The Memorial Lake State Park Complex has announced its schedule of outdoor events in June at the complex, which includes Memorial Lake and Swatara state parks, and Boyd Big Tree and Joseph Ibberson conservation areas.

All programs are subject to change due to weather or staffing shortages. Please check the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Calendar of Events or Facebook page for cancellations or changes to programs.

Activities are free unless otherwise noted. If you have concerns or require special accommodations, please reach out to DCNR at least 72 hours prior to the event at 717-865-6470 or

Here’s this month’s schedule:

  • Wednesday, June 5, 9-10:30 a.m. – birding walk beginning at the Middle Road pavilion, Memorial Lake State Park. The park has binoculars and field guides to lend out, or bring your own.
  • Thursday, June 6, 6-7:30 p.m. – Hook, Line, & Simple: Intro to Fishing at the Lower Road boat launch, Memorial Lake State Park. Learn to rig a fishing line, bait a hook, and cast a rod. Tackle, bait, and fishing rods provided. PA fishing licenses are required for participants 16 and older.
  • Friday, June 7, 10-11:30 a.m. – Bordner Cabin Hike beginning at the Sand Siding Road lot, Swatara State Park. This 3-mile hike will follow Sand Siding and Bear Hole trails. Bring water and wear appropriate shoes.
  • Sunday, June 9, 1-2:30 p.m. – Intro to Kayaking at Lower Road boat launch, Memorial Lake State Park. Learn the basics of kayak safety and technique. Kayak, paddle, and lifejacket provided. Pre-registration is required. Costs is $5. Participants must be 12 years old or older, and anyone under 18 must be with a parent. (Email to check for tandem kayak availability for children under 12.)
  • Friday, June 13, 8:30-9:30 p.m. – Going Batty: PA Bats at Middle Road pavilion, Memorial Lake State Park. Learn about bats on a walk through the Middle Lot area. Flashlights recommended.
  • Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. – Bear-Hole Trail Drive-Thru beginning at Swopes Valley Trailhead, Swatara State Park. Explore the trail by car on a 5-mile route, ending at the Appalachian Trail Bridge near Lickdale. Parking areas are provided at the fossil pit, Daubert School, charcoal pit, and near Bordner Cabin to explore on foot. Speed limit is 10mph and traffic is one-way.
  • Saturday, June 15, 10-11:30 a.m. – Stream Study starting at Lower Road lot, Memorial Lake State Park. The park will provide strainers, containers, and magnifying glasses to view findings in the stream. Includes a discussion about how our discoveries relate to the stream water, the lake, and the rest of the animals in and around Memorial Lake. Bring shoes you can wear in the stream.
  • Saturday, June 15, 12:30-2:30 p.m. – All About Birds table at Bordner Cabin, Swatara State Park. Stop by any time to test your knowledge of local birds. Car access via the Bear Hole trail drive-thru (enter at Swopes Valley Trailhead).
  • Sunday, June 16, 10-11:30 a.m. – Fossil Frenzy: Digging into PA’s Past beginning at Swopes Valley Trailhead, Swatara State Park. Learn about fossils found at the park and walk a half-mile to the park’s “tried-and-true fossil hill” for a dig. The park will provide plastic digging trowels, or bring your own tools.
  • Sunday, June 16, 2-3 p.m. – Un-locking the History of Swatara’s Canal beginning at the Waterville Bridge lot, Swatara State Park. Observe portions of the Union Canal and and remaining structures while learning about the canal’s history. (The walk will be over uneven terrain.)
  • Wednesday, June 19, 6-7:30 p.m. – Creek Trail Hike: Exploring Boyd’s Old Growth beginning at the education pavilion, Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area. Explore a section of trail that was inducted into the Old Growth Forest Network in 2022 and discover the diversity of plants and wildlife that live there. Hike covers about 3 miles over intermediate terrain, so wear appropriate shoes and bring water.
  • Friday, June 21, 6-7:30 p.m. – Intro to Archery at Middle Road pavilion, Memorial Lake State Park. Learn the basics of archery, including safety, technique, and proper use of equipment. The park will provide all equipment necessary for the program. Children must be at least 10 years old to participate, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, June 22, 10-11:30 a.m. – Damsels & Dragons: Insect Hunters at Wagner’s Pond, across from Swopes Valley Trailhead at Swatara State Park. Explore the lifecycle, biology, and identification of dragonflies and damselflies. The park will provide insect nets to help us capture and ID these pond dwellers.
  • Saturday, June 22, 2-3:30 p.m. – Salamander Safari at Trout Run Trailhead, Swatara State Park. Learn about these unique amphibians, then hike a half-mile to the creek to hunt for them. A limited number of nets and containers will be provided, or bring your own. Wear shoes that can get wet.
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