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Walk in a Winter Wonderland in the Wilderness of Parker Dam State Park

Find your own Walden pond this winter, or simply more of your rugged side, in the beautiful wilderness of Parker Dam State Park. Whether walking, hiking, or skiing, this vast, nearly one-thousand-acre park can provide thrilling glimpses of native wildlife—including beaver, white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, and even Pennsylvania’s mysterious elk. The park, which is encircled by the even more expansive Moshannon State forest, offers miles of untapped wilderness to explore, as well as a picturesque lake, charming cabins, and a boardwalk from which to access better views of the lake and surrounding forest.

The park is a lesson on the resilience and grandeur of nature, having survived both the ravages of the logging industry in the mid-19th century and an EF5 tornado that destroyed 69 miles of forest in 1985. Instructive on the tides of history as well as the spectacle of nature, visitors can see firsthand lands revitalized by the Civilian Conservation Corps, who aided in the reforestation effort as well as constructed roads, bridges, and facilities at the park. The on-site Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, replica logging displays, and preserved heavy machinery allow for visitors to get up-close views of this cross section of history. Please note that the CCC Museum is only open during the summer months or for groups by appointment.

For those eager to experience rather than be educated, the park offers four cross-country skiing trails and hosts Learn to Cross Country Ski programs for the entire family. Consult the Events Calendar to participate in this program, in which you’ll be provided with techniques, tips, and equipment for your next outdoor expedition at Parker Dam State Park. If you plan to visit when the park is the proverbial winter wonderland, be sure to also check the Winter Report to see if weather might impact your plans.

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