Beat the Winter Blues: Visit Beautiful Pennsylvania Beaches!

Pennsylvania is a beautiful state with a lot of lush forests, mountains, and lakes, along with many attractions and a very long history. Despite not being near an ocean, there are parks that have beaches by their lakes! You can still vacation on a beach at a campground, you just won't have an ocean with waves.

Nevertheless, it is very peaceful if you are looking for a change of scenery, but still want that beach feel. Here are just a few of them:

R.B. Winter State Park

Formerly known as “Halfway Dam State Park”, R.B. Winter State Park is 18 miles west of Lewisburg and was renamed in honor of a forester who was responsible for establishing the park and who worked there for 45 years. It is surrounded by Bald Eagle State Forest, which is filled with woodpeckers, owls, salamanders and wood frogs. The lake water is very cold, about 50 degrees, so if you actually want to go swimming, you might want to wear a wetsuit if you hate the cold. The lake is filled with three kinds of trout to fish and you can also go ice fishing. The park has a campground with electric, restrooms and showers, a fire ring at each camp site, and a picnic table. You can camp with a tent, trailer or motor home. There are three cottages that can accommodate 5 people each and is fully equipped. There are over 6 miles of hiking trails that run along the lake and park, and when it snows there are trails for snow mobiles and skiing. Hunting is also permitted in the park if you or someone you know likes to hunt.

Black Moshannon State Park

Black Moshannon State Park is located in Rush Township, Centre County and is surrounded by the Moshannon State Forest. It has the largest bog (a bog is a soft, marshy, muddy land) in Pennsylvania, which is home to uncommon wildlife that is often found farther north. It has a long history (Native American tribes lived on the land) and is open year round with trails to hike, biking, bird watching, hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, camping and picnics. There are 13 cabins to stay in, some including more amenities than others, and 72 campsites with showers, fire rings, and picnic tables. Electric, water, and sewer hook ups are available as well, and 9 of the sites are for tents only. Some sites are ADA accessible and the washhouses have coin-operated laundry machines.The beach on Black Moshannon Lake is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and includes a beach bathhouse, but there are no lifeguards. You can bring your own boat, with proper registration or rent a boat from the park. If you have your own boat, you can only use electric motors, not gas. Winter activities include skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice boating, and ice fishing.

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park is a sandy peninsula that juts out onto Lake Erie that has trails, 13 beaches, swimming, boating, bird watching, biking, and hiking. This park was also inhabited by Native Americans who farmed on the land, but were ultimately destroyed by the same tribe as the one at Black Moshannon. Needless to say, there is a long deep history at this park and it also played a part in the War of 1812! There are all kinds of things to do for either water or inland activities, including boating, fishing, water skiing, hiking, biking, bird watching and various ice activities in the winter. You can rent boats or bring your own with registration, and there is also scuba diving as well. You can also opt to check out boat and inflatable kayak reviews, check out the best inflatable kayaks of 2016, or Amazon.  Beaches are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and unlike the other parks, lifeguards are on duty and you can see tiny waves! There are also picnic areas near the beaches and one beach has a sand volleyball courts. Some beaches have food and beverage stands in case u don't want to bring any food or drinks. There is no camping here but there are places to stay nearby, and there is no admission fee to use the park.