River flowing through the woods

PA Parks Near Me: How to Plan Your Next Park Trip

With everyone staying closer to home, exploring parks near you can be the perfect quick getaway. Whether you’re simply visiting a new community park nearby or taking the weekend to do some exploring a little farther from home, there are lots of options when it comes to beautiful parks in Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in getting away to reset your mind and spirit from all the happenings this year, here are some tips to help you plan your next park trip.

Lodging

Check out popular lodging near the park you want to visit as you’ll need a proper home base to return to after all your exploring. Depending on your travel timeline, you may be able to score a great deal for colder weather in some of Pennsylvania’s spots where people visit more commonly during warmer weather. Keep in mind there are a lot of great vacation homes on Airbnb that may be available during your intended stay. Or, if you can be flexible in your travel, look for weekday deals!

Prepare for the Season

There are so many wonderful Pennsylvania parks to visit during fall and winter, but you want to make sure you’re prepared for what nature might throw at you. When you hit the trail, dress in layers so that you can adjust accordingly while you’re on your trek. Hitting the slopes? Bring appropriate cold-weather gear like boots and insulated coats. Just heading out for a casual hike? Be sure to pack clothing that will prepare you in case you should get stuck or lost.

Plan Your Route

Heading out across the state to a new park? Make it a photo-worthy trip! Plan your route to hit some scenic spots along the way. The most beautiful route may not always be the quickest so consider how much time you’re willing to spend checking out some more of Pennsylvania’s stunning landscape.

Bring Supplies

Make sure to pack anything you might need to both get you to where you’re going and serve you when you’re there. Save on food by either packing your own or making a plan to buy some when you arrive at your desired destination. Don’t forget your favorite road snacks and sustenance for the trails!

Consider Your Crew

Who are you bringing along on your adventure? Will you be traveling solo or bringing the entire family? Who you’re with may dictate what types of activities you’ll plan on your trip. Little ones may not be up for strenuous hikes and older family members may want to simply take in the scenery without much effort. Plan activities that will make everyone you’re traveling with happy so you can all make lasting memories together!

Be Safe

Safety has become second nature due to the ever-present threat of COVID-19. No matter what incredible park you’re preparing to explore, be sure that you pack masks, hand sanitizer, and any other safety equipment or accessories that might come in handy. Be smart about where you stop on your route and how you interact with others at your destination. Maintain social distance and wear a mask if you can’t. Additionally, understand the terrain you’re going to be working with and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Storms can creep up quickly and turn an otherwise exciting adventure into a dangerous one. Don’t assume you’ll have cell service in the park and be smart.

Whether you’re hitting the rapids at Ohiopyle State Park or stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park, be sure to get out and see what beautiful Pennsylvania has to offer!