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Pennsylvania State Forest Districts

The state forest system comprises 2.2 million acres of forestland in 50 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties for you to use and enjoy. It supports a multitude of resources, uses, and values, including:

  • Water and air purification
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Aesthetic beauty
  • Plant and animal habitat
  • Economic benefits through the provision of wood products
  • Environmentally sound utilization of mineral resources

Pennsylvania is divided into 20 forest districts. Each district is responsible for protecting all forest land within the district from:

  • Fire
  • Destructive insects
  • Disease

Field operations in each forest district are supervised by a district forester and conducted by staff. The district staff promotes wild plant conservation and private forest land conservation and stewardship.

Forest district staff also provide for the protection, administration, and management of state forest lands within the district.

Recreation in State Forests

State forests provide unique opportunities for dispersed, low-density outdoor recreation that can be obtained only through large blocks of forest.

Forest recreation is one of the most common ways that people connect with and enjoy the state forest. The state forest system provides bountiful opportunities for citizens to recreate and enjoy the forest.

However, state forests cannot sustainably provide unlimited recreational opportunities. Recreational opportunities on state forest land are aimed at those forms of dispersed forest recreation that are not being provided by other land uses or ownerships and that are compatible with ecosystem management.

Find a state forest near you to see what recreation opportunities are available.

Access for People With Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.

DCNR permits persons with mobility disabilities to use powered mobility devices for purposes of accessing state forest land. In some instances, these areas are not otherwise open for motorized access by the general public.

Visitors with mobility disabilities may request permission to use a powered mobility device on state forest property and where on the property they may be permitted to use the device.

Permit application forms are available below and in forest district offices. Applications may be brought to any forest district office. Please see the policy below for additional information and application process.

Policy on Use of Powered Mobility Devices by Persons with Disabilities on State Park and State Forest Property (PDF)

Application for Permit to Use Mobility Device on DCNR Property (PDF)

If you need additional accommodations, please contact the forest district office that you plan to visit.

State Forest Management

Management of state forests is guided by Penn’s Woods, the bureau’s strategic plan, and the State Forest Resource Management Plan.

Annual Accomplishment Report

The bureau produces an annual report (PDF) that highlights key accomplishments of the preceding year.