Op-Ed: Enjoy State Parks in Carbon County this Spring

Pennsylvania’s state park system is one of our most valuable natural resources, offering a wide variety of recreational and educational opportunities for families and students each year. The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks was recently named the nation’s best state park system by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. This award is a testament to the state’s commitment to preserving and maintaining our public lands for everyone to enjoy.

In 2009, Pennsylvania was honored with the prestigious National Gold Medal Award, which is presented every two years to recognize state park systems based on long-range planning, resource management, citizen support systems, environmental stewardship, program and professional development and agency recognition. This significant achievement recognizes our Commonwealth’s vital role in protecting and promoting our abundant natural resources.

Pennsylvania is home to 120 state parks and three conservation areas on more than 300,000 acres of land. More than 35 million visitors enjoy our state parks each year. The parks offer programs and activities year-round, including a number of programs intended to educate our young people about the value of conservation and environmental stewardship. The DiscoverE program offers a series of outdoor programs for young people from ages 4 to 17 to educate and motivate children to learn more about our precious natural resources, teaching young people the skills they need to lead to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment. One of the most popular programs for visitors of all ages, Get Outdoors PA, also offers guided recreational activities, educational programs, workshops and volunteer opportunities to help introduce visitors to safe and fun activities in our state parks, forests and communities.

Carbon County features three state parks: Beltzville State Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park and Hickory Run State Park. These parks offer local residents a number of opportunities for free or low-cost entertainment, including picnicking, hiking, camping, biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, swimming and viewing our diverse and plentiful wildlife. We are fortunate to host some of the finest state parks in the world, and I would encourage Carbon County residents to learn more about our state parks by visiting the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ website for more information.



Contact: Jon Hopcraft
(717) 787-2637
(570) 773-0891

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