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Park bench and picnic table at Memorial Lake State Park

Park bench and picnic table at Memorial Lake State Park. Photo: Clint, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Memorial Lake State Park is an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil and scenic outdoor experience.

Nestled in the heart of Central Pennsylvania, the park was established in 1945 as a living memorial to the men and women who served in World War II. It remains a tribute to all those who fought and sacrificed for their country.

The park’s centerpiece, Memorial Lake, provides excellent opportunities for fishing and boating, with anglers catching a range of fish species, including bass, trout, and catfish. The lake is also a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.

Additionally, this PA state park features several hiking trails that take visitors through forests, meadows, and around the lake, providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Providing the perfect place to relax and unwind, it is a popular day trip destination from Harrisburg. There is no camping available at Memorial Lake State Park, however for those who need a place to stay overnight there are several campgrounds within the nearby area.

Activities

Those who make their way to Memorial Lake State Park are treated to a wide range of recreational activity options.

Here are some of the most popular things you can do during your visit there.

Boating at Memorial Lake State Park

Surrounded by picturesque forests and rolling hills, the stunning 85-acre lake is a wonderful destination for boaters and water enthusiasts.

It provides excellent opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, while motorboats with a maximum of 20 horsepower are also permitted on the lake.

Visitors can launch their boats from a ramp, which is located near the park’s main entrance. A boat rental concession is also available during the summer months, providing visitors with the opportunity to rent watercraft like kayaks, canoes and paddleboats.

Fishing at Memorial Lake State Park

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a relative beginner, Memorial Lake State Park is a great place to cast a line and enjoy the beauty of Pennsylvania’s outdoors.

The park’s 85-acre lake is stocked with trout and bass, as well as other species like catfish and panfish.

Fishing is permitted year-round at Memorial Lake State Park, but the best times to do so are generally in the spring and fall, when the water temperatures are cooler and the fish are more active. Anglers can fish from the shore or by boat, and the park offers a boat launch and fishing pier for easy access to the water.

To fish at Memorial Lake State Park, visitors must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online or in person at authorized retailers.

Hiking at Memorial Lake State Park

For those into hiking, Memorial Lake State Park offers several trails that showcase a variety of terrain, including hills, forests, and lake views.

The Lakeside Trail is a popular choice for visitors, as it provides a scenic walk around the park’s 85-acre lake. It is relatively flat and offers views of the lake and surrounding wildlife.

Another popular trail is the Memorial Lake Trail, which is a moderate hike through the forest that offers beautiful views of the lake and surrounding landscape. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles long and includes a scenic overlook that conveys a panoramic view of the water and surrounding area.

For those looking for a longer hike, the Stony Valley Railroad Grade Trail runs through the park for about 20 miles.

The trail follows an old railroad grade and passes through forests and meadows, offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Winter Activities at Memorial Lake State Park

Winter brings a unique charm to Memorial Lake State Park, and visitors can enjoy a variety of cool weather activities. The park’s hiking trails provide a scenic winter trek, with breathtaking views of the frozen lake and surrounding snow-covered trees. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also popular, with several trails available for visitors to explore.

With the park’s lake freezing over in the winter, ice fishing is another regular activity at this time of year.

Likewise many people enjoy sledding on the hill located near the park’s office.

Pets

Pets are welcome to join you at Memorial Lake State Park, but they must always be kept on a leash of no more than six feet for the entirety of their visit.

The park encourages visitors to clean up after their pets and dispose of waste properly. There are also designated pet-friendly areas, such as the picnic area and the campground, where pets are allowed to roam freely.

It’s important to note that pets are not allowed in most park buildings as well as certain other areas.

For a full rundown of its park policy it is worth getting in touch with a representative of the main office.

Camping

Unfortunately there is no camping available at the park. However, within a 30 minute drive there are several other sites you can stay at.

One popular option is the Camp Hebron Retreat and Conference Center, which offers a variety of camping experiences, including tent camping, RV camping, and cabins. The campground is situated on over 300 acres of wooded land and features hiking trails, a lake for fishing and boating, and recreational activities such as volleyball and basketball.

Another nearby campground is the Twin Grove RV Resort and Cottages, which offers spacious RV sites with full hookups, as well as tent camping and cabin rentals. The campground has a swimming pool, mini-golf course, and playground, making it an ideal destination for families with children.

Alternatively, for those seeking a more rustic camping experience, the Stony Valley Railroad Grade Trail provides several backcountry camping options. This trail is 20 miles long and follows an old railroad grade, passing through forests and meadows and offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Park Location

Memorial Lake State Park
18 Boundary Rd
Grantville, PA 17028
Phone: 717.865.6470

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Memorial Lake State Park: