Check out this list of Pennsylvania state parks near Pittsburgh if you love visiting state parks!
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're exploring the wonderful trails of Pennsylvania! Pack out all trash, stay on trail, and leave it better than you found it. For more information, check out the seven principles of Leave No Trace.
State Parks in Pittsburgh
Point State Park
Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point State Park is an urban park at the confluence of the Monongahaela and Allegheny rivers. Featuring a tall fountain, this is a great place to take a lunchtime stroll if you’re visiting Pittsburgh. This is the state park to visit if you’re in Pittsburgh as it’s super close to almost anywhere in the city. I highly recommend seeing a sunset from this park!
Allegheny Island State Park
I’m not sure if this park is technically within Pittsburgh city limits, but since it’s located in the middle of the Allegheny River, I’m going to count it here. Allegheny Island is only accessible by boat, making it one of the most unique state parks in all of Pennsylvania. The 50-acre park consists of two islands and seven shoals in the Allegheny River. Since it’s only accessible by water, it’s one of the most underdeveloped state parks in Pennsylvania.
State Parks Near Pittsburgh – Under One Hour
Hillman State Park
Hillman is located just over thirty minutes west of Pittsburgh. The park offers over 34 miles of multi-use trails. This park is an active state game land – so plan your visit accordingly! One of the most unique features of Hillman is that it contains a radio controlled model airport.
Racoon Creek State Park
Raccoon Creek is about forty minutes west of Pittsburgh. The park has 27 miles of hiking-only trails and 11 miles of multi-use trails. It also features the 101-acre Raccoon Lake and a wildflower reserve that contains one of the most biodiverse and unique stands of wildflowers in Pennsylvania.
Forty minutes north of Pittsburgh, McConnells Mill is named after its namesake Mill. This park features a beautiful covered bridge that is great for pictures. It also offers multiple amazing waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. For more about visiting McConnells Mill State Park, click here!
Moraine State Park is the 3,225 acre Lake Arthur, with 42 miles of shoreline. The park offers boat launches for private boats, boat rentals, swimming areas, and beach areas. Despite being centered on water sports, Moraine also has a ton of great hiking including 17 miles of the North Country Trail.
Kooser is exactly one hour from downtown Pittsburgh. While this park is small, it’s beautiful in fall and winter. Hike around Kooser Lake, picnic near the stream, or fish in the park’s trout stocked waters.
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!
State Parks Near Pittsburgh – Under Two Hours
Home of the famous Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT), this park is about ninety minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. The LHHT is the park’s main attraction but the park is also popular for cross country skiiers as the park offers over 20 miles of trails and a cross country concession with a wood stove. For more about visiting Laurel Ridge, check out my guide here!
Yellow Creek State Park
Yellow Creek is just under ninety minutes east of Pittsburgh. Park goers can enjoy the beaches and picnic areas along the shore of Yellow Creek Lake. The lake is popular with boaters and fisherman and I saw TONS of people taking advantage of it on a beautiful summer day.
Oil creek is located one hour and fifty minutes north of Pittsburgh. If you like waterfalls and history, this is your park! The scenic Oil Creek runs through the park, having carved steep hillsides that are perfect for waterfalls. History buffs will love the historic train station and the park’s history as an oil boom town.
At one hour and fifty-five minutes, Cook Forest just hits the cutoff! Located in northwestern PA, Cook Forest State Park is an outdoor mecca. This park offers camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking! Cook Forest is known for its old growth forest and is my personal favorite state park in Pennsylvania. Learn more about my favorite sights in Cook Forest here!
Clear Creek State Park
Only 11 miles from Cook Forest, Clear Creek is another great park in northwestern PA. It clocks in as being one hour and fifty seven minutes away! The park offers camping, hiking, and fishing on the Clarion.
For more information on all of the Pennsylvania State Parks, visit the PA DNCR website for each park’s official recreation guide!
Looking for more hikes near Pittsburgh? Check out these the Best Hikes Near Pittsburgh and the Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh! Want more parks? Check out my list of all of the state parks I've visited with links to guides or visit the PA DCNR website to check out the list of all the Pennsylvania State Parks.
Post Updated February 20, 2023