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Picnicking in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests

Pennsylvania state parks and forests are the perfect place to hold your picnics, because of their scenic views and nearby recreation opportunities.

Whether it’s a picnic table for two or a large group of your friends and family, we have spaces to accommodate your needs.

Picnicking in State Parks

Nearly every Pennsylvania state park has facilities for picnicking. These areas usually have:

  • Picnic tables
  • Nearby restrooms
  • Drinking water
  • Receptacles for recycling and the disposal of trash

Some areas also have charcoal grills and nearby play areas and play fields.

If your picnicking plans include using a grill, we suggest that you bring one along just in case a grill is not available at the park. Many areas also provide facilities for the disposal of charcoal.

There's nearly always a picnic table waiting for you in a state park, and if you have a large group or family reunion, you can even reserve a picnic pavilion or picnic grove:

  • Pavilions -- Picnic pavilions are a great home base for a get together or family gathering. They provide shelter from the sun and weather, charcoal grills, and picnic tables. Some pavilions have electricity.
  • Groves -- If you have a large group, rent a picnic grove, which has ten picnic tables, grills, and lots of space. Additional tables are available for rent.

Reserve a Picnic Pavilion or Grove in a State Park

You can reserve at state park picnic pavilion or grove online or by calling 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), Monday through Saturday, 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Picnic pavilions and groves reservations can be made from 11 months in advance up to two days in advance. For reservations two days or less in advance, call the state park that you wish to visit.

Reservations can be made using:

  • MasterCard
  • VISA
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Personal, traveler’s, and cashier’s checks
  • Pennsylvania state parks gift card

To receive a confirmed reservation, full payment must be received by the Bureau of State Parks within ten days of making the reservation.

State Park Picnicking Rules and Regulations

When using state park picnic facilities, visitors are reminded that:

  • All trash must be disposed of in proper receptacles
  • Hot charcoal must be disposed of in the proper receptacles
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all Pennsylvania state parks
  • Posting of signs is prohibited without the prior permission of the park manager
  • Fire and charcoal may only be made in proper facilities

Picnicking in Pennsylvania State Forests

Picnicking is permitted anywhere on state forest land. Most state forests provide designated picnic areas with varying facilities and nearby recreation opportunities. Within our state forest system, there are 27 accessible picnic areas with:

  • Pavilions
  • Tables
  • Parking areas
  • Restrooms 

Please check each state forest district for available picnicking opportunities and facilities.

Designated picnic areas within state forests are available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, some facilities can be reserved. Please contact the forest district office if you would like to reserve a picnic area.