A park Recreational Guide for Codorus State Park

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A Park Recreational Guide for

Codorus State Park

The 3,452-acre Codorus State Park is in the rolling hills of southern York County. The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg has 26 miles of shoreline and is a reststop for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. The lake is also popular with sailboaters and motorboaters. Anglers love the lake for warm water fishing and can also fish Codorus Creek for trout. Picnicking, swimming in the pool and camping are popular activities.


From I-83, take Exit 8. Go 18 miles west on PA 216 to the park. From PA 116 west and east of Hanover go through Hanover. Turn right onto PA 216 east and go three miles to the park.


Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.

Recreational Opportunities

Spend the Day

Picnicking: There are three picnic areas in the park. Restrooms and some charcoal grills are in each area.

The Swimming Pool Day Use Area is near the pool and boat rental. Many tables are in the shade of the forest. There are also two picnic pavilions, which each hold 70 people. Picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Marina Day Use Area overlooks Lake Marburg and features grassy areas for picnicking. This area is near the Marina, boat mooring and disc golf.

The grassy Main Launch Day Use Area is near the band shell, equestrian trails and the Main Boat Launch.

Horseback Riding: 8 miles of trails

Ranger Trail travels over rolling hills, through forests and fields, crosses streams and passes near Lake Marburg. There are many views of the lake, including Ranger Overlook which has benches and hitching posts.

The 40-trailer parking lot is off of the Main Launch Day Use Area entrance road.

Scuba Diving: Due to the volume of boat traffic on Lake Marburg, scuba diving is only permitted in Sinsheim Cove, in the east side of the park. Divers must register and show their certification at the park office before diving, then sign out at the park office after diving. Divers must use the buddy system and a diving flag for safety.

Disc Golf: The site of the 2005 state championships, Codorus Disc Golf Course is rated one of the most challenging courses in Pennsylvania. The course is just inside of the entrance to the Marina Day Use Area and affords views of the lake. The 54 holes have paved tees and are spread through fields and forests. On the west side of Marina Road is a nine-hole, mini disc golf course for children. During the summer, golf discs can be purchased at the marina concession building.

éHunting and Firearms: About 2,800 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel and waterfowl.

Hunting is limited to the use of three types of short-range weapons, shotgun, muzzleloader and bow during the appropriate hunting seasons. Waterfowl hunting is popular and 15 duck blinds are awarded by lottery on the third Saturday in August.

Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. DCNR and the PA Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s car, trailer or leased campsite. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are within the park.

éSwimming: The pool and sprayground sit on a bluff overlooking Lake Marburg. The pool has a ramp for people with disabilities. The summer hours are 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Admission is charged. Swimmers arriving after 4 p.m. receive a discount. Season passes are available at the park office.

A seasonal snack bar has hot and cold foods and beverages.

The pool is very popular and reaches capacity on holidays and many weekends. Mid-week swimming is often less crowded.

Due to the extreme water level fluctuations of Lake Marburg, it is impossible to maintain a swimming beach. Swimming in the lake is prohibited.

éFishing: The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg is a warm water fishery. Popular species are yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge. Bow fishing is permitted in the shallow cove areas.

Lake Marburg is in the Big Bass Program. Large and smallmouth bass must be a minimum of 15 inches long to be harvested and the daily limit is four fish of either species, combined.

East Branch Codorus Creek, along Park Road, is an approved trout stocking stream. DCNR and PA Fish and Boat Commission rules and regulations apply.

Mountain Biking: 6.5 miles of trails

The designated 195-acre Mountain Biking Area is on the northern shore of the park. The trails crisscross forests and climb short hills. During hunting seasons, bikers should wear fluorescent orange for safety. Please respect other trail users.

Hiking: 19 miles of trails

Although the park only has two “hiking only” trails, many miles of equestrian and mountain biking trails can also be hiked. All trails are in hunting areas so visitors should wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons.

Mary Ann Furnace Trail - 3.5 miles

From the trailhead along Black Rock Road, the trail begins on a boardwalk through the wetlands of Black Rock Flats then climbs through a tall deciduous forest that borders old farm fields and comes to a Y. The left trail eventually follows the shoreline of the lake. The right trail climbs to the top of the hill and gives a view of the campground. Both trails campground.

