Rothrock’s State Parks

By: Bart Beck


Historic iron furnace located at Greenwood State Park.

One of Rothrock‘s greatest and most popular assets are its state parks. Within the borders of the 96,975 acre State Forest are four State Parks offering varying activities and amenities. Although these parks lie within the State Forest, they are managed by the Bureau of State Parks, another branch of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The state parks also have a greater focus on outdoor recreation and education, as stated in their mission statement:

The primary mission of Pennsylvania state parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Lofty mission as it is, Pennsylvania does an amazing job of meeting its goal. One of the ways it does this is through accessibility. No matter where you’re located in Pennsylvania, there’s at least one, if not more, State Park within a short drive. Pennsylvania’s State Parks have no admission fee as well, which sets them apart from many other state park systems in the country. This leaves little excuse for not getting out and enjoying the State Parks.

While exploring Rothrock State Forest, you should definitely check out one of its state parks: Greenwood Furnace, Penn-Roosevelt, Trough Creek, or Whipple Dam.

Greenwood Furnace

This 423 acre state park offers many opportunities, such as a 6 acre lake with swimming area and many historical sites and educational opportunities focused on the community that existed when the 19th century gave way to the 20th.

  • Camping: fifty campsites, hot showers, flush toilets, and electrical hookups at some sites

  • Environmental and historical education, including a historical iron works site

  • Hiking: Multiple hiking trails ranging from 0.5 miles to 2.75 miles and connecting to the 72 mile Standing Stone Trail

  • Hunting & fishing: lake stocked with trout

  • Orienteering

  • Picnicking: picnic tables, grills, reservable pavilions

  • Swimming: sand beach area

  • Visitor center & gift shop

  • Wildlife watching

  • XC skiing, Ice Skating, sledding


A rustic state park comprised of 41 acres that pays homage to President Roosevelt, the Civilian Conservation Corp, and all of the work they did in Rothrock State Forest. Off the beaten path and with fewer amenities, Penn-Roosevelt is the park you visit if you seek some seclusion.

  • Camping: rustic campsites, drinking water, non-flush toilets

  • Hiking: Pennyslvania’s Mid-State Trail passes through this park on its way from Maryland to New York, so this is a pass through for many backpackers

  • Horse riding

  • Hunting

  • Picnicking: picnic tables along with a reservable pavilion

  • Wildlife watching

Trough Creek


Trough Creek State Park map from the DCNR


Five-hundred-forty-one acres of state park with a focus on the Trough Creek Gorge that leads to Pennsylvania’s largest lake, Raystown. With rigorous trails and plenty of fish species, this area is a perfect getaway for any outdoorsman.

  • Biking: 3.5 miles of trails, also located near Alegrippis mountain bike trail system

  • Camping: twenty-nine campsites with electricity as well as a modern lodge

  • Picnicking: multiple picnic areas as well as reservable pavilions

Whipple Dam


Whipple Dam’s spillway


One of the closest State Parks to the State College area, this 256 acre park includes a 22 acre lake. With a swim area and plenty of space to picnic and play games, this park affords you a perfect getaway from the rigors of life in town or the heat of the valley.

More information about these state parks can be found at:


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