Ecotouring the Keystone State

Ecotourism is big business in Pennsylvania, where more than $2 billion is spent annually on outdoor activities. Yet the state park system, which doesn't charge admission...
by | March 30, 2008

Ecotourism is big business in Pennsylvania, where more than $2 billion is spent annually on outdoor activities. Yet the state park system, which doesn't charge admission fees, sees very little of that money. To grab a piece of the pie and appeal to new outdoor-user groups, the state's park system has begun hosting its own ecotours. In January, the M.K. Goddard State Park hosted two days of activities that included cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, four meals, seven guides and instructors, private accomodations and transportation for just $100. For $150 to $185, the Ohiopyle State Park is hosting Keels, Heels and Wheels in June. The event will include moonlight canoeing, a nine-mile bike trip, a hike, whitewater rafting, a winery tour and a hayride. Proceeds from the tours are reinvested in the parks program that hosted the event to help them pay for additional educational events and other needed amenities and services. To learn more, contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks at 717-787-0377.