Spring is the perfect time to explore Cumberland Valley. With warm days and cool nights, the weather is ideal for a combination of indoor and outdoor fun. Your Cumberland Valley adventure doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some suggestions that are big on experience and low on cost. 

Williams Grove Steam Engine Show

1. Attend An Event

Cumberland Valley is bursting with special events and festivals. Many events are free to enter, while others may charge a nominal fee. Here are some highlights for spring 2024:

Appalachian Trail

2. Take A Hike

If you have a backpack, sturdy shoes, and a water bottle, you're ready to hike in Cumberland Valley! Our trails vary in length and difficulty, making it easy to find a hike suited for you. Plus, parking and entrance are free at all hiking locations in the Valley.

Man and woman backpacking along the Appalachian Trail

3. Camping & Backpacking

Cumberland Valley is a beautiful natural location with abundant and easily accessible outdoor recreation opportunities. Outdoorsy travelers enjoy the wide-open spaces away from the crowds. Click here for some suggestions to help you plan a backpacking and camping adventure in Cumberland Valley. Not ready to plan your own excursion into the wild? Cumberland Valley has award-winning campgrounds and RV parks that offer a number of amenities while still allowing you to unplug and escape. Regardless of where you stay, you are never too far away from a post-camping visit to experience our charming downtowns.

Ladies walking beside Mural in New Cumberland

4. Curate Your Instagram

The Cumberland Valley Photo Trail is a collection of public art, historic landmarks, and beautiful natural backdrops perfect for your next Insta post. Take a photo of the fam, yourself, or the scenery, and fill your camera roll with Cumberland Valley memories.

Yellow Breeches-53

5. Fishing

Pennsylvania's statewide opening day for Trout Season in 2024 is Saturday, April 6. Cumberland Valley offers three of the world's most popular fly-fishing destinations: the scenic LeTort Spring RunYellow Breeches Creek, and Big Spring Creek Greenway. View the Top 10 Fishing Locations for a great overview of your choices.

2024 Fish-for-Free Days are May 26 and July 4. No fishing license is needed to fish on either of these days. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of fishing. Pine Grove Furnace State Park also participates in the Fishing Tackle Loaner program. Borrow free fishing gear the same way you’d borrow a book from a library! They loan out rods, reels and a tackle box full of hooks and other tackle for anyone to use! Just complete a form to borrow gear and then head out fishing! When your fishing adventure is complete, return the equipment to the loaner site. (First-come, first-serve basis.)

*Please be sure to abide by the laws for fishing registration and catch-and-release streams. Find more information.

See the PA Fish & Boat Commission stocking schedule for Cumberland Valley. Non-resident day rates.

Bird on branch

6. Bird Watching

Cumberland Valley is bird watching paradise spring is the perfect time to begin your birding journey. With the spring migration in full swing, you can catch a glimpse of a spectacular array of bird species populating the forests, mountains, and valleys of this region of south-central Pennsylvania. Warblers, phoebes, wrens, orioles, other songbirds, and raptors are all a possibility. Check out our Top 10 Birdwatching Hotspots or see suggestions for a half-day or full-day of exploring.

Appalachian Trail Museum-33

7. Uncover Local History

Cumberland Valley served as the Great Road West, and the people that traveled through left their mark on the Valley through their interests. Find a quirky and unexpected blend of by-donation museums covering the Appalachian Trail, Cumberland Valley Railroad, Roll Royce & Bentley motor cars, fashion through the ages, fly fishing, and more. Or, download a free self-guided tour and explore our communities by foot or car.

Or, enjoy a combination of the outdoors and history at several stops throughout the Valley. The13-mile Cumberland Valley Rail Trail features markers depicting agricultural and Civil War heritage while the 2-mile LeTort Spring Nature Trail has a number of markers depicting the stream's impact on Carlisle's development, industry, and quality of life. And, the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center is a not-to-be-missed, free location offering an indoor museum with interactive exhibits and a one-mile, outdoor trail featuring full-sized exhibits.

Carlisle Events' Spring Carlisle & Auction

8. Car Shows

Spring marks the beginning of car show season at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. In 2024, Spring Carlisle Collector Car Flea Market, Corral & Auction will take place from April 17-21, and Carlisle Import & Performance will occur on May 10 & 11. As with all car shows by Carlisle Events, kids 12 and under are admitted free. Click here to see the car show schedule for the entire 2024 season.

Easter Bunny & Eggs Generic

9. Celebrate Easter in the Cumberland Valley

In 2024, Easter falls on March 31, and there are plenty of activities and events to help you celebrate, including cooking classes, visits with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts, and Easter projects for the kids. Click here for a list of fun things to do in the weeks leading up to Easter.

Family Playing Mini Golf At The Carlisle Sports Emporium

10. Old-Fashioned Fun

Grab your friends and family and enjoy some old-fashioned fun. If the weather cooperates, enjoy some friendly competition with a round of mini-golf. Find courses at Rich Valley Golf, the Carlisle Sports Emporium, and City Island. Or, for a new adventure, try one of the Valley's 10 Disc Golf courses.

If it's too cold or rainy, plan a fun evening of bowling at Midway Bowling or Trindle Bowl.