Pennsylvania State Parks Spruced Up
Those who enjoy Pennsylvania's state parks for biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor recreation will find big improvements in some facilities and repairs to others this season.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park near Gettysburg in particular is in the middle of a $3.7 million capital improvements project that will bring a new bathhouse and shower facility to the 696-acre park's campground and new facilities to both of the park's lakes. The improvements, which began in February and are expected to be completed by the end of the year, will provide more modern amenities that could attract more users, according to the Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion.
"When we get these new facilities in place, I see an increase in usage across the board," said park manager Kenneth Boyles.
Currently, the park is in the process of building a modern bathhouse in the campground to provide showers to campers. There were not any showers previously and three pit toilets, or outhouses, were all that was available to anyone using the 72 campsites. Boyles said that the new facility will include about four shower stalls and there will be a unisex area for people who need assistance. A portion of the facility will also be heated to accommodate people who camp during the winter.
Boyles said that the new wash area in the campground had been on the drawing board since 1992, but work was delayed because the park could not get a permit for a new sewer system from the Department of Environmental Protection until a few years back. With the new sewer system finally in place, construction on the bathing area started in February and Boyles said that the park hopes to open it by the end of July.
Boyles said the facilities will not only be modern, but more habitable for campers. He said that the previous bathrooms weren't always the most amenable. "If you've ever smelled a soiled diaper, just imagine that," Boyles said.
The park's campground was upgraded three years ago, with campsites widened to accommodate larger motorhomes and travel trailers.
The beaches at Laurel Lake and Fuller Lake will also be getting new buildings with coin-operated showers, flush toilets and a small snack bar. Much like the campground, the bathroom area at the beaches previously consisted of outhouse-style rest rooms.