List of Pennsylvania state forests
Beautiful Central PA State Forest!
Bald Eagle State Forest's beautiful mountain ridges, bubbling streams, and wooded hills stretch across five Pennsylvania counties and is nearly 200,000 acres large. The park gets its name from the famous Native American, Chief Bald Eagle. For nature lovers there is plenty to do here. Mountain biking and motorized ATV trails in PA run throughout Bald Eagle State Forest. The Mid State Trail, which runs through the forest, is a rugged 189-mile cross-country hiking trail for the heartier adventurers.
This woodland also houses several "Natural Areas" which have been set aside to protect specific animal or plant habitats from human intervention. Visit Rosencrans Bog Natural Area to see the wild cranberry plants, beautiful bright red Mountain Holly, and High-Bush Blueberry; or for more lofty views visit Tall Timbers Natural Area - over 600 acres covered in towering oak, white pine, hemlock, and hard pine trees.
Tree Lover's Paradise at this PA State Forest!
Stretching across 3 counties, Buchanan State Forest covers nearly 70,000 acres in southern Pennsylvania. A gorgeous spot for PA state forest camping if you are looking to really get back in touch with nature. With no modern amenities, camping in Buchanan State Forest is a real wilderness experience.
Nature lovers can enjoy spotting a huge variety of trees including hemlock, birch, red maple, and 5 varieties of oak. Hiking along the Mid State and Tuscarora Trails is one of the best ways to see these majestic trees. For a break from hiking stop for lunch at one of the four picnic areas which are equipped with grilles and toilets for the convenience of visitors.
If you enjoy sightseeing and photography there are many fascinating sites of historic significance located within the forest. Visit pre-Civil War cemeteries, a pre-revolution saltpeter mine, an aqueduct from the late 1800s and several abandoned railroad tunnels.
Awe-Inspiring Views and Great Hunting in PA!
Clear Creek State Forest is a wonderland of natural beauty all year round. Particularly noted for it's beautiful Autumn colors this woodland is home to a large variety of trees and shrubs. Float down the untamed Clarion River - great for a sightseeing boat ride or a relaxing fishing trip. Hunting is allowed throughout the forest with a few exceptions. Game including black bear, deer, turkey, grouse, and squirrels are in abundance.
For great views, climb to the Bear Town Rocks vista and see the Allegheny Plateau spread out before you. Located in the PA Wilds region, Clear Creek is also home to several DCNR state parks including Clear Creek State Park and Cook Forest State Park.
Western PA State Forests - A Haven of Natural Beauty!
This one and a half thousand acre forest is named after the famous Native American leader of the Seneca tribe - Chief Cornplanter.With well marked hiking trails dotted with benches, this PA forest is ideal for hikers looking for an easy and enjoyable experience. More difficult trails also exist for those looking for a challenge.
Within the forest, Anders Run Natural Area is home to a variety of gorgeous wild flowers as well as hemlock and pine which are hundreds of years old! Several geocaching locations exist within the forest. For cross country skiing in Pennsylvania Cornplanter State Forest is a great location, with over 6 miles of trails meandering through the peaceful forest.
State Forest Near New York and Philly!
Located in the Poconos, this mountainous forest is dotted with glacial ponds, rushing streams and fantastic waterfalls. Fishing and boating are favorite activities in this PA state forest named after the Delaware River which runs through it. Also a good place for winter activities Delaware State Forest has trails for snowmobiling, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.
Go for a hike on one of the many trails running through the woodlands. Developed by 4-H club members and the Bureau of Forestry, the Blooming Grove Hiking Trail's seven miles wind through meadows and swamps and are a great hike for those looking to enjoy different wild habitats. Thunder Swamp Trail System is a good choice for those looking to hike and camp. It has over twenty-five miles of trails which pass by swamps, mountain streams and many other natural features of the Pocono Plateau.
One of the Largest State Forests in Pennsylvania!
This large state forest is named for the animals which roam its nearly 200,000 acres. Several wild and natural areas have been preserved from human intervention and in the meadows and forest clearings lucky visitors can see the majestic wild elk for which the forest is named.
Whether you are a beginning or a seasoned hiker, you will find Elk State Forest a good choice for you. There are 17 featured trails of varying length and difficulty, and each one has unique views of nature and wildlife.With over 100 miles of Pennsylvania snowmobiling trails and 23 miles of trails for cross-country skiing, this state forest is wonderful for winter recreation. Other forest recreation includes 30 miles of equestrian trails, several camping sites, picnic areas and mountain biking trails.
Reach Unrivaled Heights in this PA State Forest!
