Gifford Pinchot State Park

Gifford Pinchot State Park

Gifford Pinchot State Park, a 2,338-acre full service park, is in northern York County along PA 177 between the towns of Rossville and Lewisberry. The park consists of reverting farm fields and wooded hillsides with the 340-acre Pinchot Lake serving as a prime attraction.

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Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. The beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Free; fees apply for some services.

History

The park honors Governor Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946). Pinchot is credited as being the foremost American apostle of conservation. Appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as the first forester of the United States in 1898, Gifford Pinchot acted as the President’s “Chief Advisor” in the conservation movement. With the guidance of Roosevelt and Pinchot, over 200,000,000 acres of national forest came under scientific land management.

Activities

The ADA accessible Quaker Race Day Use Area is on the west side of the lake and the Conewago Day Use Area is on the east side of the lake. Picnic tables, charcoal grills, convenient parking lots, drinking water, modern restrooms and horseshoe pits are throughout the areas.

A large, ADA accessible beach in the Quaker Race Day Use Area is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules. Boat rental, picnic facilities, snack bar and children’s play area are near the swimming beach.

Boating: The 340-acre Pinchot Lake has three launch areas available 24 hours a day. There are 286 shoreline mooring and canoe rack spaces that may be rented from April 1st to November 1st.

Hunting and Firearms: About 1,780 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs from fall archery season through the end of the traditional winter seasons.

There are more than 18 miles of marked and maintained trails at Gifford Pinchot State Park. Hiking only trails are marked with yellow blazes.

The trails between the campground and the Conewago Day Use Area are for joint-use by hikers, cross-country skiers and bicycles. The Multipurpose Trail network consists of a 3.5-mile outer loop with a number of internal connectors.

There is also Horseback Riding and Disc Golfing.

There are 339 campsites at the southern end of the lake, providing one of the largest state park campgrounds in the Commonwealth. There are also cottages, yurts, and modern cabins available.

Winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, ice skating, and iceboating.

Environmental education programs are offered year-round.

Fishing with a Pennsylvania State Fishing License is available.

Facilities

Boat launches, picnic facilities and pavillions, camping areas, cottages, yurts and cabins, beach, snack bar, and children's play area.

Accessibility

The park office is a completely ADA accessible building.

Main image: Gifford Pinchot State Park
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