PA State Parks near Philadelphia

Looking to escape the city? Check out this list of state parks near Philadelphia if you love visiting Pennsylvania State Parks!

A beautiful fall day at French Creek State Park
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.

Note: Distance estimates are based on Google Maps estimates for a Saturday morning drive, which is my typical hiking time. If you are traveling during rush hour or at other times, estimates may be longer. I lived in Philadelphia for six years and I can tell you that Philadelphia traffic is no joke!

State Parks in Philadelphia

Benjamin Rush State Park

Benjamin Rush is the only state park within Philadelphia city boundary. From Center City, this park is about a 20-30 minute drive in the north east corner of the city. The park offers multi-use trails and is popular with hikers, bikers, and bird watchers. For more about the park, check out the PA DCNR website.

State Parks Near Philadelphia – Under One Hour

Evansburg State Park

Evansburg State Park was originally home to Mennonites, settled as part of William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” to escape religious persecution. Evidence of their settlement still remains in the park in the form of an old mill and surrounding structures. The park is located in south-central Montgomery county, approximately 45 minutes from Philadelphia. It is one of two state parks with a golf course. For more information, visit the PA DCNR site.

Fort Washington State Park

Fort Washington State park is named after the temporary fort built by George Washington’s troops in the fall of 1777, before heading to Valley Forge. The park is located in eastern Montgomery County and is 30-45 minutes from Center City, Philadelphia. Fort Washington has four miles of hiking trails and also has a hawk observation deck, for visitors to observe all 16 species of raptor that migrate on the east coast. For more information, visit the PA DCNR site.

Ridley Creek State Park

Ridley Creek covers over 2,600-acres in Delaware County, PA. The park is bisected by its namesake, Ridley Creek. It’s only 16 miles away from Center City, Philadelphia, meaning it takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get to. The park is named after the creek that bisects it. This park can be busy at peak times. Check out trail options in my guide to Ridley Creek State Park!

Walking over a footbridge in Ridley Creek

Neshaminy State Park

Neshaminy is located along the Delaware River in Bucks county and is 25 to 35 minutes from Center City. The park offers over four miles of hiking trails as well as a swimming pool during the summer. For more information about visiting, check out 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.

Visiting Marsh Creek State Park

Tyler State Park

Located 33 miles (or 45 minutes to an hour) from Center City Philadelphia, Tyler State Park is located in Bucks County. The park is great for hiking with almost 27 miles of hiking trails and also offers disc golf, boat rentals, and fishing. For more details on visiting Tyler State Park, visit the PA DCNR site here!

Want more parks? Check out my list of all of the state parks I've visited with links to guides or check out my comprehensive list of all the PA State Parks by region.

State Parks Near Philadelphia – Under Two Hours

French Creek State Park

This state park is a GREAT one for hiking as it offers thirty-five miles of hiking trails. Amazing for a park ninety minutes away from Center City, Philadelphia! French Creek State Park spans both Chester County and Berks County, PA and is home to two lakes, Scott’s Run and Hopewell. 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.

French Creek State Park in the fall is beautiful

Nockamixon State Park

The over 5,000-acre Nockamixon State Park is located in Bucks county and is about ninety minutes from Philadelphia. Popular park activities are picnicking, swimming in the pool, hiking, biking, playing disc golf, hunting, fishing, and boating.For more information, visit the state park page. Note that Ralph Stover state park is located very close to Nockamixon if you want to visit two in one day!

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 November 13, 2023.

Leave a Comment