6 State Parks Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (2023)

(Last Updated On: March 4, 2022)

6 State Parks Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1)Pennsylvania offers a diverse spectrum of state parks ready to delight everyone.

It’s a good idea to start with some of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks, then build your wish list from there based on your interests.

After visiting the state parks, brush up on your history at some of the national parks filled with historical sights to intrigue any traveler.

We found the best state parks within an hour of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to help you plan your next vacation.

Map of State Parks Near Gettysburg PA

Here is a map of the Pennsylvania state parks covered in this post:

List of State Parks Near Gettysburg

Here are each of those state parks with distance from Gettysburg and what is special about each.

1. Caledonia State Park

Location: 101 Pine Grove Rd, Fayetteville, PA 17222

Golfers will love Caledonia State Park, about fifteen miles northwest of Gettysburg. The park sits near South Mountain, one of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Maryland and Virginia, one of four parks surrounding the mountain.

Add in a difficult 18-hole golf course and a designated swimming pool with a water slide for a family vacation ready for fresh new memories.

If the pool and golf course do not work for your camping needs, the park also offers ten miles of trails. Campers can also enjoy angling for trout or hunting for deer, rabbit, squirrels, and turkey.

At Caledonia, you will find another unique feature, the Cathedral in the Pines, for those who enjoy Sunday school. Kids will adore the Totem Pole Playground, complete with a theater with performances in the summer.

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The park offers a total of 184 tent and trailer sites spread throughout two campgrounds. The camping season begins on the second Friday in April and ends in December, after deer season.

In addition, campers have access to flush toilets, hot showers, and a sanitary waste station at the campsite. The Hosack Run Campground includes accessible campsites as well as power.

Those who do not want to camp but want to stay at the park can enjoy the Caledonia Lodge available year-round.

2. Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Location: 1100 Pine Grove Rd, Gardners, PA 17324

Pine Grove Furnace State Park, less than twenty miles north of Gettysburg, offers a haven ready to make your next vacation amazing.

Because it’s situated at the northern extremity of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park boasts various unique features, including spectacular vistas of the mountains surrounded by the Michaux State Forest.

Add in two mountain lakes and the Appalachian Trail Museum to make the park near perfect.

Hiking paths in the park range in length from a fourth of a mile to six miles, and a part of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park’s heart, clearly marked with white blazes, making it simple to discover and follow.

Bikers, boaters, anglers, swimmers, and wildlife lovers will adore all the activity options the park offers. Swimming is available at both Fuller and Laurel Lakes’ public beaches.

The spring and fall bird migrations are excellent periods to go birding with binoculars.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers camping, or you can book the historic two-story Paymaster’s Cabin. Grab a campsite with easy access to electricity, water, toilets, and warm showers.

Each site offers a picnic table and a fire ring with access to a store for anything you may have forgotten. Finally, a few designated campsites allow pets to make your vacation even more enjoyable.

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3. Mont Alto State Park

Location: Mont Alto, PA 17237

To the west of Gettysburg, stop at Mont Alto State Park for their unique dance pavilion with a domed roof perfect for group outings.

The park is Pennsylvania’s oldest state park, and it offers picnicking, fishing, and nature.

The West Branch Antietam Creek runs through the park and provides an excellent spot for trout fishing.

Hiking options in the Michaux State Forest are accessible via logging and forest management routes perfect for a rustic day in nature.

Keep in mind this park does not offer camping but does offer tons of other activities.

In the winter, go snowmobiling with access to a ramp, trails, parking, and bathrooms. Snow trails open once deer season ends in late December.

Hunters can search for prey in the Michaux State Forest with both firearms and archery equipment.

While a small park, the unique pavilion, and gorgeous scenery make it worth a visit.

4. Codorus State Park

Location: Marina Dr, Hanover, PA 17331

To the east of Gettysburg, catch some sun at the Codorus State Park with enough options to make even the pickiest family member smile.

The park is an excellent example of York County’s accessibility and convenience as an outdoor leisure or weekend getaway location.

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This 3,500-acre park is located an hour north of Baltimore and thirty minutes from both York and Gettysburg, allowing you to get away without becoming too isolated.

