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Lake and hills with turning leaves in Little Buffalo State Park

Lake and hills with turning leaves in Little Buffalo State Park. Photo: Smallbones, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day of fishing, a scenic hike, or a fun-filled day of swimming with the family, Little Buffalo State Park has something for everyone.

Situated not far from Harrisburg, the park is named in honor of Buffalo Creek which flows through it and is a popular destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the main attractions of this Pennsylvania park is the serene 88-acre Holman Lake, which is a noted spot for fishing, boating and swimming. However, for those who prefer to remain on dry land the park has several hiking trails that wind through forests, meadows, and around the lake. Not only do they offer splendid views, but they provide you with the chance to spot wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and even bald eagles.

When the snow comes, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. While throughout the year, there are a range of campsites, lodges and cabins onsite available for guests to stay at.

Activities

The park enables guests to enjoy its delightful scenery and landscape in several different ways.

What follows below is a brief overview of the various recreational outdoor activities you can take part in while you are at Little Buffalo State Park.

Swimming at Little Buffalo State Park

For those who enjoy swimming, the 88-acre lake has a designated swimming area that is protected by lifeguards during the summer months.

The lake is a picturesque area in which to swim and the water quality is regularly monitored to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for visitors.

Fishing at Little Buffalo State Park

Fishing is also popular at Holman Lake, attracting anglers from all over the state.

At any given time it is stocked with a variety of fish including bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. To catch them, visitors can can fish from shore, on a boat, or from one of the piers or bridges.

You will need a valid Pennsylvania fishing license in order to do so. However, once you have got one, you can also cast a line at Little Buffalo Creek. It runs through the park and provides additional fishing opportunities, which visitors can access from multiple points throughout it.

Hiking at Little Buffalo State Park

Little Buffalo State Park offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails for those who want to explore its stunning landscape.

Probably the most popular trail is the Buffalo Ridge Trail. This 3.5-mile trail takes hikers through the forest and up to a scenic overlook where they can see the Susquehanna River and surrounding farmland. The trail is moderately difficult, with some steep uphill climbs, but the views from the top are worth the effort.

For a shorter, easier hike, visitors can try the Lakeside Trail. This 1.5-mile trail circles Holman Lake and offers views of the lake and surrounding forest. The trail is flat and well-maintained, making it accessible for hikers of all ages and abilities.

Other trails at Little Buffalo State Park include the Middle Ridge Trail, the Pine Tree Trail, and the Wildlife Trail. Visitors should be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and snacks for their hike.

Winter Activities at Little Buffalo State Park

Winter at Little Buffalo State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

When weather conditions permit, the park offers ice skating on Holman Lake. Sledding is also available on the hills near the lake, and cross-country skiing is a popular activity on the park’s many trails. The park’s winter scenery is breathtaking, showcasing snow-covered trees, frozen streams, and wildlife that is more visible against the white backdrop.

The park also offers a variety of educational programs and events during the winter months, such as guided winter hikes, ice-fishing clinics, and birdwatching tours. These events provide a great opportunity for visitors to learn more about the park’s ecology, history, and wildlife, and to enjoy the beauty of the winter season.

Pets

Pets are allowed in most areas of Little Buffalo State Park, but owners must follow certain rules to ensure the safety of both their pets and other visitors.

For instance, dogs must remain on a leash that does not exceed six feet and owners must clean up after their pets.

Additionally, pets are forbidden from entering public swimming areas and certain designated areas of the park.

There are also some restrictions for pets in the park’s camping areas, including ensuring your four legged friend is not making excessive noise.

Camping

Camping provides visitors with an excellent way to enjoy the park’s tranquil atmosphere and stoic surroundings over the course of a few days.

Overall, the park offers 46 sites for tents and RVs in a campground that is open from the day prior to the beginning of the trout season until the third Sunday of October. Many of these come with hookups for water and electricity, while some offer full connections.

A handful of these sites are walk-to-sites, requiring guests to partake in a short walk from the parking area to the campsite. All of these sites come with individual fire rings and tables for eating off, while other amenities at the campground include warm showers, flush toilets and a dump station.

In addition to these campsites, a lodge and cabins are available for those who want accommodation that provides them with some of the comforts of home.

Park Location

Little Buffalo State Park
1579 State Park Rd
Newport, PA 17074
Phone: 717.567.9255

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Little Buffalo State Park: