Family Fun at Smaller State Parks

The first time I ever went fishing was at Prompton State Park. My grandfather took my brother and I to teach us how to fish from the shore of the lake. I remember my grandmother telling us that she and my grandpa would go on picnics there on dates when they were younger. So even though I don’t go to this park often, I feel a particular connection to it because of that special memory. 

My grandfather passed away in 1994, which is probably why I didn’t fish again until my husband and I lived in Florida when we were first married. Little did I realize that fishing is one of the most relaxing pastimes you can do. The world would probably be less stressful if we all made more time to fish, myself included. 

Lately I have made a point to highlight some excellent places in my home state, Pennsylvania, that are perfect destinations for trail families to visit. Some of my friends frequent Prompton and there are many things to commend it. 

The History of Prompton

Prompton State Park was established in 1962, though DCNR does not currently manage these 2000 acres in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. After a devastating flood on the Lackawaxen River in 1942, two dams were built by the Army Corp of Engineers to prevent future flooding. Upon the completion of the Prompton Dam, the area was opened for public use. A volunteer group called Friends of Prompton State Park takes care of management responsibilities. 

What You’ll Find At Prompton

The 290-acre lake provides fishing and boating opportunities. You can have up to 10-horsepower motor boats, kayaks, canoes, and other non-powered watercraft. You must have a PA boat registration or launching permit which you can purchase at most state park offices. The boat launch is accessible from PA Route 170. 

More than 26 miles of 12 unique trails surround the lake and are marked with blazes. You can hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, and mountain bike on all the trails. Many of the trails form loops that connect to other trails. I hear that there are a few geocaches hidden there too. 

Picnic areas by the lake give you the quintessential experience of a Pennsylvania summer. There is no camping at Prompton, but the park is open every day of the year from dawn until dusk. 

Another Fun Memory

We had a family fish fry last year after my father-in-law, brother-in-law-law, and his boys caught a mess of fish out of Prompton Lake. I didn’t expect my kids to enjoy the fish very much. To my great surprise, they wolfed it down! Pleasant little state parks that are tucked away in rural communities provide wonderful opportunities for families to make memories together. Whether you make the catch or just enjoy the eating, time spent in nature and with family is always time well spent. 

Pennsylvania State Parks

There are 121 state parks across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Odds are, you live within a day trip distance to a smaller, lesser known park that can offer your family a place to enjoy the great outdoors. State Parks are also a low-cost way to get your family some time in nature. Most are free to hike and bike. Camping costs vary across parks. Boating carries the cost of your launch permit and sometimes a morning or dock fee. You can find prices for all state parks at the DCNR website. Take some time to discover the State Park near you.

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