Lake Marburg makes the Codorus Park unforgettable, with over twenty miles of shoreline perfect for every imaginable water sport, including scuba diving.

It’s a birdwatcher’s dream as a rest stop for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as a favorite place for anglers, featuring warm water fishing and trout. Add in picnicking, swimming in the pool, horseback riding, and disc golf for more fun.

The list of activities continues with options for skiing, sledding, ice skating, and snowmobiling in the winter. With almost 200 camping sites for tents and RVs, you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery between April and November.

Cabins, cottages, and yurts are available who want nature but not the primitive stay.

Encourage the kids to try out an educational activity for a little local history while there.

5. Gifford Pinchot State Park

Location: 2200 Rosstown Rd, Lewisberry, PA 17339

York County offers another beautiful destination just thirty miles from Gettysburg.

Gifford Pinchot State Park was once farmlands and wooded hills before its conversion into a park next to Pinchot lake.

As a full-service park, you can find every outdoor activity you can imagine and seasonal options too.

With almost twenty miles of trails for walkers and a few for bikers or horseback riding and cross-country skiing in the winter, the park is sure to connect everyone to nature.

Enjoy pontoon boat tours out on the water or a guided walk in the evening. In the right season, you can enjoy hunting or fishing along with many other hands-on activities.

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Make sure to check out the Mason-Dixon trail and look for giant swallowtail butterflies, all with a beautiful view of the lake.

The park has one of the largest state park campgrounds in the state, with 339 campsites at the southern end of the lake.

For a different experience, try a modern cabin, cottage, or a yurt to keep nature and technology near you. Every site has access to a swimming beach and an outdoor amphitheater.

In addition, some of the campsites are accessible to hiking paths, a boat launching, and a mooring area, along with all the amenities you need.

6. Colonel Denning State Park

Location: 1599 Doubling Gap Rd, Newville, PA 17241

In Doubling Gap find Colonel Denning State Park just forty miles north of Gettysburg commemorating William Denning, a Revolutionary War veteran.

Explore nature in multiple ways, such as on a bike, on horseback, or out on Doubling Gap Lake, fully stocked with trout.

Children can learn to use a map and compass with multiple skill levels available at the park office or nature center.

Many acres are open to hunting, trapping, and dog training during designated seasons.

The park has three paths totaling 3.5 miles to explore, but the Flat Rock Trail is the most notable. The difficult, steep climb rewards you with a 180-degree panorama of the Valley.

Take in the fall colors and hawk migration from the Flat Rock overlook. Pick up the trail next to the Visitors Center.

Colonel Denning Park is a trailhead for the Tuscarora State Forest and the Tuscarora Trail, which spans 252 miles with eighteen miles of trails total.

(Video) Video Tour of Caledonia State Park in PA

From the first day of trout season to the last day of deer season in December, the 49-site tent and trailer campground is open. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring all close to a sanitary dump station and non-flush toilets.

Bring the family dog with you to enjoy the park and the quiet solitude of nature.

FAQs

What is the most visited state park in PA? ›

1. Presque Isle State Park, Erie – Home to Pennsylvania's only seashore, this 3,200-acre state park borders Lake Erie.

What is the most famous state park? ›

Arguably the most famous park on this list, Niagara Falls State Park is also one of the oldest.

What is the most beautiful state park in the US? ›

Best State Parks in the United States
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Texas.
  • Chimney Rock State Park, Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Castle Rocks State Park, Almo, Idaho.
  • Island Beach State Park, Seaside Park, New Jersey.
  • Palouse Falls State Park, LaCrosse, Washington.
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan.

What is the largest state park in Pennsylvania? ›

Almost everything about Pymatuning State Park is big. At 16,892 acres, it is one of the largest state parks in the commonwealth. The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is the largest lake in the commonwealth.

What is the smallest state park in PA? ›

Smallest state park

It is Sand Bridge State Park occupies three acres in Union County that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website describes as a lovely picnic spot.

