Cumberland Valley is home to more than 130 local parks and 3 state parks that provide residents and visitors with hundreds of miles of scenic trails. So dust off the walking shoes, enjoy the warmer spring weather and celebrate National Take a Walk in the Park Day on March 30 with a leisurely stroll in one (or more) of our scenic parks. Get out of the house, clear your mind, lose track of time, and re-energize as you enjoy some uninterrupted time and perhaps find some pleasant surprises along the way.
Although facilities are closed at many parks and events have been canceled, the public still has access to trails, lakes, rivers, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as walking and hiking. Please be aware that the use of playground equipment at local parks is not allowed. As always, it is important to maintain proper social distancing while outside.
Here are some suggestions or head out to your own favorite location.
Choose from five different, easily-walkable trails. The Blue Loop is the longest at 1.25 miles and takes walkers around the perimeter of the park.
Talk a casual walk along Spring Meadows Trail, a 1.5-mile-long loop around the edge of the park. For a bit of an extra challenge, head off to explore the 1-mile-long Fielding Belt Trail which connects this park to the nearby South Middletown Township Park.
This quiet oasis near the heart of downtown Carlisle serves as the trailhead for the LeTort Spring Run Nature Trail, which offers an easy 2-mile hike along LeTort Spring Run. It is a great location for bird watching.
This park serves as a trailhead for the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, which provides a relatively flat 11-mile path that follows the abandoned Cumberland Valley Railroad corridor from Shippensburg to Newville.
While our three state parks provide plenty of opportunities for more vigorous hiking, those seeking a more leisurely pace can find a number of easy paths as well.
- The Pine Plantation Trail is a .6-mile loop at the entrance to the park. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature while walking on soft pine needles.
- The .6-mile Woodland Ecology Trail is a loop located near the Mansion at the top of the mountain. The mossy trail features interpretive signage about the surrounding forest.
- The 1.4-mile Mountain Creek Trail meanders through the forest and wetlands as it follows Mountain Creek between Laurel Lake and Fuller Lake.
- The Doubling Gap Trail offers a more moderate “walk” along a one-mile trail on level ground that begins and ends at Doubling Gap Lake. Take your time and stop to read the interpretive signage that explains the natural history found around a mountain stream.
Click here to find a complete list of parks to explore in Cumberland Valley.