Outdoor enthusiasts have a new reason to enjoy beaches and swimming areas in Pennsylvania State Parks. Effective May 1, 2015, a pilot program prohibits smoking on the beaches and swimming areas of the newly designated state parks.
After a successful two-year operation of a pilot smoke-free beach and swimming area at one Pennsylvania State Park, the PA Bureau of State Parks has expanded the program to several other parks across the Commonwealth. Effective May 1, 2015, the pilot program prohibits smoking on the beaches and swimming areas of the newly designated state parks. For visitors who smoke and still want to use these beaches, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes or other handheld lighted smoking devices. The pilot program received positive customer feedback for the improved air quality and the reduction of cigarette butt litter in the swimming area.
The current State Parks that have smoke-free beach and swimming areas are:
- Black Moshannon State Park, Centre County
- Colonel Denning State Park, Cumberland County
- Keystone State Park, Westmoreland County
- Locust Lake State Park, Schuylkill County
- Moraine State Park (South Shore), Butler County
- Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County
- Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Fuller Lake), Cumberland County
- Presque Isle State Park (Barracks Beach and Beach No. 11), Erie County
- Promised Land State Park (Pickerel Point Beach), Pike County
- No longer a pilot program, smoking restrictions are now permanent at Fuller Lake beach in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The park’s nearby Laurel Lake beach remains open to smokers.
Many Pennsylvania state parks have lakes or pools for swimming. Splashing around in water is a great way to cool off on a hot day, and swimming laps is great exercise.
Beaches (except Presque Isle) are open to swimming from before Memorial Day to after Labor Day, unless otherwise posted, under the open swim policy–swim at your own risk. The exact opening and closing dates vary at each park. Swimmers should read posted instructions for regulations on swimming.
Pools are usually open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Lifeguards are on duty when pools are open.
For more information, visit: http://dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/recreation/swimming/index.htm