Now that I’m back on the east coast, I sadly do not have access to as many national parks as I once did… I basically live in a national park desert. IT’S TERRIBLE. But really, I was very lucky to travel to so many national parks during my year in the west and I am missing them dearly, BUT Pennsylvania is not a waste land – there is plenty of beauty all over this little state.
Pretty rural landscapes, dense natural areas of forest, waterfalls and foliage and tons of other east-coast-type of oases. It’s hard to remember them when you’re away in the mountains, deserts, and western openness. But then you come back and it’s almost like this freshness in Pennsylvania you didn’t quite realize before. Anyway that’s what I went through, at least. And the best part of the variety – there are different landscapes all over the state.
So I decided while I can’t dive into many new national parks, I can start exploring my state parks. There are……..
121 Pennsylvania State Parks.
Okay PA!!! I SEE YOU!!!!!!!!
More on my mission for state park explorin’ later. For now, I want to share that I have a goal to see all 121 of them, because I am nuts, and here is my first post on 1/121 of these parks.
I traveled up to Ricketts Glen State Park on the actual perfect fall day that was October 20, 2017. I took off that Friday from work, woke up reasonably early, and drove myself 2 hours north into the Delaware Water Gap area of the state. I had been there once before on a blustery cold spring weekend, and had done this Falls Trails system hike. The trail stuck with me – it’s one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done on the east coast.
There are SEVENTEEN (17!!!!) waterfalls along this steep down and back up trail, which makes for an excited, difficult hike. And I had done it in mid spring last time, so I knew I would be even more blown away during peak fall foliage.
AND I WAAAAASSSSSSSSS. Ugh it was a great 3 hours or so. Hiked my booty off while listening to one of my favorite podcasts (and dumbly smiling to myself because of it), taking pictures, and basking in the crisp sunshine. I’ll tell you what, there is truly not many things I enjoy more than what I just described.
And a few from the drive home 🙂
Many more PA state parks to come!