Home to over 19 national parks and over 3,434 places on the National Register of Historic Places, Pennsylvania plays tribute to the founding of America to over 10 million visitors per year. Visit Independence Hall where the United States Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted and then take a walk down Elfreth’s Alley, a historic street dating back to 1702. Wide stretches of forests and mountains also make the state a nature lover’s paradise. The list of parks in Pennsylvania encompasses over 283,000 acres in 121 state parks, multiple forests, and wildlife sanctuaries. Cook Forest State Park stands some of the last remaining old growth forests in Pennsylvania with trees reaching up to 200 feet into the sky.
Find a Park Near You
National Parks & Historic Sites
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
110 Federal Park Rd, Gallitzin, PA 16641
The first railroad to circumvent the Allegheny Mountains, the Allegheny Portage Railroad was the finishing piece of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. “The Portage,” opened in 1834, marking the first time that there was one, direct route between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All things to all people, it served merchants, passengers, slaves in pursuit of freedom, and soldiers from the Mexican War.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Various from Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV; one site is Sunfish Pond at Sunfish Pond, Leroy Township, PA 17724
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Various States VA, MD, DE, DC, PA, NY
Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!
Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV
NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd, Easton, PA 18042
Come journey through five Pennsylvania counties bursting with heritage and brimming with outdoor adventure. Follow the D&L Trail, a historic pathway marked with stories about hearty lumberjacks, coal miners, lock tenders, and railroaders. Explore the history of the Corridor at the National Canal Museum or along quiet canal paths, challenging bike trails and the rippling waters of the river.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
1978 River Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324
Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains; anglers wade the trout streams; hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot-deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
532 N 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Described as horrifying, mystifying, and brilliant, Poe’s writing has engaged readers all over the globe. The six years Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia were his happiest and most productive. Yet Poe also struggled with bad luck, personal demons, and his wife’s illness. In Poe’s humble home, reflect on the human spirit surmounting crushing obstacles, and celebrate Poe’s astonishing creativity.
Eisenhower National Historic Site
243 Eisenhower Farm Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much-needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.
First State National Historical Park
211 Delaware St, New Castle, DE 19720
Famous as the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was born out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley. From this beginning, the region developed a distinct character that tolerated diversity in religion and national origin and valued independence.
Flight 93 National Memorial
6424 Lincoln Highway 30, Stoystown, PA 15563
On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, the U.S. came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives. Because of the actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard one of the planes, Flight 93, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted.
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437
The battle at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening act of the French and Indian War. This war was a clash of British, French and American Indian cultures. It ended with the removal of French power from North America. The stage was set for the American Revolution.
Friendship Hill National Historic Site
223 New Geneva Road, Point Marion, PA 15474
Albert Gallatin is best remembered for his thirteen-year tenure as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In that time he reduced the national debt, purchased the Louisiana Territory and funded the Lewis & Clark exploration. Gallatin’s accomplishments and contributions are highlighted at Friendship Hill, his restored country estate.
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325
The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”, Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address”.
Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site
916 S Swanson St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Before Pennsylvania, there was New Sweden. Discover this last historic link to a forgotten past. Visit the church’s pastoral surroundings and its burial ground of patriots and ordinary citizens alike.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
2 Mark Bird Ln, Elverson, PA 19520
Hopewell Furnace showcases an early American industrial landscape from natural resource extraction to enlightened conservation. Operating from 1771-1883, Hopewell and other “iron plantations” laid the foundation for the transformation of the United States into an industrial giant. The park’s 848 acres and historic structures illustrate the business, technology, and lifestyle of our growing nation.
Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Goods, ideas, and people intermingled in early Philadelphia. In this diverse city, a new republic was born. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside Independence Hall. Nearby sits the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of liberty.
Johnstown Flood National Memorial
733 Lake Rd, South Fork, PA 15956
The South Fork dam failed on Friday, May 31, 1889, and unleashed 20,000,000 tons of water that devastated Johnstown, PA. The flood killed 2,209 people but it brought the nation and the world together to aid the “Johnstown sufferers.” The story of the Johnstown Flood reminds us all, “…that we must leave nothing undone for the preservation and protection of our brother men.”
Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River
PA, NJ; In Pennsylvania, follow PA-611 and PA-32 to drive along the river.
The largest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River runs past forests, farmlands, and villages, and it also links some of the most densely populated regions in America. In 2000, the National Wild and Scenic River System incorporated key segments of the lower Delaware River to form this unit of the National Park System.
North Country National Scenic Trail
Seven States-New York to North Dakota MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI; one site is Allegheny National Forest – North Country National Scenic Trail, Leeper, PA 16233
Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers that molded the landscape 10,000 years before. Experience clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, tall grass prairies, and distant horizons. From New York to North Dakota, you’re never far from a great outdoor adventure. Experience your America at a walking pace.
Oil Region National Heritage Area
Oil City, PA
Oil Region National Heritage Area in northwestern Pennsylvania tells of the world’s first successful commercial oil well and a legacy of petroleum that continues to shape industry, society, and politics. The Oil Region includes oil artifacts, scenic communities, farmlands and woodlands, and industrial landscapes, and offers visitors heritage attractions and four seasons of outdoor recreation.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
The corridor between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands, DC, MD, PA, VA; on location is Laurel Ridge State Park, 1117 Jim Mt Rd, Rockwood, PA 15557
Linking the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, the evolving Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network lies within a corridor rich in historic pathways and waterways. You can travel this historic corridor today—on foot, bicycle, and horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Plateau.
Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
623 E 8th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120
Situated in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area reveals how one region, in a sustained and thunderous blast of innovation, ambition, and fire, forever changed America and its place in the world. It is the story of the industrialists and the workers who pushed an infant industry to it ultimate limits and in doing so pushed the world into the Age of Steel.
Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area
140 College Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is the birthplace of the movements that shaped the nation, fueled its growth, and reclaimed its future. It was along the banks of this river and its tributaries that the American, Industrial, and Environmental Revolutions were born. Explore the stories, visit the places, and experience the region’s vitality by visiting the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
Steamtown National Historic Site
350 Cliff St, Scranton, PA 18503
You’d feel the heat from the firebox, smell hot steam and oil; you’d hear the whistle, feel the ground vibrate, and watch as one-ton drive rods turned steel wheels. Remember the sound of “chuff-chuff” from the smokestack? Today, you can learn the history of steam railroad transportation and the people who built, repaired and rode, as we work to preserve a special era in America’s industrial history!
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
301 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Visit the house where wounded Polish freedom fighter Thaddeus Kosciuszko lived and hear how this brilliant military engineer designed successful fortifications during the American Revolution. See the room where he received notable visitors such as Chief Little Turtle and Thomas Jefferson.
Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River
Pike and Wayne (PA) and Delaware, Orange and Sullivan (NY) counties along the Delaware River, NY,PA
Canoe through rapids and quiet pools as the Delaware River winds its way through a valley of swiftly changing scenery or fish amid rolling hills and riverfront villages in one of the finest fishing rivers in the northeastern United States. The clean water of Delaware, the last major undammed river in the eastern United States, supports a healthy ecosystem and offers tranquility and excitement.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The 3,500-acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands commemorate the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation. The park honors and celebrates the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC; one site is Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406
In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
For a list of more attractions and historical sites, go to Visit PA.
Plan Your Next Adventure
You must be logged in to post a comment.