The Wolf administration has announced plans for new state parks in Chester, Wyoming, and York counties.
A nature preserve in Wyoming County, a 1,700-acre tract in Chester County, and more than 1,000 acres in York County are the three new areas that will be added to the Pennsylvania state park system.
The Wolf administration announced Tuesday that the state was spending $45 million for the new additions to the state’s 121-park system.
The expansion was funded in the state budget that passed in July. They are the first new state parks in Pennsylvania since 2005, not counting Washington Crossing in Bucks County, which was transferred from the state Historical and Museum Commission.
The Wyoming County property is on the Vosburg Neck. Known as the Howland Preserve, it is owned by the North Branch Land Trust, is bordered by an oxbow turn in the Susquehanna River, and includes an extensive trail system.
In Chester County, the new park will include 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) of Big Elk Creek, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay at Elk River. Officials say the creek was long used by indigenous people and was an area of considerable activity for the Underground Railroad.
The York park, located a few miles from Gov. Tom Wolf’s home in Mount Wolf, is adjacent to large tracts owned by the Lancaster Conservancy—the former Boy Scout camp Wizard Ranch and the Hellam Hills Nature Preserve.
The York park, with the working name Susquehanna Riverlands, is costing $20 million in land purchase and development costs, Elk Creek $13 million, and Vosburg $12 million. Their final names haven’t been determined, and the parks are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2026.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.