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Get Outside and Enjoy NEPA’s State Forests image
Parks & Lakes
February 20, 2023
Get Outside and Enjoy NEPA’s State Forests

Explore Over 160,000 Acres of Forests, Streams, Waterfalls, Trails and More

Seven Tubs Recreation Area, Wilkes-Barre, PA


PA State Forests spread throughout 10 NEPA counties.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) manages 2.2 million acres of state forest land throughout 50 of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. And 10 of those counties are right here in our backyard. NEPA is home to 3 of the state’s 20 separate forest districts – Delaware State Forest, Pinchot State Forest and Weiser State Forest.

In NEPA, the state forest system spreads out over Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming Counties. The lands are both protected and utilized for recreation, proliferation of plant and animal life and habitat and responsible extraction of mineral resources. All PA state forests are considered “working” forests. The land and every one of its uses are managed by the Bureau of Forestry. The PA Game Commission and the PA Fish and Boat Commission regulate all hunting, fishing and boating recreation within the state forest system.


Seven Tubs Nature Area - Parks - Hiking - DiscoverNEPA
Seven Tubs Recreation Area, Wilkes-Barre, PA


Throughout state forests in NEPA, you can enjoy access to miles and miles of hiking, biking and multi-use trails. All of the forests also include rustic and motorized roadside campsites with parking, picnic tables and fire rings. The forests feature many lakes, streams and rivers with plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking and boating. During designated seasons, the forests also permit hunting for large and small game and a handful of winter recreation activities.

Most areas of the PA state forests in NEPA are open year-round. And many locations in the forests offer accessible parking and well-maintained forest roads. Whether you’re looking for that trail less travelled, the quiet calm of a dense forest or a pleasantly under-fished trout stream, you’ll find it all and more at these incredible PA state forests.


Delaware State Forest


Photo Courtesy of PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources


Discover the wild Pocono Mountains in Pike, Monroe and Carbon Counties.

Delaware State Forest covers nearly 85,000 acres located on NEPA’s eastern border. The forest includes a long, scenic stretch of the Delaware River and the famous Pocono Mountains. Along the many hiking and biking trails, you’ll find glacial lakes, wetlands teeming with life, dense, hardwood forests and waterfalls. You can even access over 28 miles of ATV trails and nearly 115 miles of snowmobile trails. The forest even connects to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. From horseback riding and kayaking to hunting, fishing and camping, there’s more than enough fun for all four seasons at Delaware State Forest.


Pinchot State Forest


Moon Lake Recreation Area, Hunlock Creek, PA


Over 50,000 acres of forest runs throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties.

Pinchot State Forest makes up nearly 50,000 acres throughout five counties. This popular forest features some of the most scenic areas in NEPA. It’s home to the Seven Tubs, Moon Lake and Manny Gordon Recreation Areas. The forest is primarily located within the Susquehanna and Lackawanna River valleys and includes nine tracts in addition to the separate recreation areas. You’ll find plenty of accessible trails and miles of forest roads leading to waterfalls, lakes and camping areas. If you’re in search of incredible nature views, opportunities for hunting, fishing and picnicking and more, head out to Pinchot State Forest.


Weiser State Forest


View from Blue Mountain, Weiser State Forest – Photo Courtesy of PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources


You’ll find 8 state forest tracts in Carbon, Columbia and Schuylkill Counties.

Discover roughly 30,000 acres of quiet, scenic recreation at Weiser State Forest. This district is located within the Appalachian Mountain ridge and valley region on NEPA’s southern border. The forest features access to plenty of hiking and biking trails by way of administrative and public roads and local highways. You’ll also find opportunities for both cold and warm water fishing and a wide variety of big and small game for hunting. The forest also permits primitive backpack camping along with several motorized roadside sites. Find peace and quiet in all four seasons at Weiser State Forest.


Featured Image (Top) Courtesy of PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources