Our Mission: To Inspire Stewardship of Pennsylvania’s State Parks and Forests

A Rainy Afternoon at the Overlook – Shikellamy State Park
Photo by Douglas Clifford

And into every life a little rain must fall, no? Even on a rainy afternoon, the Shik Overlook is pretty spectacular as photographer Doug Clifford discovered during a quick drive-by.


Pam Metzger, Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

News of Note

The public surveys that formed the basis of the 2020-2024 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan revealed a certain level of concern on the part of some women about venturing out in the outdoors alone. The latest guest blog on the PPFF News page is from REI Bedford’s Amanda Galvan, herself an experienced solo adventurer. Share it with one of your favorite female friends and let’s create a cohort of comfortably confident compatriots!

Meanwhile, the latest addition to our YouTube channel is a virtual visit to Pine Grove Furnace State Park, complete with a history tour by Andre Weltman, historian and chair of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace. If you can’t make one of Andre’s guided tour events, this might be the next best thing.

As noted last week, tomorrow is International Picnic Day and a state park is just about the perfect place to bring the family for dining al fresco. Check the news blog for a link to make a pavilion reservation and suggestions for making your picnic as environmentally friendly as it is family friendly.

Maybe you’ll take that picnic to Whipple Dam State Park where, don’t forget, the Friends are celebrating the return of the Whipple Dam Concert Series on Saturday night.

The Whipple Dam concerts were probably the first of the events our Friends began to share as the PPFF calendar is slowly repopulated. The Friends of Prince Gallitzin note that Apple Cider Festival is coming back in October; the Friends of Rothrock have a big volunteer day coming up June 26. Meetings are slowly returning as well; the Friends of Michaux will hold a quarterly meeting on June 22 at Camp Michaux. How do you find out about all this cool stuff? The PPFF Calendar of Events, of course!

The annual Juneteenth celebration in and around Point State Park this weekend (and beyond) takes on special significance in light of the official Juneteenth National Independence Day designation having passed the US Senate on unanimous consent and a nearly unanimous vote in the House of Representatives. The declaration, we might add, is two years after Pennsylvania had already made the same designation.

It’s been a long time coming but with delivery of the needed steel support beams the pieces are at last starting to fall into place (actually they will be carefully installed) for a new bridge along Laurel Run multi-use trail in the Gallitzin State Forest.

Action Alert

Word has come in that there is support from the leadership in the General Assembly for directing a portion of the state’s allocation of American Rescue Plan funds to state parks and forests infrastructure. This is wonderful news given that the $1 billion need is growing every day.

What we need, however, is you to weigh in with your state representative and senator. An action alert has been posted to the Take Action center of our website where you can click on our message, add a personal touch, and send it directly to the people in question.

Do this today!  The budget process is proceeding quickly and your input is important.

We also contacted the members of the Senate to urge them to vote “no” on the proposal to shift all decisions on Sunday hunting to the Game Commission. Visit the blog to read Marci’s letter to the Senators.

Pictures of the Week


As you may know, the lake at Gifford Pinchot State Park is presently refilling after some repair work. But there are other sights to see at the park as evidenced by this photo by Shannon Keefer, Wandering Out Yonder.

Wow! The Trempers took a week and knocked 11 parks off their to-do list bringing their total to an even 90. Here’s a great big sky and water vertical from Pymatuning State Park. Give the jigsaw version a click, too!

Here’s another snippet from a lovely vertical by Nicole Van Blarcom at Big Pocono State Park. Laurel is in bloom in many many places now.

This pond at S.B. Elliott State Park seems so remote, as if no one has ever been there. Matt Yingling has. Have you?

Calendar of Events

Events are definitely in full swing and it was hard to pick just one thing to highlight from each region for next weekend. So be sure to peruse the calendar in full.


Lake Watch.
Saturday, 6/26 – 9:00 AM.
Mount Pisgah State Park.


Night Lights.
Saturday, 6/26 – 8:00 PM
Codorus State Park.


Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Sunday, 6/26 – 10:00 AM.
Lackawanna State Park.


Vegetable Gardening with the Park Manager.
Saturday, 6/26 – 1:30 PM.
Yellow Creek State Park.

Don’t forget to bookmark the DCNR Calendar of Events and our PPFF calendar. A quick search in those places will keep you up to date on everything that’s coming up.

Where Are We This Week?

Green boxes are photos; red events or news.

Take Five for Trivia

Bigger – rough or smooth green snake? In fact, the rough green (which can be around 32 inches long) is slightly larger than its silky cousin (usually between 14 and 20 inches as a full-grown adult). But small and lovely as they are, smooth green snakes do not make good pets as they don’t tolerate frequent handling and prefer a grassy meadow-type habitat. So should you find one lounging in the sun as last week’s photo suggests, let it be. 

This week’s question is far from trivial in truth. Marci noted yet again on her way to Hills Creek State Park this week just how lucky we are in Pennsylvania to have free admission to our parks. She and Izzy Dog were able to stop and stretch their legs along the way, have a little picnic, and get back on the road rested and refreshed. So what’s your favorite park to just “stop by” when you’re traveling?

Enter each week to increase your chances of a fabulous prize at the end of the month when I’ll draw one entry from all correct answers received during the month.

In Closing


Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of PPFF may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling, toll-free within Pennsylvania, to 800.732.0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
704 Lisburn Road | Suite 102 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644


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