Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania

While I attended my weaving class, Tom spent much of his days at Gifford Pinchot State Park.  The park is about 20 minutes from Red Stone Glen and has a lake and lots of hiking trails.  One day, after class, I joined him for a short hike around the lakeshore.

Gifford Pinchot State Park is 2,338 acres with cabins, a big campground, swimming, and boating.  Pinchot Lake, the centerpiece of the park, is a tranquil 340 acres.  Tom and I could have stayed here in the smaller RV but we didn’t think about it until Tom spent the day there.  Even though the campground has full hookup sites, the sites could not accommodate our big RV last year.

In addition to a large campground, people who stay at Gifford Pinchot State Park can rent cabins on the lakeshore or yurts.  Areas of the park are set aside for hunters and there are plenty of recreation opportunities.  Playgrounds, volleyball, a ball field, horseshoe pits, and an archery range are just some of the choices.  There are two disc golf courses and trail biking.  Only electric motors are allowed on the lake, so kayaks, canoes, and small sailboats dominate the water.  A large swimming area is open from mid May through mid September.

Hiking trails are certainly a highlight of the park.  There are 18 miles of trails ranging from the relatively flat lakeshore trail to the rocky ups and downs of the Pinchot trail.  I think Tom hiked most of the trails during his days in the park.  The Mason-Dixon Trail has 7 miles in the park.  This 200 mile trail runs through Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

But who was Gifford Pinchot?  Gifford Pinchot, born in 1865, was one of the founders of the conservation movement.  After graduating from Yale University, he went to France and became the first American trained in forestry.  Theodore Roosevelt named him Chief Forester of the United States Division of Forestry.  Under Pinchot’s leadership, and working closely with Roosevelt, 200 million acres of national forest came under scientific land management.  In 1922 Pinchot became the governor of Pennsylvania.  In 1930 he was elected to a second term as governor and set up work camps throughout the state that became models for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Pinchot died in 1946 and this state park was named after him in 1961.

Gifford Pinchot is a beautiful park in central Pennsylvania.  I am glad that Tom discovered it and that I had a chance to share it with him while we were in the area.