What is the National Park in Pennsylvania? ›

Gettysburg, PA

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the farm of General and 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Adjacent to the Gettysburg battlefield, the farm served the president and first lady as a weekend retreat and as a meeting place for world leaders.

What is the number one state park in the United States? ›

People travel from all over to visit Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. Known as America's top-rated state park, it includes some of the best waterfalls in the U.S. — Fall Creek Falls reaches an East Coast waterfall record of 256 feet in height.

What is America's oldest state park? ›

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States and the world. Today, the park is home to the world's largest collection of geysers, including the iconic Old Faithful.

What is the #1 national park? ›

1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The nation's first national park, established in 1872, has so many iconic features it's almost impossible to list them all.

What is the smallest state park in the United States? ›

Elizabeth Crockett's Grave – Acton, Texas

006 acres this park is the smallest state park in the US.

Which state has best state parks? ›

Seven States with the Best State Parks
  • California. Home to some of the most iconic National Parks in the nation (ie., Joshua Tree, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Yosemite), California is also a treasure trove of fantastic state parks worth exploring. ...
  • New York. ...
  • Oregon. ...
  • New Hampshire. ...
  • Washington. ...
  • Michigan. ...
  • Alaska.

What's the biggest state park in the United States? ›

Adirondack Park is the largest state park, and the largest publicly protected area of any kind in the lower 48 states. At six million acres, it's bigger than two Central American countries, and bigger than two nations of former Yugoslavia.

Are PA state parks free? ›

There are no entrance fees or day use fees for any state park in Pennsylvania. Make online reservations anytime. Call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757) for state park information and reservations, 7:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday, except on the Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day holidays.

Is Ricketts Glen state park crowded? ›

Driven by COVID-19 and social media, Pennsylvania's state parks, from Chester County's Marsh Creek to waterfall standout Ricketts Glen and beyond, have become so overcrowded on weekends that officials have taken the extraordinary step of asking people to go elsewhere.

What was the first state park in Pennsylvania? ›

Mont Alto State Park

The location of a park run by the Mont Alto Iron Company, the land was acquired by the state of Pennsylvania in 1902. That makes Mont Alto State Park the oldest state park in Pennsylvania (Valley Forge was the first state park in PA, but it is now run by the National Park Service).

Is Beltzville state park free? ›

It's nice because it is free," said DiAngelis. But the free-for-all might not last. State Representative Doyle Heffley, (R) Carbon County, who's from Lehighton, tells us he received a petition with 2,000 signatures complaining about the crowded conditions at the park, especially on weekends.

Where is the smallest state park? ›

- Berkeley Springs State Park.

Is Pennsylvania the biggest state? ›

Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous state in the nation with over 13 million residents as of 2020. It is the 33rd-largest state by area and ranks ninth among all states in population density.

How many national park sites are there in Pennsylvania? ›

Many of the national parks in Pennsylvania are designated historical sites that offer walking trails and other outdoor activities as a unique way to experience the natural beauty in the state. Pennsylvania has 121 state parks, 19 national parks, and seven National Heritage Areas.

Is Niagara Falls part of the national park system? ›

Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (U.S. National Park Service)

Does every state have a national park? ›

The list of states with no U.S. national park are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachuesetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

What is the most visited national park? ›

Top 10 national parks
  • Grand Canyon National Park: 4.53 million.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park: 4.43 million.
  • Acadia National Park: 4.06 million.
  • Grand Teton National Park: 3.88 million.
  • Yosemite National Park: 3.28 million.
  • Indiana Dunes National Park: 3.17 million.
  • Glacier National Park: 3.08 million.
16 Feb 2022

What is the second largest state park in the United States? ›

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the U.S.'s second largest, but few travellers know about it. Hikers at the Lighthouse rock formation in the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas.

Are national parks better than state parks? ›

The differences between state and national parks have a lot more to do with the visitor experience than why they exist or who controls them. As an example, national parks can offer a lot more in terms of trails and the ability to explore while state parks often have less space, but more amenities.

What country owns Yellowstone National Park? ›

Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located in the western United States, largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the 42nd U.S. Congress with the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act and signed into law by President Ulysses S.

