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Great American Getaway RV Tour Highlights Outdoor Adventures in PA State Parks, Forests

Great American Getaway RV Tour Highlights Outdoor Adventures in PA State Parks, Forests

by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The Shapiro family visited five state parks during the seven-day tour highlighting Pennsylvania as a premier weekend getaway destination – and Governor Shapiro became the first sitting governor to spend a night at a state park.

Leading up to and over the Memorial Day weekend, Governor Josh Shapiro and First Lady Lori Shapiro took an RV Tour to several state parks, highlighting some of the fantastic outdoor experiences that make Pennsylvania – The Great American Getaway.

The First Family joined millions of visitors across the Commonwealth who were kicking off the summer with outdoor adventures and campfires in Pennsylvania’s 124 state parks and more than two million acres of state forests on the holiday weekend.

The tour spanned more than 1,500 miles with visits in 14 counties and included visits to OhiopyleLyman RunCherry SpringsLeonard Harrison, and Hickory Run state parks. The Shapiro family also visited the Allegheny National Forest and several trails, including the Great Allegheny Passage and Rimrock trails, where they engaged in an array of outdoor activities.

“This is the first time a sitting governor spent the night at a park in an official capacity,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “As the Governor highlighted our parks, forests, and trails provide world-class outdoor experiences, including cycling, stargazing, hiking, and boating, that make Pennsylvania an amazing weekend getaway destination.”

There are nearly 7,000 overnight sites available in Pennsylvania state parks, and nearly all were booked as about 1 million visitors spent time on public lands over the holiday weekend.

“Whether it is biking on the Great Allegheny Passage at Ohiopyle or taking in the beautiful sunset at from an overlook at Leonard Harrison, our public lands are great places to have an adventure or enjoy a quiet moment, as the Shapiro family experienced,” said John Norbeck, DCNR Deputy Secretary for State Parks and Forests. “Our state parks and forests are second to none, and we are grateful to the First Family for showcasing all Pennsylvania has to offer with this tour.”

Governor Shapiro just launched Pennsylvania’s new state tourism brand: The Great American Getaway. The new brand showcases all the Commonwealth has to offer as a premier weekend getaway destination with thousands of attractions – including blockbuster events coming to PA in 2026, like America’s 250th-anniversary celebration, the 2026 NFL Draft – which will hold events at Point State Park, the FIFA World Cup, and the MLB All-Star Game in 2026.

Outdoor recreation adds $17 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting 164,344 jobs, and accounting for 1.8 percent of the Commonwealth’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Governor Shapiro’s first budget resulted in the launch of the Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget builds on those historic investments with additional support to improve trails in state parks and forests and strengthen conservation careers and workforce pathways.

Tourism is a key piece of the Governor’s economic development strategy, generating $76 billion and supporting more than 486,000 jobs a year in PA – and the new brand builds on Governor Shapiro’s proposed $18 million tourism investment to boost our economy, attract more visitors, and support good-paying jobs.

A new report released by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office in March shows Pennsylvania’s tourism industry:

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about state parks and forests, and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.