The Pennsylvania Tourism Office is out with the Happy Traveler guide
, a resource to inspire travelers to pursue their happiness in Pennsylvania, including:
- Tips for spectacular outdoor adventures
- Must eats
- Fascinating historical artifacts and architecture
- Hidden gems throughout the commonwealth
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this year’s feature story pays homage to Pennsylvania’s titans of conservation who have worked to conserve the state’s natural beauty.
Pennsylvania is home to 86,000 miles of rivers, 185 rail-trails, 121 state parks, and 2.2 million acres of state forests.
Featured on the cover is Grey Towers
in Pike County, the former home of America’s first forester, Gifford Pinchot. Included in the places to visit that highlight Pennsylvanians important to conservation are:
- Rothrock State Forest, named for the Joseph T. Rothrock, known as the father of Pennsylvania forestry
- Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park, connected to Mira Lloyd Dock and the City Beautiful movement
- Gifford Pinchot State Park, York County
- Rachel Carson Homestead National Historic Site near Pittsburgh, the birthplace of Rachel Carson, the inspiration for the global environmental movement
- Maurice K. Goddard State Park, named for the man whose vision was a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian
The Happy Traveler is available digitally at the Visit PA website
or in print by calling 1-800-VISIT-PA. Travelers are encouraged to explore Happy Traveler content across Visit PA’s social media platforms and share photos of their favorite Pennsylvania adventures using the hashtag #PAHappySnaps.
NATURE NUGGET: You can hear spring sliding in! The birds are singing away already and the snow geese have returned to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster/Lebanon counties. Go to YouTube and check out videos of the snow geese laying over in the ponds. This area is one of two PA Game Commission visitor centers with the other being in Pymatuning on the Ohio border. You must go now as the birds fly from there to the Arctic tundra soon.
NATURE QUOTE: “Maurice Goddard was a master conservation craftsman. In an unprecedented career of public service from 1955 to 1979, he served five Pennsylvania governors, both Republicans and Democrats. Through his good work, he left the Pennsylvania of today with an unparalleled legacy: 2.2 million acres of certified sustainably managed forests, 120 award-winning state parks and the dedicated funding to help pay for them.” — BRENDA BARRETT is a member of the Goddard Legacy Project and a retired director at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”