What was the 2nd national park in the United States? ›

But for two decades before that, the majority of Mackinac Island was known as Mackinac National Park. It was the second national park in the United States, created just three years after Yellowstone National Park.

What is the least visited national park? ›

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska is the least-visited US national park.

Who is the only US president to work as a park ranger? ›

It could hardly be described as a lengthy public lands career, but according to the National Park Service, President Gerald Ford described his work as a seasonal ranger at Yellowstone National Park as “one of the greatest summers of my life.”

What is the biggest city park in the US? ›

Largest city parks in the U.S. 2021. Chugach State Park in Anchorage (AK) is the largest city park in the United States by a long shot, spanning over 464,318 acres. Most parks in the U.S. are owned by the municipality, state, county, regional agency, or the federal government.

What are the 5 smallest national parks? ›

21 Of The Smallest National Parks In The United States
  1. Gateway Arch National Park. ...
  2. Hot Springs National Park. ...
  3. National Park of American Samoa. ...
  4. Virgin Islands National Park. ...
  5. Congaree National Park. ...
  6. Pinnacles National Park. ...
  7. Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park. ...
  8. Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
16 Aug 2018

What state is the most scenic? ›

Home to nine national parks (more parks than any other state in the country), California is undoubtedly the most beautiful state in America for natural wonders. From sandy beaches drenched in sunlight to majestic granite mountains, arid desert landscapes and the tallest trees in the world, California has it all.

What state does not have a national park? ›

Delaware is the only state in the country that does not have anational park, national monument, national historic site or anyother unit of the National Park Service.

What state has least state parks? ›

There are a total of 3,729 state parks in the United States, with 11 states having more than 100 state parks each. Rhode Island comes in last with just 15 state parks.

What national park makes the most money? ›

10 Highest Grossing National Parks
  • #10 Glacier National Park. Vistor Spending, 2013: $178.8 million. ...
  • #9 Rocky Mountain National Park. Vistor Spending, 2013: $186.1 million. ...
  • #2 Denali National Park & Preserve. Vistor Spending, 2013: $513.3 million. ...
  • #1 Great Smoky Mountains NP. Vistor Spending, 2013: $734.1 million.
31 Jul 2014

What is the world's largest park? ›

Northeast Greenland National Park is the world's largest national park and the ninth largest protected area on Earth. It should come as little surprise, then, that it's also bigger than most countries, covering an impressive 972,000 square km (375,300 square miles).

What are the top 10 largest city parks in the United States? ›

1 Chugach State Park S 490,125 Anchorage, Alaska 2 Franklin Mountains State Park S 25,631 El Paso, Tex. 3 Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge NWR 24,293 New Orleans, La. 4 South Mountain Preserve M 16,094 Phoenix, Ariz. 5 McDowell Sonoran Preserve M 16,000 Scottsdale, Ariz.

Is there a senior discount for Pennsylvania State parks? ›

Senior citizens, 62 years of age or older, can receive a discount on the base campsite fee at a Pennsylvania state park by showing proof of age. To receive the reduced price, a senior citizen must be the occupant and responsible party identified in the camping reservation.

How much is it to camp at a PA state park? ›

Campsite Amenities
​Site Amenities​Time Frame​Resident Price​
Multi-campsite​Per Night​$18.00
​Great Gathering Friends and Family: 2-unit Water and Sewer​Per Night​$26.00
​Great Gathering Friends and Family: 2-unit Electric​Per Night​$14.00
​Great Gathering Friends and Family: Multi-campsite​Per Night​$36.00
6 more rows

Can you have alcohol in Pennsylvania state parks? ›

Alcoholic Beverages are prohibited in all park locations except authorized unique houses and lodges as identified by the Bureau of State Parks. 8. Failure to abide by Pennsylvania State Park Rules and Regulations. 9.

