Located outside of Hanover PA, Codorus State Park is a haven for boaters, anglers, and hopeful eagle-spotters alike. The park surrounds and includes Lake Marburg, which features a marina with various boat rentals, as well as docking slips. The lake is man-made, and you can read about the history of Codorus and Lake Marburg here if you’re interested. The park is also known for being the location of the popular Hanover bald eagle nest, which can be viewed on various digital feeds on the internet. From what I understand, the main viewing area is located at the Marina Overlook and people recommend taking binoculars or a viewing scope (or using the coin-operated viewer at the park) to actually catch a glimpse of the eagles. We unfortunately did not spot any bald eagles during our visit, but I will admit we also didn’t try that hard.
We arrived pretty early in the camping season for this area of Pennsylvania (second week of May), so the campground was sparsely populated. I’ve never been to the park over Memorial Day weekend, but I can only assume it fills quickly with people anxious to head outdoors for the summer. The campground features four loops – Loop A is wooded with non-electric sites, Loops B and C are mostly wooded with electric sites, and Loop D is mostly open with electric sites. The rustic tent camping loop is tucked away behind the RV loops and features wooded sites, a handful of which are located along one of the boat launch ramps by the lake.
This was our first visit to a state park in the RV, so we don’t really have a basis for comparison when it comes to facilities, RV sites, or general ambiance, but we were completely pleased with the experience. The sites were well spaced, but not necessarily separated by trees, they appeared to be relatively level, and were well cared for as far as we could see. The various bathhouses were also clean, spacious, and heated, with ample hot water available (the outdoor temperature dipped into the high 30s for a couple of nights during our stay). Of the 165 RV sites available, only fifteen to twenty were in use while we were there – so when the park is at capacity, we’d likely have a completely different experience.
We enjoyed a couple of short hikes around the park during the day and played a round of disc golf (Ashley’s first!) on one of the courses. Codorus actually features 54 disc golf holes, and the park hosted the 2005 state championship – which is a little fact I didn’t learn until this most recent visit. In addition to the various hiking and biking trails, the lake also offers 26 miles of shoreline. We spent a couple of evenings viewing the sunset from shore while sharing the space with a family of geese. Lake Marburg is apparently a popular resting stop for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, providing plenty of opportunities for birdwatchers.
For any travelers heading west to or east from Gettysburg, Codorus State Park would make a great stop on your journey. The park is split down the middle by Blooming Grove Road (Route 216), which makes it mildly annoying to travel from one side of the park to the other on foot or by bike, but it’s not really that much of an inconvenience. Codorus is also the host location for various festivals and holiday events, so you might want to check the schedule first if you’re anticipating a quiet visit. For our first state park visit, Codorus was an excellent way to get our feet wet and we look forward to exploring many more state parks as we continue down the road.