Fun stops along I-81/I-84 in PA
May 22, 2021 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Traveling with a tween boy along I-81/I-84 northbound through PA on our way to NY. Looking for fun and easy outdoorsy stops to do along the way to get out, see something cool, stretch our legs, etc.

The boy has some mobility issues so long walks aren't possible, but we love to poke around cool nature spots that have bridges, views, lakes, waterfalls, streams, etc. I know there are lots of state parks in PA but I don't know which ones are worth the visit. Happy to go a bit off the interstate but not too far. Happy to pay entrance fees, etc. Looking for something outside we can do for an hour or so to rest and recharge before we continue our journey. Outdoor activities only.
posted by fuzzy.little.sock to Travel & Transportation around Panama (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
in Doylestown PA.
Castle is a hoot too!
posted by Mesaverdian at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2021

Best answer: Just off I-81, near Ft. Indiantown Gap, you can take a stroll around Memorial Lake State Park. Nothing special, but a good place to stretch your legs and access to 81 is straightforward. A little north of that is Swatara State Park (pretty views, nice level trails), very close to 81.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

Staffed by youngsters, so I’ve once or twice had misses, but I’ve had two dozen wonderful not-special-but-charming meals here. Its bathroom is a port-a-john (there’s a connected restaurant next door, and the official PA welcome center a mile or two away). It’s next to a little brook, too, but you’ll probably find better nature stuff elsewhere in this thread.
posted by mahorn at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2021

Dingmans Falls is 20 minutes off 84 near the PA /NY border. Short walk that is accessible
posted by jebs at 3:50 AM on May 23, 2021

If you are near Scranton, go see Steamtown.
posted by james33 at 5:19 AM on May 23, 2021

Best answer: I know this is slightly outside the scope of your question, but one more from Central Pa.: truck stop Indian food at My Taste of India. Super easy access from 81, and you can get gas, snacks, and really good food in one stop.

If you decide to do Swatara State Park, and hop off 81 at the Lickdale exit, stop at the Lickdale Campground's general store for good ice cream. (Now formally the Jonestown KOA, but still listed by its old name in many places.) It's within sight of the on/off-ramps to 81. There's a small mini-golf course there as well.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:25 AM on May 23, 2021

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