Rep. Pickett: New PA state park Vosburg Neck coming to North Eastern Pennsylvania


By Rep. Tina Pickett – Three new parks are being added to the Pennsylvania state park system, including one at Vosburg Neck in Wyoming County. We celebrated the news recently at a special event with Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Dunn (fifth from left in photo).

I was happy to support funding for the new park, which was included in the 2022-23 state budget.

Vosburg Neck, the former Howland Preserve, is 669 acres being acquired with the assistance of the North Branch Land Trust. The park will offer scenic hiking opportunities, including a climb to an impressive westerly oriented vista, pleasant strolls along a former railroad bed, invigorating shared-use trails, and significant public access for water-based recreation to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The idea of establishing a park on the former estate of Ernie Howland upriver from Tunkhannock had been proposed for decades, even by Howland to then Wyoming County commissioner and personal friend Rich Fitzsimmons. “He wanted it to be preserved, and he didn’t want it to be a national agency,” Fitzsimmons related. “He wanted it to be local or state.”

In 1990, years before Dunn would be appointed to her current position, Fitzsimmons invited her on a paddle on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. “I saw Wyoming County for the first time from the river,” Dunn told the crowd. “Coming into the Vosburg Neck from Mehoopany is captivating.”

The two other new state parks are located in York and Chester counties. The new parks are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2026.

According to a press release from the DCNR, public access has been granted at each of the three new state parks, though amenities may be limited initially. While Vosburg Neck State Park is likely to remain its official name, that too is part of the master planning process for each site that will evaluate the available resources, potential visitor amenities and recreational opportunities, and provide a chance for the public to provide input.

Also pictured in the photo (L-R): Ellen Ferretti, North Branch Land Trust executive director; Sen. Lisa Baker; Leslie Cadden from Rep. Karen Boback’s office; Wyoming County Commissioners Rick Wilbur and Ernie King (Commissioner Tom Henry is behind Wilbur); John Norbeck, DCNR deputy secretary for parks and forestry; Tim Schaeffer, Fish and Boat Commission executive director; Doug Wilson, caretaker; Nicholas Sulzer, park manager; Ally Wilson, caretaker; and John Hallas, DCNR Bureau of State Parks director.