How difficult is Ricketts Glen? ›

But what Ricketts Glen is most known for is the 22 named waterfalls found in the glens south of Lake Jean, with the largest of these waterfalls standing 94 feet tall.
...
Hiking the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Trail Length:3.2 miles
Hike Time:2 hours
Hike Type:Loop
Difficulty Rating:59
View Large Map Download Map (PDF)
4 more rows

How many waterfalls does Ricketts Glen have? ›

Featuring 21 official waterfalls (plus several bonus waterfalls when water levels are high), the Falls Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the best hikes in all of Pennsylvania, and, as the best hike in Ricketts Glen, is the main reason many visit the park.

Is Ricketts Glen free? ›

No. There is no fee.

What is the most visited state park in PA? ›

1. Presque Isle State Park, Erie – Home to Pennsylvania's only seashore, this 3,200-acre state park borders Lake Erie.

What is the largest state park in PA? ›

Almost everything about Pymatuning State Park is big. At 16,892 acres, it is one of the largest state parks in the commonwealth. The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is the largest lake in the commonwealth.

Is there a fee for Susquehanna state park? ›

Cost: Most of the park grounds are free. Fee for the Deer Park Picnic area: Maryland residents $2/car; out-of-state $4/car.

What famous park is in Pennsylvania? ›

While the Liberty Bell might not be the first thing you think of when you consider national parks, Pennsylvania's National Historical Park is one of the most popular in the state. The park is one of the top tourist attractions in Philadelphia and features more than a dozen buildings related to United States history.

Is Ricketts Glen state park crowded? ›

Driven by COVID-19 and social media, Pennsylvania's state parks, from Chester County's Marsh Creek to waterfall standout Ricketts Glen and beyond, have become so overcrowded on weekends that officials have taken the extraordinary step of asking people to go elsewhere.

Which state has the most state parks? ›

California has the most state parks in the country, with 270. There are a total of 3,729 state parks in the United States, with 11 states having more than 100 state parks each. Rhode Island comes in last with just 15 state parks.

What state has most national parks? ›

California has the most with nine, followed by Alaska with eight, Utah with five, and Colorado with four.

Are Pennsylvania state parks free? ›

There are no entrance fees or day use fees for any state park in Pennsylvania. Make online reservations anytime. Call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757) for state park information and reservations, 7:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday, except on the Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day holidays.

Is there a fee for Susquehanna state park? ›

Cost: Most of the park grounds are free. Fee for the Deer Park Picnic area: Maryland residents $2/car; out-of-state $4/car.

Is Beltzville state park free? ›

It's nice because it is free," said DiAngelis. But the free-for-all might not last. State Representative Doyle Heffley, (R) Carbon County, who's from Lehighton, tells us he received a petition with 2,000 signatures complaining about the crowded conditions at the park, especially on weekends.

How difficult is Ricketts Glen? ›

But what Ricketts Glen is most known for is the 22 named waterfalls found in the glens south of Lake Jean, with the largest of these waterfalls standing 94 feet tall.
...
Hiking the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Trail Length:3.2 miles
Hike Time:2 hours
Hike Type:Loop
Difficulty Rating:59
View Large Map Download Map (PDF)
4 more rows

How many waterfalls does Ricketts Glen have? ›

Featuring 21 official waterfalls (plus several bonus waterfalls when water levels are high), the Falls Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the best hikes in all of Pennsylvania, and, as the best hike in Ricketts Glen, is the main reason many visit the park.

Is Ricketts Glen free? ›

No. There is no fee.

What states have no state parks? ›

States without National Parks are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (see above,) Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

What is the least visited national park? ›

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska is the least-visited US national park.

What is the oldest state park in the US? ›

History. The title of oldest state park in the United States is claimed by Niagara Falls State Park in New York, established in 1885.

What 5 states have no national parks? ›

The list of states with no U.S. national park are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachuesetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

What is the most visited national park? ›

Top 10 national parks
  • Grand Canyon National Park: 4.53 million.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park: 4.43 million.
  • Acadia National Park: 4.06 million.
  • Grand Teton National Park: 3.88 million.
  • Yosemite National Park: 3.28 million.
  • Indiana Dunes National Park: 3.17 million.
  • Glacier National Park: 3.08 million.
16 Feb 2022

Which state doesn't have a national park? ›

Delaware is the only state in the country that does not have anational park, national monument, national historic site or anyother unit of the National Park Service.

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