Governor Wolf Announces More Opportunities for Pet-Friendly Travel at Pennsylvania’s State Parks

March 27, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today announced increased opportunities for campers to bring their pets to some of Pennsylvania’s State Parks.

“As travelers prepare for camping season in Pennsylvania, we’re thrilled to announce that state park visitors will find more campsites and cabins open to pets,” said Governor Wolf. “Travelers to 56 parks across Pennsylvania can now pursue their happiness and experience the beauty of the commonwealth with their pets at their side,” said Governor Wolf. “

New state park pet camping sites have been established this season at Codorus, York County; Colonel Denning, Cumberland County; Greenwood Furnace, Huntingdon County; Shawnee, Bedford County; and Sizerville, Cameron County.

Newly designated cabin sites are being offered for pet owners at Codorus State Park, as well as Cook Forest, Clarion County, and Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, where walled tents will be utilized.

“Since the pilot program started, we have heard repeated calls to allow pets in more state park campgrounds and today we’re thrilled to respond to the requests,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “We’ll listen closely to the responses to the expanded project to judge its effectiveness, and gauge how park campers, both with and without pets, like these changes.”

Surveys, feedback to park managerial staff, and reservation information all played a key role in the department’s decision to continue expanding a pets policy that began in 2001 with nine parks.

The changes affecting pet owners come as the Bureau of State Parks continues to upgrade its online camping reservation system, and provide electrical and water service at more state park campgrounds across the state.

“Visitors now can search from the comfort of their home or with mobile devices for full hook-up sites or pet-friendly sites,” Dunn said. “Better campsite descriptions, enhanced maps and photos of each site give visitors a more accurate view of the site prior to arrival, ensuring they have a quality state park experience.”

Pet owners at selected state park sites must comply with many program regulations. They govern leashing; barking and other noise; maximum number of pets allowed (two, when the size of a cat or larger); aggressive behavior; proper cleanup and disposal of feces; valid licensing when required; and needed vaccinations.

Violations could require campers to remove their animals from park grounds. Park officials are empowered to determine whether animals meet the definitions of “pet,” which are commonly kept in household captivity, and “caged pets,” which will not be released from their cage while at the park.

Visit www.dcnr.pa.gov for more information on pets and participating parks. For reservation information, visit www.visitPAparks.com.

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