Pennsylvania's public lands have lots of water, and that means kids can have fun in the sun. Water-based activities are a great way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, but there are opportunities to enjoy H2O all year round.
Swimming in state parks
Many Pennsylvania state parks have lakes or pools for swimming. Splashing around in water is a great way to cool off on a hot day, and swimming laps is great exercise. Lakes and some pools are free, but some pools charge an admission fee. Dip your toe in over here for more information.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find swimming opportunities in a state park near you!
Whether you like to quietly row on a small lake or jet around with the wind streaming through your hair, there are a lot of opportunities to get on the water in Pennsylvania. There are different types of water craft activities, though:
- Canoeing and Kayaking – With an abundance of lakes, streams and rivers throughout Pennsylvania's public lands, there should be no surprise there's a multitude of canoeing and kayaking opportunities. Many parks with bodies of water provide access points for canoes and kayaks. Float over here for more information. State forests are a great place to experience a real outdoor adventure on the water. Paddle over here for more information on opportunities in Pa.'s forests.
- Motorboating – This is a popular activity on state park lakes. Motor over here for more information.
- Sailing – All Pennsylvania state parks that have lakes that permit boating can accommodate sailboats. For more information on where to sail, let the wind take you here.
Of course, proper use of personal floatation devices and other precautions must be in force for everyone to be safe and have fun. For more information on boating safety (and courses you can take), sail over to the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find boating opportunities in a state park near you!
For the more adventurous kids among us, many spots in Pennsylvania provide whitewater rapids for you to conquer. Bounce over here for more information.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find whitewater opportunities in a state park near you!
Pennsylvania state parks provide almost unlimited opportunities for fishing and boating fun. Pennsylvania has giant lakes like Pymatuning (17,000 acres) down to small ponds set aside for children and ADA accessible fishing only. Cast out to this page for more information about fishing in state parks.
Youngsters can also head deeper into the woods to go fishing in our state forests. Some of the best fishing to be found anywhere in the state can be found on state forest lands. From the sparkling cold headwater streams in the mountain regions where native brook trout thrive, to the lakes and ponds of the Pocono region, to the famous fly hatches on Penns Creek, fishing opportunities abound in almost all 20 state forests. Start here for more information on fishing in state forests.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find fishing opportunities in a state park near you!