We are the official nonprofit partner of your Pennsylvania State Parks & Forests

Pinchot State Forest
photo by Colin Xu

We are a Pennsylvania nonprofit organization working to provide a voice for our 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest land.

What is a Friends Group?

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Our Strategic Plan


A Look at Park & Forest Infrastructure

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Become a Member


Smartphone Apps for the Outdoors


Special Funding Initiatives

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Your Health in the Outdoors

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Explore PA’s Parks and Forests Needs Lists

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News & Events

Upcoming Events

Friends of Parker Dam: Winter Fest

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Friends of Cowans Gap

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Friends of Nockamixon

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Share your photos on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #PAParksAndForests

What does your next vacation look like? Well, there's no better time to start planning... Today is National Plan for Vacation Day!

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 78% of American travelers are in a ready-to-travel state of mind - among the highest levels since the start of the pandemic. Easing those burnout blues and getting a change of scenery is a lot closer than you might think! 🤗

Pennsylvania has 121 state parks and over 2.2 million acres of forest full of recreation opportunities and all kinds of vacation accommodations for you to enjoy. 🎉

❓Need help planning your next trip? PPFF's Explore Near Flyers will give you details about parks and forests all around the state! Simply click the link in our bio.

👉 Another option... Grab a PA State Parks and State Forests Passport and hit the trails! Full of information to guide you on your journey, Passports are available through PPFF's online store. Link in bio.

So use that vacation time. Get outdoors. And explore PA's parks and forests!

#2022goals #paparksandforests #nationalplanforvacationday #vacation #ExplorePA #GetOutdoorsPA

Pennsylvania’s parks and forests can help you improve your physical health!

Studies show that outdoor recreation can help improve the cardiovascular system, control blood pressure, and improve the respiratory system, among other benefits for human health and well-being.

Our state parks and forests provide a lot of opportunity for outdoor recreation and exercise. Hiking, running, biking, skiing, canoeing… just to name a few!

What are you waiting for? Get outdoors!

#2022goals #GetOutdoorsPA #paparksandforests #outdoorrecreation #goodforpa #healthylifestyle #healthandtheoutdoors

As you walk around PA's parks and forest this time of year, have you ever wondered why some trees, like this American beech, still have leaves?

While most deciduous trees lose all of their leaves in winter, a few don't. Learn about this phenomenon known as marcescence in a recent issue of "Forest Fridays" from the @PADCNR Bureau of Forestry. Link in our bio.

#PAtrees #PAlandscape #marcescence #marcescenceleaf #pafoliage #PAforests

This Valentine’s Day, show your love for PA’s parks and forests AND that special someone!

This exclusive Valentine’s Day offer includes a PPFF gift membership for your loved one and a PA State Parks and State Forests Passport. Full of useful information, the Passport can help guide your visits and be stamped along the way. Your valentine will also receive our Penn’s Stewards newsletters for a full year along with a letter acknowledging your gift to them.

Click the link in our bio to PPFF's online store to purchase. ❤️ Thank you!

Thank you for joining me today! I hope you will continue to follow along @thehikingsquirrel on all of my PA park and forest adventures. I have visited 98 of our state parks and am on a mission to see all 121!

Be sure to follow at @paparksandforests to stay up to date on need-to-know PA park and forest information and the wonderful work of PPFF's volunteer Friends Groups around the state. Sign up to receive PPFF's weekly e-blast, link in bio, and be sure to look for me while you're out and about enjoying the parks and forests of PA!

Until next time, please help take care of these special places for us all to enjoy! Thank you! - Mr. Nutters

#SquirrelAppreciationDay #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig

This stunning view was from my trip to Ohiopyle State Park last fall, my favorite time of year to visit there. When I need a break from gathering acorns, I like to admire the foliage. Parks and forests all over Pennsylvania offer spectacular scenery in any season! What's your favorite place to take in the view?

@thehikingsquirrel #SquirrelAppreciationDay #OhiopyleStatePark #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig #fallfoliage #PAlandscape

I ❤️ Trees. If you love our state tree as much as I do, you have to visit Cook Forest State Park! The old growth hemlocks in the Forest Cathedral are absolutely breathtaking. Here I am giving one a little hug.

@thehikingsquirrel #SquirrelAppreciationDay #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig #forestcathedral #oldgrowthtrees #patrees #hemlocktree

Hey, mushrooms aren't the only fun guys in the forest! 😜 See what I did there?

I discovered this colorful shelf fungus along the trail in Pinchot State Forest. It will eventually help this tree return to soil in the cycle of renewal. (Sometimes I like to take a nibble too.) Trees give so much to the other organisms in their environment, including habitat and nutrients.

What are you most thankful for that PA's parks and forests give to you?

@thehikingsquirrel #SquirrelAppreciationDay #PinchotStateForest #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig #shelffungus

Hooray for a snow day! I've been caching food away during the warmer months so I can play in the snow. Winter is always fun here at Worlds End State Park! And it's the perfect time to get outdoors and look for signs of my other animal friends. Have you spotted any wildlife tracks lately? 🐾

#WorldsEndStatePark #PAsnowday #WinterinPA #SquirrelAppreciationDay#getoutsideandplay #GetOutdoorsPA #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig #snowday

Have you ever seen a tree with a burl? Better yet, have you ever seen a hiking squirrel?!

Follow along with me today as I take over PPFF’s Insta to share with you photos from some of my PA park and forest visits and a few fun facts about trees!

