Lake State Park

Birders may observe over 100 different land and water species in the park, especially during the migratory seasons. Turtle platforms, bat and duck boxes, and the butterfly field also offer opportunities to view wildlife.


A great egret and its reflection stalk in wetlands at Memorial Lake State Park, Pennsylvania.
Nescopeck State Park

Habitats like the 200 acres of high quality wetlands, rich forests and six miles of the pristine Nescopeck Creek are home to over 160 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles and over 600 species of plants.


Climbing fern climbs a stick at Nescopeck State Park, Pennsylvania.
Neshaminy State Park

The Neshaminy freshwater estuary is a unique place. Plants and animals from two worlds meet here, some from the ocean and some from upstream headwaters. Explore Neshaminy for more information.


A green frog rests on rocks.
Nockamixon State Park

Over 250 species of birds have been recorded at Nockamixon State Park. The numerous habitats of the park are havens for birds and wildlife. The park has grasslands, successional fields, pine plantations, second growth forests, wetlands and the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon. Explore Nockamixon for more information.


A swan and geese swim on the lake at Nockamixon State Park, Pennsylvania.
Nolde Forest State Park

The forests of Nolde Forest are home to many species of birds like deep forest warblers and also some birds at the northern end of their range,  like the Carolina chickadee. The ponds and streams are habitat for many animls and plants..


A black throated blue warbler hides among rhododendron at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Pennsylvania.
Norristown Farm Park

Because of the park’s diverse habitats, over 170 species of birds have been recorded. Area bird watchers are continually drawn to the park in hopes of catching a glimpse of a new or rare species to add to their own personal list. Explore Norristown for more information.


A young cottontail rabbit looks around in grass.
Promised Land State Park

Promised Land State Park is in the Pocono Plateau, a rugged highland with rocky soil, nutrient-poor bogs, dark evergreen forests and a diversity of animals and plants. Two lakes and wetlands provide habitat to many animals, including the nesting bald eagles. Explore Promised Land for more information.


A bald eagle snatches a fish from a lake at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.
Ricketts Glen State Park

The Glens Natural Area, a registered National Natural Landmark since October 12, 1969, is the main scenic attraction in the park. Two branches of Kitchen Creek cut through the deep gorges of Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh and unite at “Waters Meet” and then flow through Ricketts Glen, among old growth pines, hemlocks and oaks. Explore Ricketts Glen for more information.


Ferns, moss and lichens cling to cliffs at Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania.
Ridley Creek State Park

Park habitats include old growth and new growth forests, fields and meadows, wetlands and the creek corridor. The state mammal, the white-tailed deer, is common, along with fox, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel and others. Great blue herons frequent Ridley Creek. Many species of songbirds can be seen and heard in the park.


A boulder is in the forest by the creek at Ridley Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Salt Springs State Park

The park lies in a glacially altered, hilly terrain referred to since the 1750s as "the Endless Mountains." The varied habitats of the park, including old growth forest, mixed hardwoods forest, grasslands, and wetlands atttact many animals, incuding over 150 species of birds, some of whic are south of their norm range. Explore Salt Springs for more information.


This brown bird is a veery and is hiding under a hedge.
Swatara State Park

Swatara State Park has a combination of woodland and old fields in various stages of forest succession. The blending of these habitats results in a remarkably wide variety of trees, wildflowers and wildlife. Nest boxes are maintained for game and non-game species like bluebirds, hawks, wrens and ducks. Explore Swatara for more information.


A red-spotted newt floats over its shadow at Swatara State Park, Pennsylvania.
Tobyhanna State Park

Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro state parks are in the Pocono Plateau, a rugged highland with rocky soil, nutrient-poor bogs, dark evergreen forests and a diversity of animals and plants. Explore Tobyhanna for more information.


Forests surround a large wetland at Tobyhanna State Park, Pennsylvania.
Tyler State Park

Three main habitats dominate Tyler State Park, forests, fields and wetlands. The mixed hardwood forests are composed of oaks, maples and walnuts and are great habitat for forest birds like warblers, tanagers, thrushes and vireos. Explore Tyler for more information.


These five-toed tracks in mud are from a raccoon that hunted at night at Tyler State Park, Pennsylvania.
White Clay Creek Preserve

White Clay Creek meanders through the preserve's forests, making habitat for many animals and plants. White Clay Creek is a National Wild and Scenic River and shall be preserved in a free-flowing condition for present and future generations.


Forests overshadow White Clay Creek at White Clay Creek Preserve, Pennsylvania.
Worlds End State Park

The extensive forest cover, hemlock valleys and mountainous terrain provide ideal habitat for ‘big woods’ wildlife. The patient observer can find bobcat, coyote and river otter. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded. Many breeding species that one could expect to find further north are present, including northern goshawk, yellow-bellied flycatcher and white-throated sparrow. Explore Worlds End for more information.


A clear wing moth uses its long probiscus to sip nectar from a flower.

 

West


Clear Creek State Park

Nearly four miles of the Clarion River flow through the park. However, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the valley and approximately 24 miles of the river throughout both Clear Creek and Cook Forest state parks and the Clarion River Lands.

The Clarion River is designated a National Wild and Scenic River for its scenic beauty, water quality, and archaeological significance.

Because river corridors are natural transportation routes, the Clarion River hosts a great diversity of plants and animals. Plant species include cardinal flower, rhododendron, mountain laurel, and many species of forest trees. Common bird species include great blue heron, merganser, kingfisher, and bald eagle. Animal species include deer, wild turkey, river otter, muskrat, porcupine, and black bear.