LaHo Trail - 1.5 miles - This trail follows the shoreline of Wildasin Flats. The wetlands make this an excellent area for birding, year-round. The trail is primarily a single-track path that hugs the hillside, although a few trail sections ascend steep terrain and portions of the trail can be muddy. On a grassy knoll in the eastern part of the trail is Wildasin Cemetery, which has a tombstone dated 1722.

Boating Activities: up to 20 hp motors

The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg has seven boat launch ramps around the lake. All are open to the public, but the campground launch is only for the use of registered campers.

Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

Mooring: Mooring spaces may be rented from April 1 to October 31. Codorus State Park has the following boat storage facilities: canoe and kayak racks; sailboat racks; sailboat dry storage; small marina slips for boats up to 17 feet long; and large marina slips for boats up to 26 feet long.

Boat Rental: The boat rental in the Marina Day Use Area offers pontoon boats, motorboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and is open during the boating season. The Oar House boat rental in the Swimming Pool Day Use Area offers canoes, kayaks and paddleboats from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Environmental Education and Interpretation: The park provides programs from May to October. Programs include ecological and historical walks and talks, audiovisual presentations, campfires, school environmental educational activities and youth programs. There are nature trails and a bird viewing station.

Stay the Night

éCamping: flush toilets and showers

The campground opens the second Friday in April and closes November 1. There are about 190 campsites which are suitable for tents or recreational vehicles up to 50 feet in length. Many campsites have electric hookups. Seven campsites with electricity can accommodate people with disabilities. Fifteen sites are available for tents only. Hot showers, flush toilets, boat launch, shoreline mooring and a sanitary dump station are available. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the maximum stay in the campground is 14 consecutive nights. All camping equipment must be removed from the park for 48 hours before returning.

éCamping Cottages: Located in the campground, the three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets.

éYurts: Located in the campground, the two round Mongolian-style tents are on wooden decks and sleep five people in single bunks and double/ single bunks. Yurts have a cooking stove, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring and picnic table.

Enjoy the Winter

Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles may use 6.5 miles of trails in the 195-acre Mountain Biking Area on Bankert Road. Snowmobiling is permitted only after antlered deer season in late December. Please wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons.

Cross-country Skiing: There are 6.5 miles of trails in the 195-acre Mountain Biking Area on Bankert Road. Skiers may also use the fields of the Marina, Main Launch and the campground. Please wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons.

Sledding: A 500-foot sledding slope is at the upper end of Chapel Cove, just off of PA 216. Park in Chapel Cove and walk along PA 216 to the park entrance sign and the trail to the slope. This slope is steep and too much speed can be a problem; therefore, ramps are prohibited. Pigeon Hill in the Marina Day Use Area is a gentler slope. Park in the Pigeon Hills Monument lot and sled toward the lake.

Ice Skating: When conditions allow, a 10-acre area in Chapel Cove, near the restrooms, is available for ice skating. When conditions are good, lights are provided to extend the skating time until 7:30 p.m. Skating is only permitted when the ice is posted as safe.

Ice Fishing: Except for the ice skating area, all of the 1,275-acre Lake Marburg is open for ice fishing. Popular species caught through the ice are yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge.

Ice Boating: Most of Lake Marburg is open for iceboating. A state park launch permit is required for iceboats.

Use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice. Check with the park office to determine ice conditions in the skating area. Other areas of the lake are not monitored.

Wildlife Watching

Codorus State Park has many different habitats, like forests, fields, wetlands, and a large lake, which make it a great place to see wildlife.

The lake is a magnet for birds, especially migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. In the spring and fall, ruddy ducks, mergansers and scaups often float in large flotillas in the middle of the lake. Near the edges of the lake are grebes, coots and wigeon. Yellowlegs, dunlins and sandpipers frequent the mudflats of the lake to rest and refuel.

The wetlands in the coves and flats of the lake are great places to see wildlife, especially wood ducks, herons, red-winged blackbirds, kingfishers, turtles and muskrats.

Osprey frequent the lake and can be seen diving into the water to catch fish. An active bald eagle nest near the lake can be viewed from the classroom building overlook.