I discovered this burl in Loyalsock State Forest. These unique growths result from injury that could've been caused by bacteria, a virus, fungi, or insect, and they add character to the trees in our parks and forests. Follow the link in our bio to the @USDAforestservice article to learn more about the biology of burls. They’re so highly prized that there are even burl bandits! I just like to stop, take a rest, and admire them.

#SquirrelAppreciationDay #LoyalsockStateForest #treeburl #feelinsquirrelly #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig

Feelin squirrelly? Join us tomorrow (Jan 21st) for Squirrel Appreciation Day as Mr. Nutters, aka @thehikingsquirrel, takes over our page and shares with us what he appreciates most about PA's parks and forests....the trees!

#SquirrelAppreciationDay #paparksandforests #squirrellife #squirrellove #feelinsquirrelly #PAtrees #squirrelsofinstagram #squirrelsofig

Do you have them all? Four beers have been released so far in the #StateParkSeries from @NewTrailBrewing. If you've tried em, send us a SELF-ADDRESSED, STAMPED ENVELOPE, let us know which stickers you’d like and we will send them to you for your PA State Parks and State Forests Passport! 🍻

❓Don't have a Passport? Click the link in our bio to get yours from PPFF's online store. Complete with descriptions and memorable features listed for each of PA's state parks and forests, this 135-page booklet includes need-to-know info to help you on your journey. Track your park and forest visits by having the Passport stamped along the way.

🙋🏽‍♀️ Looking for a challenge to kick off the new year?
Use your Passport to set personal goals and collect PPFF swag for your achievements! For example, visit 10 scenic views and vistas or 10 CCC parks, participate in 10 environmental education programs or paddle 10 streams and lakes and you will earn a “champion tag” to proudly display on your hiking pack. Or set your sites high 👀 and work towards completing the "Seen 'Em All Challenge" by visiting all 121 state parks and 20 state forests in PA! 🥾🥾

#paparksandforests #beerthatbenefits #PAbrewery #happyhiker #SeenEmAll #hikingchallenge #hikingadventures #GetOutdoorsPA #getoutsideandplay #explorePA

Today we honor Dr. King's life and legacy. His powerful words remind us that we are all connected, to each other and with the natural world all around us. #MLKday #MLKday2022

📸 Photo by Chuck Wagner taken at #KeystoneStatePark

Pennsylvania's state parks come in all shapes and sizes, each presenting its own unique opportunities for outdoor explorers.

PPFF's guest blogger @CRAwriter visited all 121 state parks, even the tiny ones. Find out why even those of only a few acres are definitely worth the visit in his latest post "What to Do and How to Enjoy PA's Tiny State Parks". Link in our bio!

👉 DYK which is the smallest state park in PA? Have you ever been there? Share with us for a 🌟CHANCE TO WIN🌟 a PPFF Wearable Checklist Bandana to take with you on all of your park and forest visits!

#Paparksandforests #getoutdoorspa #happyhiker #trailrunner #PAparks #outdooradventures #outsideeveryday #getoutsideandplay #getoutside

Winter in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests is full of outdoor recreation opportunities! From snowshoeing to skiing, tubing, ice skating, ice fishing and more, there is a lot of fun to be had! ⛷⛸🎣🏂⛺️🥾

❄️ But it is especially important to plan ahead before going outdoors this season because of harsher weather conditions.

❄️ You can find helpful tips on what to wear and pack in our bio with the “3 Tips to Stay Warm Outdoors in Winter” video and “Heading Outside This Winter? Pack These Essentials!” blog post.

☃️ Make a plan and prepare, then #getoutdoors and have some fun!

#knowbeforeyougo #recreateresponsibly #winterinpa #pasnowdays #getoutdoorspa #getoutside #getoutsideandplay

Interested in cross-country skiing but not sure where to start?

See our bio for a recording full of tips from @REI Experiences Instructor, Joe Triebsch.

#WinterInPA #crosscountryskiing #letitsnow #Getoutdoorspa #getoutsideandplay #pasnowdays

Snow is in the forecast for much of Pennsylvania tonight and tomorrow.

☃️ Do you have snow day plans? Let us know where you’ll be leaving tracks!

📸Photo by Jen Guisewite taken at #CookForestStatePark
@friendsofcookforest @cookforestconservancy

#pasnowdays #winterinpa #letitsnow #paparksandforests #getoutdoors #getoutdoorspa #getoutsideandplay

Woohoo 2022! We're so impressed by how many of you joined up with PPFF Friends Groups around the state to kick off the new year with a First Day Hike!

We hope you will keep up the momentum and set a goal of spending more time outdoors throughout the year. There are many health and wellness benefits that come along with time outdoors. Check out the video in our bio to learn more.

Cheers to many adventures in PA's parks and forests and a happy, healthy you in 2022! 🎉

#2022Goals #FirstDayHike #GetOutdoorsPA #Heathandtheoutdoors #WinterinPA

Do you know the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace for winter recreation? ❄️☃️

🗺️ Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
🏕️ Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
🗑️ Dispose of Waste Properly
📸 Take Only Photos, Leave What You Find
🔥 Minimize Campfire Impacts
🐻 Respect Wildlife
✌️ Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For the full article on winter Leave No Trace principles from @LeaveNoTrace, click the link in our bio.

#knowbeforeyougo #winteroutdoors #getoutdoorspa #pawinter #letitsnow #LeaveNoTrace #recreateresponsibly

📸Photo by Ted Massa taken at #LaurelRidgeStatePark.