Outdoor adventures can offer more than a breath of fresh air. Spending time outdoors is good for you, educational and fun. You can find a variety of recreational activities all in one spot when you visit a Pennsylvania State Park.

One of the state’s most unique parks is located in Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Canoe Creek State Park was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and its Bureau of Parks as one of “Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks”. When you make the turn onto Canoe Creek Road leading right into the park you’ll quickly feel like you’re on an island of nature. The 961-acre state park is tucked right up into the Pennsylvania Mountains. 

Canoe Creek State Park offers 12 miles of trails. They can take you through forests, wetlands and along the lakeshore. Visitors to the park will tell you their favorite trail is the Limestone Loop. This 1.2 mile trail is rated as easy and follows the old railroad grade to the Blair Limestone Company Kilns. “As you’re exploring along this trail, it’s really awesome when you enter the area where the kilns stand. They have a profound presence in the park”, says Jennifer Fleck, Marketing Manager at Explore Altoona. Geological formations in the park are rich in limestone. As a result the Petersburg spur of the Pennsylvania Railroad traveled through what is now Canoe Creek State Park to connect the lime kilns with the mainline railroad during the early 1900s. The limestone was extracted and used for many purposes, including supplying a raw material for the once thriving iron and steel industry of Pennsylvania. Once mined, the limestone was taken to a kiln and heated. The kiln structures have remained as one of the park’s main features. Like many of the park’s trails, it’s a great trail for sighting woodland birds and wildflowers. Canoe Creek State Park is on the path followed by numerous species of migratory birds including waterfowlbald eagles and ospreys. The wetlands provide habitat for birds like the bluebirdoriolered-winged blackbird and the brown thrasher.

In addition to hiking trails, Canoe Creek State Park features a 155-acre lake where you can fish year round as well as a sand beach that is open for swimming during the summer months. The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. There are modern cabins located on a hill overlooking the lake. Or you can stay in one of a number of hotels located less than 5 miles from the park.

There are no admission costs to visit a state park in Pennsylvania. You and your family are invited to hike the trails, enjoy the beach or picnic at Canoe Creek without paying for the time you spend there.To explore this small destination with big adventuresin Blair County, Pennsylvania visit explorealtoona.com.

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