The fields of the park are great places to see white-tailed deer, sparrows, swallows and bluebirds. Volunteers monitor about 175 bluebird boxes.

The forests of the park are habitat for thrushes and warblers, birds that are often absent from the open land surrounding the park.

Please remember that feeding wildlife and spotlighting are prohibited in the park. Always enjoy viewing wildlife from a safe distance.


When Europeans reached the land that became Codorus State Park, it was the territory of Susquehannock Indians, a powerful tribe that controlled much of the land near the Susquehanna River. Wars and the push of settlers led to the demise of the Susquehannocks.

The early settlers, were German farmers, but industry soon followed.

Built in 1762, Mary Ann Furnace is believed to be the first charcoal furnace built on the western side of the Susquehanna River. The furnace supplied cannon balls and grapeshot for the continental army and employed Hessian prisoners to run the ironworks while many of the available workforce were off fighting the British. Nothing remains of the ironworks except memories.

The four original founders of Mary Ann Furnace had a great impact on the United States.

George Stevenson emigrated from Ireland and was employed as a deputy surveyor by the Penn Family. Stevenson organized wagons and supplies for the Forbes Campaign during the French and Indian War. When the British occupied Philadelphia and York became the capital of the Colonies, George Washington called on George Stevenson to take charge of the supply lines.

George Ross was a lawyer from Lancaster. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Provincial Assembly, the Provincial Conference and the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence. He also introduced George Washington to the widow of his nephew, the flag maker Betsy Ross.

William Thompson emigrated from Ireland. In the French and Indian War, he served as a officer under John Armstrong in the Kittanning Expedition and as a captain of the light horse in the Forbes Campaign. In the American Revolution, he became the colonel of the first colonial infantry and advanced to brigadier general. He was captured in the Second Assault on Quebec and held prisoner for four years, only to die not long after his release.

Mark Bird was the son of ironmaster William Bird, of Hopewell Furnace. In the American Revolution, Bird served as deputy quartermaster and as a colonel. He used his own money and ironworks to supply cannons and munitions. After the war, he was never repaid. Deep in debt, he went bankrupt and fled to North Carolina to avoid his creditors.

The Up and Down Lake

The impoundment of Codorus Creek was the result of a cooperative project between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Glatfelter Paper Company of Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. This undertaking was the first of its kind in the Commonwealth and was designed to serve the water supply needs of a private industry and the town of Spring Grove, and to provide a public recreation area.

The Glatfelter Paper Company constructed the dam and still owns and runs the dam. The gates first closed, impounding water, in December of 1966. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the park land in 1965-1966. Originally the park was known as Codorus Creek State Park. Lake Marburg is named for the small community of Marburg that is covered by the lake.

The Glatfelter Paper Company and the town of Spring Grove are permitted to draw water from the lake for their needs. This means that the lake water level can drop over 22 feet in a summer, only to rise with rainfall.

Access for People with Disabilities

éThis symbol indicates facilities and activities that are accessible. This publication text is available in alternative formats.

If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

Nearby Attractions

For information on local attractions, contact: York County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 888-858-YORK, www.yorkpa.org; Hanover Chamber of Commerce, 717-637-6130, www.hanoverchamber.com.

Fly fishing is permitted on a two-mile section of Codorus Creek along Porters Road, below the Glatfelter Dam. It is designated as Trophy Trout Water by the PA Fish and Boat Commission and has a naturally reproducing population of brown trout.

Pennsylvania State Parks Mission

The primary purpose of Pennsylvania State Parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Protect and Preserve Our Parks

Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park.

• Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. Your personal safety and that of your family are your responsibility.

• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

• Because uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors, pets must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash, caged or crated. Pets are prohibited in swimming areas.

In an Emergency

Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to the nearest hospital, look on bulletin boards or at the park office.

Nearest Hospital:

Hanover Hospital

300 Highland Avenue

Hanover, PA 17331


For More Information Contact:

Codorus State Park

2600 Smith Station Road

Hanover, PA 17331-8000

717-637-2816 (Park Office)

717-637-2418 (Campground)

e-mail: codorussp@state.pa.us

An Equal Opportunity Employer


Information and Reservations

Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.


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