For awe-inspiring vistas and amazing photography opportunities, Forbes State Forest is the place for you! High Point Overlook gives visitors a breathtaking view of High Point Lake, and the countryside surrounding. For a view like no other, High Point Observation Tower is the highest point in Pennsylvania at 3,213 feet and looks down the sides of Mt.Davis.
For the historically minded, Forbes State Forest is also home to Wharton Iron Furnace, a ruin that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, the remains of an old grist mill can be seen in the Quebec Run Wild Area. In addition to camping, hunting, fishing and hiking - mountain bikers can enjoy over 250 miles of trails in a wide range of difficulties and terrains.
One of the Best State Forests in PA!
Located on the Allegheny Front, this 24,000 acre forest stretches across four Pennsylvania counties. Large natural areas are great for wildlife photography and observation. For equestrians there are over 12 miles of trails that are open to horseback riding. Winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are available in this PA State Forest.
The several trails wind through a variety of scenery and habitats. A great place to take the younger members of the family, Bog Path Educational Trail is less than 2 miles and is a gentle walk featuring unique upland bog. Go independently, or with an interpretive guide to see the wildlife and swamp plants - use the observation platform for a look from a different perspective!
Great backpacking in PA!
With a name meaning "a place where the river forks" Lackawanna State Forest is located at the convergence of the Susquehanna and Lackawanna Rivers. This mountainous state forest has varied terrain perfect for hiking and outdoor adventures. A 26 mile trail that winds through forest and bog and is perfect for overnight backpacking or can be taken in short stints.
Kayak or canoe on the Lehigh River. Camp among majestic trees and fall asleep to the sound of nightbirds and crickets. Watch the wildlife in their natural habitat, including black bears, deer, grouse and wild turkey. Lackawanna State Forest attracts a huge amount of fishing and hunting enthusiasts each year. Come take advantage of the cold and warm water fishing and find species such as trout, bass, pickerel and crappie. Hunters and trappers who wish to hunt deer, turkey, grouse, squirrels, and rabbits will be pleased to find them in abundance.
Come View Mother Nature Undisturbed!
Spectacular overlooks and breathtaking vistas can be found in Loyalstock State Forest. Gorgeous any time of year the views are particularly beautiful in the early Summer months as the mountain laurels bloom, or in the Autumn as the vibrant colors of changing leaves paint the landscape.
If you're looking for good hiking in Pennsylvania and something that makes a great family day trip, choose from Loyalstock Trail, Jacoby Falls Trail or Old Logger's Trail. Visitors can hike along the trails to observe a myriad of crystal-like waterfalls. Listen to the peaceful rushing of the water as you picnic in the shadow of towering trees or wade in the shallow pools. Loyalstock has several natural areas that remain undeveloped to preserve them for both future and current generations to enjoy. Check out the Pennsylvania state forest map to see where each of these areas are.
Picturesque Home of PA Forestry!
Named for famous French botanist Andre Michaux who discovered several new species of plants in the 1700s, this state forest is considered Pennsylvania's "cradle of forestry" and is home of Mont Alto, Pennsylvania's first forestry school. With 37 miles of the Appalachian trail running through it, Michaux State Forest is ideal for hiking. Trails for mountain biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and ATV driving are also available in abundance.
If you fancy a scenic drive, Michaux has gravel roads that lead past many points of interest - ponds, lakes, trout streams, and scenic vistas will open before your eyes giving you an unrivaled view of natural beauty. For something a little different visit the South Mountain Golf Course which is located in the heart of this state forest. The 9 hole course is one of the most scenic in the area.
A Gem among Pennsylvania State Forests!
Deriving its name from a Native American word meaning "Moose stream" this state forest located in the PA Wilds region is a haven for wildlife of all types. Two wildlife viewing areas offer spectacular glimpses of a huge variety of song birds, deer, foxes, elk and many other types of mammals and reptiles.
Both warm and cold water fishing are available here and Moshannan State Forest is popular for in-season hunting of both large and small game including deer, turkey, rabbits, and black bear. Backpack camping is allowed throughout the forest.
Spectacular Views and Great Trails in PA!
Named after the the man known as the "father of forestry" in Pennsylvania, this nearly 100,000 acre forest is rich in wildlife and natural beauty. This beautiful example of Pennsylvania state forests has 8 natural and wild areas that have been specifically preserved from human interference. Visitors will want to be sure to visit some of the many vistas and scenic overlooks to fully appreciate the beauty in this forest. Not to be missed are the views from Indian Overlook, the crest of Terrace Mountain, and the Jo Hayes Vista atop Tussey Mountain.
Mid State Trail, a hiking trail that reaches from Maryland to New York, runs through Rothrock for 42 rugged miles. Serious hikers will enjoy the challenge this inter-state trail provides. The famed Standing Stone Trail also runs through part of the forest. Shorter, local Pennsylvania hiking trails are also available throughout the forest as well as mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
The Largest State Forest in Pennsylvania!
