A perfect place to visit for all groups looking to swim, picnic, play games, and meet people!
Free parking and free access.
Recommended for all groups, including families.
Distance from our Airbnb rental Birchview Homestead: 11 miles
Pennsylvania does a great job caring and maintaining its state parks, and Hickory Run is a perfect example of that! Hickory Run State Park offers a variety of activities to do, which I will explore and document in future posts. But today, I want to talk specifically about the Sand Spring Day Use Area because we've had multiple fun experiences here, and I'm sure you will as well!
Before you leave, make sure you pack a cooler with plenty of cold drinks and ice! It is a state park which prohibits alcoholic beverages. Swimming and floats are allowed, as the snack stand actually sells inflatables! I recommend water shoes for lake swimming, along with all of your beach and swim gear. I also recommend that you bring a group game like quoits or cornhole (our Airbnb renters are welcome to bring ours from our Equipment Area).
Once you reach Hickory Run State Park, you'll have to follow signs for the Sand Spring Day Use Area. Parking and access are completely free. You will have a slight uphill hike to get from the parking lot to the main area. There is a nice, paved path that is helpful to push wheelchairs and strollers up.
Hickory Run State Park offers plenty of areas to gather. If you want to be out in the sun, setup camp on the beach or the grass. Prefer shade? Hang out under the trees near the picnic area. Didn't pack any food? The snack stand has you covered! Public restrooms and changing areas, as well as water fountains, ensure all guests can remain comfortable and hydrated, all provided by PA taxpayers.
When you're ready to explore further, follow the walking trail to find the water slide waiting for you to try!