Mountains bracket the Clarion River at Clear Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Cook Forest State Park

From the area of Cook Forest State Park came the famous Pennsylvania cork pine, so named because of the white pine"s thick, cork-like bark. There are four old growth forest areas in the park: Swamp, Seneca, Cathedral and Cook Trail areas. Explore Cook Forest for more information.


Large hemlock trees top a hill at Cook Forest State Park, Pennsylvania.
Erie Bluffs State Park

The park has one-mile of shoreline, 90-foot bluffs overlooking Lake Erie, Elk Creek--a shallow stream steelhead fishery, several plant species of conservation concern, uncommon oak savannah sand barren ecosystem and forested wetlands.


This orange, cornicopia-shaped flower is spotted touch-me-not.
Jennings Environmental Education Center

Jennings has the only prarie on public lands in Pennsylvania, including unique plants and a rare rattlesnake. The center also has forests, which include stream valleys, upland forests, and wetlands, which provide diverse habitats for wildlife. Explore Jennings for more information.


A tiger swallowtail butterfly sips nectar from a blazing star at the prarie at Jennings Environmental Education Center, Pennsylvania.
Keystone State Park

Keystone State Park hosts a wide range of plant and animal life. These natural attractions offer an exciting adventure for visitors willing to sit, watch and listen for these hidden wonders. Stop at the visitor center for a bird checklist or to learn about the natural sites and wildlife of the area. Explore Keystone for more information.


A song sparrow sings from a branch.
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail at Laurel Ridge State Park

Spring wildflowers dot the forest floor in early April followed by a vibrant green forest, as leaf out begins in late April. Mountain laurel blooms in June and rhododendron blooms in late June and early July. In mid-October the fall color is in all its glory. Winter is spectacular when the park is covered in a deep blanket of snow and great horned owls call through the forest. Explore Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail for more information.


This bunch of pink flowers are mountain laurel flowers at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center, Pennsylvania.
Laurel Hill State Park

The rich flora and fauna make Laurel Hill a great place to watch wildlife year-round. The forest is dominated by oak, maple, cherry and poplar trees with an understory of witch hazel, serviceberry, rhododendron and mountain laurel. The massive eastern hemlocks of a six-acre, old growth stand are now approaching the climax stage of succession. Explore Laurel Hill for more information.


These five-toed footprints in the snow belong to a mink at Laurel Hill State Park, Pennsylvania.
Maurice K. Goddard State Park

The large lake, abundant wetlands, old fields and mature forests provide a diversity of habitats that attracts wildlife in all seasons. Explore Maurice K. Goddard for more information.


A great blue heron with ruffled feathers stands on logs at Maurice K Goddard State Park, Pennsylvania.
McConnells Mill State Park

The 930-acre Slippery Rock Gorge was designated a National Natural Landmark and a State Park Natural Area. The steep-sided gorge contains numerous rocky outcrops, boulders, old growth forest, waterfalls and rare plants. Cleland Rock Vista is a great place to view the gorge. Explore McConnells Mill for more information.


Slippery Rock Creek flows between boulders shaded by trees at McConnells Mill State Park, Pennsylvania.
Moraine State Park

Lake Arthur provides over forty miles of scenic shoreline. Its tributaries include Muddy Run, Big Run, Swamp Run, Bear Run and over 75 intermittent streams. Frogs, newts, turtles and water snakes prowl the edges of the lake. Avian anglers like the tall great blue heron and the small belted kingfisher prey on minnows and fish fry, too small to be caught by human anglers. Osprey a common in the summer. Explore Moraine for more information.


Several species of ducks swim on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania.
Ohiopyle State Park

River valleys are natural corridors for wildlife. Ohipyle has the National Natural Landmark Ferncliff Penninsula which is habitat to rare plants. The extensive forests of the park are habitat to deep woods animals and birds. Explore Ohiopyle for more information.


These are river otter footprints in sand at Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.
Oil Creek State Park

Oil Creek bisects the park and is a fertile, riparian habitat with wetlands. The forests of the park are home to many species of birds.


A phoebe perches on tree branches.
Presque Isle State Park

There are six distinct ecological zones on Presque Isle, each with a different plant and animal community. The record of geological succession can be traced through each of these zones. The zones include: Lake Erie, the bay and shoreline; sand plain and new ponds; dunes and ridges; old ponds and marshes; thicket and sub-climax forest; and climax forest. Explore Presque Isle for more information.


Forest meets the beach of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania.
Pymatuning State Park

Pymatuning has two natural areas. Blackjack Swamp consists of 725 acres and provides habitat for unique natural communities. In the northern part of the lake is Clark Island which has 161 acres of mature hardwood and white pine forest. Visitors are welcome to explore these undeveloped natural areas. Explore Pymatuning for more information.


Water lilies and other plants abound in the wetlands at Pymatuning State Park, Pennsylvania.
Raccoon Creek State Park

The 314-acre Wildflower Reserve contains one of the most diverse stands of wildflowers in western Pennsylvania. Over 500 species of plants have been identified in the Reserve. The forests of the park are home to deep woods animals and plants. Explore Raccoon Creek for more information.


This thin petaled, red flower is fire pink, in the Wildflower Reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park, Pennsylvania.
Yellow Creek State Park

Birds abound at Yellow Creek State Park. The lake is a magnet for migrating waterfowl. The forests are rest and refueling areas for songbirds in the sping and fall. A local birding group meets frequently to bird the park.


Coots dabble on the lake at sunset at Yellow Creek State Park, Pennsylvania