Wellsboro, PA -- The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) today announced that construction is set to begin on key infrastructure improvements at Leonard Harrison State Park this month.
“We are pleased to get this long-awaited infrastructure improvement project underway at Leonard Harrison,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “Projects of this nature help keep our wonderful state parks system safe and enjoyable for all visitors. We appreciate the patience of the public as work is done to improve the park and are excited for what’s in store for the future.”
The large scope of the project will cause temporary closures of the main day-use and parking areas, including the spectacular overlook area starting on May 15, 2023. The closure is anticipated to last for the summer, with the goal of full access to the 585-acre park in time for the fall foliage season starting early September.
Work will include making improvements to the park entrance, pedestrian walkways and expanded parking areas. An electric vehicle (EV) charging area in the new parking lot with space for four electric vehicles as part of a
statewide initiative to support EV infrastructure in state parks and forests.
Additionally, there will be new walkways for pedestrians from the parking area to a newly renovated Leonard Harrison State Park Visitor Center, which includes exhibit hall, a PA Wilds Conservation Shop and outdoor seating.
The Leonard Harrison Turkey Path will remain open that connects the park to the Pine Creek Rail Trail. The campground will also remain open, with existing reservations being honored.
Site conditions may be noisy and dusty while contractors are performing the work, therefore campers with existing reservations will be offered an opportunity to cancel or transfer reservations. and no further reservations will be taken during this closure timeframe.
During this construction project, DCNR is asking park visitors to avoid active construction areas and visit other local State Parks.
Colton Point State Park on the western rim of the Pa Grand Canyon has five overlook areas and is a great alternative spot to enjoy spectacular views of the Pine Creek Gorge.
Another alternative local attraction is Hills Creek State Park, where visitors can enjoy the 137-acre lake, public beach, hiking trails and concessions this summer season.
Relocation of the existing PA Wilds Conservation Shop mobile unit to Hills Creek from Leonard Harrison has also occurred to serve visitors to the region during the summer season.
Construction is set to begin as DCNR is working to address its $1.4 billion infrastructure needs. Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed budget would address outdated facilities and public safety preparedness across the state.
The Governor’s budget would provide $112 million to maintain and improve infrastructure in parks and forests, which would be the single largest investment in decades. In addition, the budget proposes $2.8 million to support operating needs for the management and safety of our public lands.
“We are pleased to begin work on this existing project and are eager to get working on other infrastructure needs across our 124-state park system,” DCNR Deputy Secretary John Norbeck said. “Just like at Leonard Harrison, our state parks and forests contain not only natural areas, but many roads, bridges and structures. Much of that infrastructure was built more than 50 years ago and we are working to address those critical needs."
If you have questions, or need any additional information, please contact the Leonard Harrison State Park Office weekdays from 8am to 4pm; telephone 570-724-3061.
Find out more information about
Leonard Harrison State Park on DCNR’s website. Check out
DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands. For information on other state parks in the
PA Wilds region, visit the PA Wilds website..
Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315
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