A picnic in the park is always a good idea. Enjoy food, fellowship, and fun with friends and family at these Cumberland Valley locations. Whether you pack your own food or purchase takeout from a nearby restaurant, these parks provide open spaces, fresh air, and plenty of opportunities for the kids to explore.
Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch
This is a premier location for watching the fall raptor migration along the Kittatinny Ridge. Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal with one of the best views of Cumberland Valley.
Adams-Ricci Community Park
This park includes pavilions, picnic tables, hiking trails, and an impressive children’s playground. A farmers’ market is on-site (across the street) from 3 pm to 7 pm every Thursday from mid-May through mid-October. Stop by the market to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables to eat with your picnic dinner or buy some homemade baked goods to enjoy for dessert.
Middlesex Township Park
The park's 127 acres provide ample space for the family. During the summer months, little ones can cool off at the Splash Pad. Older teens and adults can enjoy a round of disc golf before settling down for a meal.
Negley Park is one of the most scenic locations in Cumberland Valley. Stop at the West Shore Farmers Market (open Friday & Saturday) for picnic food, then head to nearby Negley Park, set up your picnic blanket, and unwind with splendid views of the Harrisburg skyline and Susquehanna River.
Located in downtown Carlisle, LeTort Park is perfectly suited for family fun and an afternoon picnic. There is a large playground area and the spray pool keeps kids cool on warm summer days. Before or after your picnic, take a stroll along the LeTort Nature Trail. This quiet, tree-lined walking trail winds along LeTort Spring Run and is a great bird-watching location.
The lake, in the heart of Boiling Springs, provides a picture-perfect setting for a picnic. There are several benches and a gazebo, but no tables or pavilion, so plan accordingly. From the lake, you can stroll across the street to the historic Iron Furnace and follow the white blazes across the creek and into the woods as you walk along the Appalachian Trail.
Lower Allen Community Park
Lower Allen Community Park's 110 acres are filled with amenities for everyone to enjoy. Fish along the Yellow Breeches Creek or at the “catch and release” pond (from spring to late fall for children 12 and under only). The Field of Dreams playground, golf driving range, and nature trail round out some of the fun activities to enjoy before or after your picnic. As an added bonus, your dog can join in on the family fun at the Doggie Dugout Dog Park, which is free and open to the public.
Trails & Trees Environmental Center
Trails & Trees is close to downtown Mechanicsburg but allows visitors to escape into nature with picture-perfect views of four counties from its hilltop. With a forest, a meadow, a stream, several hiking trails, and a modern pavilion, settle in for a refreshing and relaxing afternoon or evening. Pick up seasonal produce and delicious home-baked goods at nearby Paulus Farm Market.
This unique treasure nestled in the middle of the Susquehanna River offers pavilions for picnics plus other family-friendly fun activities, including riding the mini-train and playing mini-golf. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal activities such as watching a minor league baseball game or taking a cruise along the Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat.
Dykeman Park is a 50-acre area that surrounds historic Dykeman Springs. The park has three different trails, each featuring different terrain and wildlife. There are also two ponds and several picnic tables. Pick up some treats from Art of Pie Cafe in downtown Shippensburg and enjoy a sweet and perfect ending to your picnic. (Photo credit: ShipSaves.com)
TIP: Picnic tables and pavilions are available at most locations; however, larger groups are encouraged to reserve a pavilion to ensure they have the necessary space. Contact the appropriate township office to rent a pavilion. If you feel more comfortable not using the facilities, you are welcome to bring your own lawn chairs and spread out a blanket.