PA State Parks near Lancaster

Check out this list of state parks near Lancaster if you love visiting Pennsylvania State Parks!

Visiting Marsh Creek State Park in April is a little cold for a picnic!

Lancaster, PA has seven amazing state parks nearby. From forests to lakes, to scenic vistas, these parks have it all. If you live or are visiting the area, check out these incredible state parks near Lancaster.

As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Samuel S. Lewis is a small state park twenty-five minutes west of Lancaster, PA. The park may be small, but offers visitors two miles of hiking trails as well as picnic areas and disc golf. The main focus of the park is Mt. Pisgah, an 885-foot-high ridge that is deal for both star gazing and kite flying. For more information on the park, visit the PA DCNR website here.

French Creek State Park

Located forty-five minutes from Lancaster, French Creek State Park spans both Chester County and Berks County, PA. The park has two lakes, Scott’s Run and Hopewell. This state park is a GREAT one for hiking as it offers thirty-five miles of hiking trails.The park is located in Hopewell Big Woods, which is the largest contiguous forest in southern PA. For more details on visiting, check out my guide to French Creek State Park.

Hopewell Lake loop is an awesome hike in French Creek that circumnavigates the lake

Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center

Nolde Forest is located just under forty minutes northeast of Lancaster, PA. There are ten miles of trails in Nolde Forest which provide access to ponds, streams, and diverse habitats. The park has multiple teaching stations for outdoor education. For more information and to attend an event in the park, visit the PA DNCR park page.

Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot is located about forty-five minutes from Lancaster, in northern York County. The main focus of the park is the 340-acre Pinchot Lake, which features a designated swimming area, boat rentals, and bass fishing. There are over 290 campsites in the park including cabins and yurts. The park also has two 18 hole disc golf courses and the 193-mile Mason Dixon trail passes through the park. For more info on the park, click here for the PA DCNR website here.

Want more parks? Check out my list of all of the state parks I've visited with links to guides or check out the below posts for state parks near you!
  -  State Parks Near State College
  -  State Parks Near Pittsburgh
  -  State Parks Near Philadelphia
  -  State Parks Near Harrisburg

Memorial Lake

Memorial Lake State Park is located on 231 acres at the base of Blue Mountain, less than an hour from Lancaster. The park features the 85-acre Memorial Lake, which is great for fishing and boating (electric motors only). Boat rentals for kayaks, canoes, and rowboats are offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are two miles of hiking trails. For more information, visit the PA DCNR website

Marsh Creek State Park

Marsh Creek State Park is a 1,785-acre park in northern Chester County, PA. The park contains the Marsh Creek Lake, where park-goers can fish, sail, and enjoy birdwatching. This park is about an hour from both Philadelphia and Lancaster. For more information and to find a trail, check out my guide to the state park here.

A cold morning in Marsh Creek State Park

Susquehannock State Park

Susquehannock State Park is located on a wooded plateau overlooking the Susquehanna River in southern Lancaster County. It’s further from Philadelphia than the other parks on this list, clocking in at ninety minutes to two hours from Center City. The park offers multiple scenic overlooks and over five miles of hiking trails. For more info, check out the state park website here.

Planning to do some day hiking in the Pennsylvania State Parks but not sure what to take with you? Check out my list of Ten Day Hiking Essentials! 

Looking to get gear on a budget? Check out tips for getting hiking gear without breaking the bank!

For more information on all of the Pennsylvania State Parks, visit the PA DNCR website for each park’s official recreation guide!

Post updated August 13, 2023

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