PA State Parks Near Pittsburgh

If you love visiting state parks, check out this guide to Pennsylvania State Parks near Pittsburgh!

This amazing waterfall is only 75 min from downtown Pittsburgh!
Table of Contents
- State Parks in Pittsburgh
- State Parks Under One Hour from Pittsburgh
- State Parks Under Two Hours from Pittsburgh
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.

State Parks in Pittsburgh

Point State Park

Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point State Park is an urban park at the confluence of the Monongahela 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!

The famous fountain at Point State 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.

Looking for more hikes near Pittsburgh? Check out these the Best Hikes Near Pittsburgh and the Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh!

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.

Raccoon 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 bio-diverse and unique stands of wildflowers in Pennsylvania.

Spring in the Raccoon Creek Wildflower Reserve

McConnells Mill State Park

Forty minutes north of Pittsburgh, McConnells Mill is named after its namesake historic Mill. This park features a beautiful covered bridge that is great for pictures. It also offers multiple amazing waterfalls and miles of hiking trails.

Love the ferns in McConnells Mill!

Moraine State Park

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.

moraine state park lake
Overlooking Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park

Kooser State Park

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

Laurel Ridge State Park

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 skiers as the park offers over 20 miles of trails and a cross country concession with a wood stove.

Ohiopyle State Park

The jewel of the Laurel Highlands, this park is located 75 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. This amazing park has a ton of outdoor activities – hiking, white water rafting, biking – as well as an adorable main street perfect for shopping and eating. Fall is my favorite time of year to visit, but it is truly a park that is wonderful in all seasons.

Fall in Ohiopyle
Can't get enough of the Laurel Highlands? Check out my guide to the Best Hikes in the Laurel Highlands!

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.

Yellow Creek is named for the yellow-ish sand on the bottom of the lake

Oil Creek State Park

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. This park is also an incredible spot for a backpacking trip on the Gerard trail and I can’t wait to go back.

Cook Forest State Park

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.

Visiting a waterfall on one of my favorite hikes in PA, located in Cook Forest

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. It’s also super close to Beartown Rocks, which is one of my favorite places in Western Pennsylvania.

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

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.

Where to Stay Near Pittsburgh

Looking for a place to stay near Pittsburgh as you visit all the state parks? Check out the map below with hotels and home rentals in Allegheny County. There’s something for every visitor!

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Post Updated July 3, 2024

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