Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced campsites will be available at an additional 16 state parks to accommodate fishing enthusiasts who want to stay overnight on April 2 for the new statewide trout opener the following day. A total of 34 parks throughout the state will provide camping at this time.
“We know how trout fishing and state park camping often go hand in hand and we are doing our best to facilitate these traditional recreational pursuits,” Dunn said. “This is a one-time extension reflecting pandemic-related changes to trout season’s opening day set forth by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.”
Dunn noted anglers will have more than 2,300 campsites from which to choose for the season opener. For the 2021 trout season, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties. Under this revised plan a single Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur Saturday, March 27, and a single Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place Saturday, April 3.
Campgrounds open for the first day of trout season (additional parks are denoted with an asterisk):
Caledonia, Franklin County; Chapman*, Warren County; Clear Creek*, Jefferson County; Colonel Denning, Cumberland County; Cowans Gap*, Fulton County; Fowlers Hollow*, Perry County; Frances Slocum, Luzerne County; French Creek, Berks County; Greenwood Furnace*, Huntingdon County; Hickory Run*, Carbon County; Hyner Run, Clinton County; Kettle Creek, Clinton County; Keystone, Westmoreland County; Kooser, Somerset County; Lackawanna*, Lackawanna County; Laurel Hill, Somerset County; Little Buffalo, Perry County; Little Pine, Lycoming County; Locust Lake, Schuylkill County; Lyman Run*, Potter County; Ohiopyle*, Fayette County; Ole Bull, Potter County; Parker Dam*, Clearfield County; Penn Roosevelt, Centre County; Pine Grove Furnace, Cumberland County; Promised Land*, Pike County; Raccoon Creek; Beaver County; R.B. Winter*, Union County; Reeds Gap*, Mifflin County; Ryerson Station, Greene County; Sinnemahoning,Cameron and Potter counties; Sizerville*, Potter County; Trough Creek*, Huntingdon County; and Worlds End*, Sullivan County.
DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks is offering a one-time waiver of the transfer or cancellation fees so customers can move reservations to the new statewide trout opening weekend. The waiver is being offered to customers who have a campsite reservation at the 17 campgrounds that are opening early and are scheduled to arrive on April 16 or 17 for the previously scheduled trout opener Saturday, April 17.
If customers are unable to change arrival dates to the new first day, they can either keep their existing reservations or cancel with no fee. Affected customers will have through Tuesday, March 30, to utilize this waiver. Sites will be available for transfers on a first-come first-serve basis by calling the call center toll-free: 888-PA-PARKS.
As a courtesy, the reservation call center will be contacting guests with reservations at the 17 campgrounds opening early that have arrival dates of April 16 and April 17. Instructions on processing their requests will be offered.
For more efficient service, new reservations can be made via the state parks reservation website and clicking on “Reservations.” Customers may also call 888-PA-PARKS, Mondays through Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
State park visitors are reminded out-of-state travel restrictions have been rescinded but precautionary COVID measures remain in effect. Masks must be worn:
- In park and forest offices;
- In any other indoor public space including restrooms;
- During both indoor and outdoor special events and gatherings; and
- Outdoors when visitors are unable to adequately social distance.
To help avoid exposure to COVID-19 and still enjoy the outdoors:
- Don’t hike or recreate in groups – go with those under the same roof, and adhere to social distancing (stay 6 feet apart);
- Take hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly;
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose;
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow and;
- If you are sick, stay home.
Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe by following these practices:
- Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads;
- Bring a bag and either carry out your trash or dispose of it properly;
- Clean up after pets; and
- Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, so you don’t require a trip to the emergency room.
Pennsylvania has 121 state parks and 20 forest districts, and all are open year-round.
Information about state parks and forests is available on the DCNR website.