Covering over 475 square miles, this forest is unrivaled in size within PA. Valleys, creeks, and hills are scattered throughout this forest making it a challenging but fun place to hike in Pennsylvania. Donut Hole Trail, one of PA's most arduous backpacking trails is best tackled by experienced hikers. As an alternative the Chuck Keiper trail is less strenuous and runs through the Fish Dam Wild Area and the Burns Run Wild Area.
Ideal for fishing and boating, Sproul State Forest includes parts of the Susquehanna River and many of its tributary streams. A beautiful route for canoeing! Visitors can start from one of the many canoe access areas throughout the forest. With nearly 100 miles of motorized trails, Sproul State Forest is an ideal place for ATV trails in PA.
This PA Forest Offers Great Photo Ops!
Located in the PA Wilds region, Susquehannock is outstanding for its scope of wild animals and varied woodlands. Hikers of any experience level will find the trails in Susquehanna State Forest to be enjoyable and not difficult. The Sustainable Forestry Trail is well marked and provided with sixteen stations with informational signs so that hikers can learn more about forestry and timber harvesting.
Amateur photographers will joy in this haven of beauty. Many gorgeous vistas, the rushing headwaters of the Susquehanna and Allegheny Rivers, mountain views, indescribable fall colors and a wide range of wildlife are just a few of the things that will provide unforgettable photos. For winter sports lovers, Susquehannock has 40 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 250 miles of snowmobiling trails and a skiing facility!
Days in the Wild, Nights under the Stars!
Pine Creek, Lycoming Creek, Loyalsock Creek, and the Susquhanna river flow through Tiadaghton State Forest offering challenging fishing, and a courses ideal for both long and short canoeing trips. For a more leisurely activity come and view the autumn colors or watch the varied wildlife!
With four DCNR PA state parks nearby this is a great place to spend a weekend or camping vacation. Tiadaghton has many primitive camping sites for visitors wanting to get back in touch with nature. Hikers can enjoy Black Forest Trail and Pine Creek Rail Trail, two hiking trails that include abandoned railroad grades, logging trails and foot trails, taking hikers across some of the most spectacular scenery in Pennsylvania.
A Beautiful Wilderness in PA!
Several Wild and Natural areas have been designated by the PA Bureau of Forestry within Tioga. The Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area, referred to by some as the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" contains several plunging gorges, many picturesque vistas and a creek perfect for rafting and canoeing.
Hiking, camping, and picnicking are great family activities in this forest and many miles of trails are available for bicycling, mountain biking and horseback riding. The several state parks contained within Tioga also offer extra amenities for visitors including grills and pavilions for picnicking and environmental education courses.
One of the Best Places for Birdwatching in PA!
Home of the Golden Eagle Migration Project being conducted by researchers from West Virginia University - this state forest is a great place to watch for both Golden and Bald Eagles. Hoverter and Sholl Box Huckleberry Natural Area, one of the many natural areas in Tuscarora State Forest, is home to an ancient colony of box huckleberry (estimated at 1,300 years old). Visit to see this rare sight and walk the interpretive trail nearby. Another stop for history enthusiasts, the short Tunnel Trail leads to the ruins of two railroads and has an informational display case to help visitors learn about the railway.
For good hunting in PA, there is a 6,000 acre area with a prodigious amount of wild game - primarily deer and wild turkey - making this a popular destination of hunters everywhere. Trout fishing is also popular along the many creeks and streams that run throughout the forest.
Scenic Overlooks and Island Camping!
Nearly half of the famous 229 mile Appalachian Trail passes through the Weiser Forest District as well as over 30 miles of smaller trails. Hang gliding enthusiasts can make use of the launch area and vista located within the forest in Dauphin County. A great place for picnicking, Weiser has several picnic sites which include picnic tables, charcoal grills and drinking water.
The Sheets Island Archipelago, a series of river islands on the Susquehanna River, are open for camping at over 20 sites and water trails have been marked for those wishing to do canoe/camping trips. This Pennsylvania state forest is also open for mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing.
A Small Forest with Unique Landscapes!
Founded in 1935, this state forest is filled with plant species and habitats uncommon in Pennsylvania. Tidal mudflats, serpentine barrens, and wetland plants and animals rare in this region make William Penn State Forest a gem for wildlife and botany enthusiasts. Be sure to visit Goat Hill Public Wild Plant Sanctuary to view unusual threatened species of plant.
William Penn State Forest, named after the founder of the commonwealth, is popular for trapping, hunting and warm water fishing. Near Little Tinicum Island are prime opportunities for fur trapping and waterfowl hunting.