Some people hibernate during the winter.
Other folks celebrate winter!
If you fall into the latter group, here are 12 Pennsylvania state parks perfect for the winter weather lover in you!
Simply click on the blue text links to view directions and additional information about each state park mentioned.
1. McConnells Mill State Park
McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County is home to a number of outstanding winter attractions and activities.
Hell’s Hollow Falls is truly one of the prettiest winter waterfalls in western Pennsylvania.
Alpha Falls, located along a spur off the North County Trail, is the site of some impressive ice formations most winters.
2. Ohiopyle State Park
Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County is hands-down one of the best PA state parks for winter weather lovers!
The views from Baughman Rock Overlook are outstanding.
And in a normal, non-COVID year there is a Winterfest celebration held every February at Ohiopyle State Park.
3. Laurel Hill State Park
Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County is one of the many reasons why the Laurel Highlands region of PA is synonymous with exceptional winter recreational opportunities.
The Pump House Trail at Laurel Hill State Park leads to one of the most popular winter attractions there – Jones Mill Run Dam.
The Lake Trail takes you along the banks of the often-frozen Laurel Hill Lake.
4. Kinzua Bridge State Park
Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County is impressive in any season, but even more so in the winter.
Nature’s tornadic fury is on full display amidst the ruins of the Kinzua Viaduct, once the world’s tallest and longest railroad bridge.
5. Trough Creek State Park
Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County is a spectacular winter wonderland, as the steep Trough Creek Gorge traps the cold air between its walls, allowing Nature to work its magic.
Copperas Rocks along Great Trough Creek are home to dazzling icicles than hang precariously from the mountainside.
The Suspension Bridge along the Balanced Rock Trail offers an elevated (and bouncy!) view of Great Trough Creek and the ice flows upon it.
6. Black Moshannon State Park
Black Moshannon State Park in Centre County is dominated by the large lake at its center, a popular spot for photography and ice fishing in the winter.
Don’t be surprised to see folks playing hockey on the frozen lake surface as well.
Even when other areas in Centre County have no snow, Black Moshannon State Park seems to always have plenty to go around!
7. Little Pine State Park
Little Pine State Park in Lycoming County is home to one of the prettiest roadside winter vistas in central Pennsylvania.
The Lake Shore Trail takes you on a snowy journey across the dam and around Little Pine Lake.
The beach at Little Pine State Park lies dormant under a blanket of ice and snow, but what a breathtaking view!
8. Bald Eagle State Park
Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County is home to the 1,730-acre Sayers Lake, which becomes a popular ice fishing destination when the temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period of time.
The picturesque sight of hundreds of acres of flat, frozen lake surface is rewarding even for those who to prefer to gaze upon it from the shore.
9. Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County offers many gratifying scenes for winter sight seekers.
Aside from the iconic spillway and dam on Greenwood Lake, the namesake Greenwood Furnace looms even larger when surrounded by a blanket of snow.
And while the water at Greenwood Lake is always a bit on the chilly side, even in the summer, it’s positively frigid in the winter!
10. Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Dam State Park in Huntingdon County is a tranquil winter setting for those seeking a quiet hike along a pristine mountain stream.
The winter scenery at Whipple Dam State Park is superb, conjuring up images of times long past.
The recently repaired and refilled Whipple Lake is a welcome sight to all of us who enjoy spending winter days at the park.
11. RB Winter State Park
The centerpiece of the park is Halfway Lake, which is often covered by several inches of ice in the winter.
In the winter, snowballs replace sandcastles on the beach at RB Winter State Park.
12. Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park, one of the most well-known state parks in Pennsylvania, is also one of the most spectacular in the winter.
For those with the proper gear and experience, the world-famous Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen is a challenging (and icy) hike to the famous waterfalls along Kitchen Creek.
Adams Falls along the Evergreen Trail is a much easier winter destination to reach at Ricketts Glen State Park, lying just below Route 118.
Whether you’re an experienced ice hiker or a casual day hiker, Ricketts Glen State Park is a gorgeous winter destination.
So there you have it – 12 of the best Pennsylvania state parks for winter weather lovers!
Don’t hibernate this winter – celebrate winter’s majesty at these 12 superb Pennsylvania’s state parks!
And if you just CAN’T bring yourself to embrace the winter, perhaps you’d enjoy a photographic tour of 15 of Pennsylvania’s best state parks for fall foliage lovers!
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