PENNSYLVANIA, USA — To ensure proper social distancing when visiting state parks, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources has issued an overcrowding alert.
According to the Department's website, a number of state parks and forest recreation areas are seeing significant crowding during the weekends.
In fact, the website says some parks have even had to turn away visitors to ensure proper social distancing measures are being taken amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
State parks that are reaching capacity, and experiencing unsafe overcrowding and/or turning away visitors include:
- Beltzville -- most overcrowding, visitors should consider Tuscarora, Tobyhanna, and Gouldsboro State Parks for swimming and picnicking alternatives
- Marsh Creek
- Presque Isle
- Ricketts Glen
- Washington Crossing
State forests areas that are reaching capacity and turning away visitors include:
Seven Tubs Recreation Area in Pinchot State Forest -- most overcrowding, visitors should consider:
Pinchot Trail -- Pine Hill Vista (PDF) -- From the primary Pinchot Trailhead along Bear Lake Road, a 4-mile loop or 1-mile out-out-and-back hike can be made to the Pine Hill Observation Deck overlooking the Pocono Plateau.
Black Diamond Trail -- This long-distance rail trail can be accessed on PA437 and provides an opportunity for a leisurely walk or scenic bike ride. Visitors will pass several wetlands and scrub oak habitats.
Rock Run in Loyalsock State Forest -- visitors should consider:
Cherry Ridge Trail -- Located a few miles from the Rock Run Valley, this 5.7 blue-blazed trail provides an easy walk over rolling terrain. Visitors will see typical northern hardwood forests and cross several small streams. This trail can also connect to the Old Loggers Path and other unmarked trails for the adventurous hiker to explore. The trailhead is located at the intersection of Krimm Road and Ellenton Ridge Road.
Hawkeye Ski Trail -- This 7.2 mile shared-use trail covers a variety of terrain and even brings forest visitors into the headwaters of the beloved Rock Run. A short jaunt from the intersection with Sharp Shinned Trail will allow hikers an opportunity to wade in its ever-cool waters. The trailhead is along the paved Ellenton Mountain Road near the “Devil’s Elbow.”
Old Loggers Path (PDF) -- A multitude of short hikes and loops can be made throughout the 27-mile Old Loggers Path circuit. A small parking area along Yellow Dog Road provides access to a quick out-and-back hike to a vista overlooking the Rock Run Valley. A longer loop can be made using the historic Ellenton Grade.
To learn more about Pennsylvania's State Parks, you can visit this link here.