February 08, 2024 5 min read

Calling All Outdoor Enthusiasts - Your Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Planning Map Has Landed!

It's time to clear off your kitchen table and get ready for some serious adventure planning because Purple Lizard Maps has a new map —the all-new Pennsylvania Statewide Outdoor Recreation Lizard Map is here to help you plan fantastic outdoor adventures in the Keystone State.

A Treasure Trove of Outdoor Riches

Curated especially for outdoor enthusiasts, this first-of-its-kind big-picture statewide recreation planning tool showcases the extraordinary wealth of Pennsylvania's outdoor recreation assets.

Picture This

This map is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts looking to plan adventures in the Commonwealth.

115 Rail Trails and Bikeways

124 State Parks

20 State Forests

53 Mountain Bike Destinations

30 Long Distance Hiking Trails

24 Ski Areas

17 Water Trails and Whitewater Destinations

See All Your Options - All at Once!

This map really opens your eyes to the outdoor options in Pennsylvania.  You can't beat the big picture view of all of these amazing assets for your outdoor adventure planning.

It also includes detailed rail trail/bikeway surface and length information for all you Rail Trail fans. 

rail trail surface purple lizard bike

And as a bonus - it features helpful locator tables for the Rail Trails and long distance hiking & backpacking trails(and their distances) as well as a comprehensive list of the State Parks and Forestsso you can really imagine all possibilities.

 Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Map Rail Trail Images

Designed for Pennsylvania Outdoor Adventure

Produced by a cartographic design team led by Michael Hermann, the founder of Purple Lizard Maps, a Pennsylvania based company with a legacy of producing outstanding outdoor recreation and trail maps, this map is the 18th map in the collection and the first statewide gem designed to serve as a big-picture statewide gateway.

Hermann commented on the significance of the new release,

 "The new map connects the dots across the abundance of outdoor recreation options in the Commonwealth, inspiring a deeper connection with place and sparking the imagination for future adventures."

Hermann has been making maps of Pennsylvania's public lands for over 30 years. As an active hiker, mountain biker and outdoorsman, Hermann knows how special it is to have so much access to public lands and the outstanding outdoor recreation Pennsylvania offers.

The Origins of the New PA Lizard Map 

While Hermann had envisioned Purple Lizard producing a statewide Pennsylvania map for years, his decision to finally pursue the project was prompted by his involvement with a group of statewide leaders discussing ways to elevate the profile of Pennsylvania outdoor recreation as an important component to the Pennsylvania economy. Hermann was invited to serve on the Pennsylvania Recreation Engagement Coalition - an advisory group to DCNR as it works to build its Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation, which was launched earlier this year to help grow and empower Pennsylvania’s outdoor economy to better serve the Commonwealth’s residents, visitors, and communities.

This work reinforced the need for a carefully designed and easy to use statewide map that highlighted the breadth of outdoor recreation in the state. Pennsylvania has a diversity of outdoor recreation assets managed by different entities  -there are so many State Parks, State Forests, and other resources in this state with over 4.5 million acres of public land -  and no single map existed that showed them all. Hermann knew that he and his team could create a map that could do justice to this extraordinary landscape.

Purple Lizard Maps was born in Pennsylvania, and Hermann and the Purple Lizard Maps team have spent years traversing Pennsylvania's backroads in order to make detailed, industry leading recreation maps of many of the Commonwealth's outstanding destinations.

A Map With a Big Picture Vision

One of Hermann's favorite parts of the new map is how it unlocks the outdoor recreation landscape no matter where you are planning to go in the state.

He explains,

 "When I travel, I often have planned much of the day to drive a few hours across the State. I'm always looking for something to do or see along the way - a short diversion to get outside for a couple of hours. That map didn't exist, so I decided to make it myself."

With the new Pennsylvania Statewide Lizard Map, people can see so many options they weren't aware of,  like the many State Parks and Forests that exist near their route, or plan a more interesting way to explore instead of what their GPS suggests is 'fastest'.

Hermann adds,

"I'm not always looking for the fastest route - I'm looking for the most interesting route, the most enjoyable route - that's where a map like this makes travel fun." 


Michael Hermann Founder Purple Lizard Maps signs off on the Pennsylvania Statewide Outdoor Recreation Map December 2023

Michael Hermann reviewing final version (version number 183!)


Pennsylvania's Outdoor Playground: An Economic Powerhouse for the State

Pennsylvania offers over 4.5 million acres of accessible public land and is an important part of the state's economy. 

Nathan Reigner, PhD, Director of Pennsylvania’s newly launched Office of Outdoor Recreation, notes,

"Now we can see it for ourselves in this first-of-a-kind map—we can see the way our communities are connected by trails and every corner of our Commonwealth is graced by outstanding parks, forests, and rivers."

Partnership for Conservation and Stewardship

 To bring this pioneering project to life, Purple Lizard Maps has teamed up with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), a leading environmental advocacy and stewardship organization. PEC's support highlights Pennsylvania's rich conservation history, making the map not just a guide but a call to action.

Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Brett Hollern, PEC’s Vice President of Western Pennsylvania including trails and outdoor recreation noted,

"Outdoor recreation pumps over $17 Billion into PA’s economy every year and supports over 164,000 jobs. PEC is thrilled to partner with Purple Lizard Maps to bring this great resource to residents and visitors alike."


The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, a long-standing partner of Purple Lizard, provided additional support for the publication.

 Pennsylvania State Park Forest hiking trails camping backpacking

"The new Purple Lizard map is an answer to the question that many people ask—where do I start if I want to explore the outdoors?”,  said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “Having access to the outdoors is key not only to human physical, mental and emotional health, it also supports a robust outdoor economy.” 


Those Little Purple Lizards 

If you are new to Purple Lizard, you might be wondering about those little Purple Lizards scattered across the map.

Can you spot the little Lizards?

They're not just cute icons; they represent noteworthy spots, interesting tidbits, and local insights that make each map a treasure trove of information and adventure.

Commitment to the Planet

As a proud member of 1% for the Planet since 2011, Purple Lizard Maps pledges 1% of total sales to organizations working for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. It's our commitment to a sustainable and healthy future.


Available Now 

The Pennsylvania Statewide Outdoor Recreation Lizard Map is available for purchase online, and at Purple Lizard Maps Authorized Dealers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Explore the Full Pennsylvania Lizard Map Collection

Discover more about Pennsylvania's most popular outdoor recreation destinations with our other Purple Lizard Maps, part of the PA Adventure Pack. Each map offers detailed trail information, ensuring you're well-equipped for your next adventure. 

Pennsylvania Lizard Map Adventure Pack


Get ready to unfold the big picture of Pennsylvania's outdoor wonders and embark on an adventure like never before!