Paying to Park at Beltzville State Park

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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -- There are no entrance or user fees for any state park currently in Pennsylvania, but that could change at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County because the park is often overcrowded on hot summer weekends.

A state lawmaker hopes implementing a small parking fee might help cut down the crowds. Dozens of people were catching some rays on the beach Thursday. Celena DiAngelis from Brooklyn, New York was one of those sun bathers.

"Back home in Brooklyn, we don't have places like this, and if we want to get away we come here. It's nice because it is free," said DiAngelis.

But the free-for-all might not last.

State Representative Doyle Heffley, (R) Carbon County, who's from Lehighton, tells us he received a petition with 2,000 signatures complaining about the crowded conditions at the park, especially on weekends.

Heffley believes a small parking fee could help preserve the beauty of the park. People from Pennsylvania would pay less than people from out of state.

"A proposal that we are tossing around is looking at ways to encourage DCNR, or to allow them, to charge a fee to access some of our parks. Certainly the budget right now, we fund DCNR, but you have a lot of people from out of state coming into our parks," said Heffley.

Carol Stine of Philadelphia doesn't mind the idea.

"I think it is necessary. I was surprised, first of all, that it was free because how can that because there is all this to support," said Stine.

If a small fee was implemented, it would help with problems, including trash that was left over from the weekend. Staff would be able to get to the park sooner to clean it up.

"Certainly charging something would help minimize and definitely take care of it," said Stine.

Not everyone Newswatch 16 spoke to at Beltzville like the payment possibility.

"If I want to come with my friends, who wants to put out money to sit on a beach when we can do it for free, especially with a beautiful view," said DiAngelis.

State Rep. Heffley tells us it will be up to DCNR to give the go-ahead for the fee at Beltzville State Park. No word on if or when that could happen.

The trash left after the big fourth of July weekend is expected to be cleaned up by volunteers on July 14.


  • PA tax payer

    Charge people from out of state, we already pay for this with our tax dollars. Make a separate parking lot for out of state parking and when that is full sorry about your luck

  • Jim Dew

    Create a fee for out of state residents. How about creating more beach area also? Sand and asphalt are affordable.

  • Marie Stoves

    The ones making the mess are the bus loads coming in from new York and philly. They are the ones trashing our park. Make THEM pay. Not the locals.

  • concerned resident

    Charge everyone that is not a local resident 5$. Out of states come here and destroy the place then go home to leave us clean it up. Go to the shore you bums.

  • Denise Behler

    It’s about time long over due, if they really do like the park they will pay but most of them come here cause it’s free and while they are here they destroy it and let their trash behind

  • Christian Edward Stepien

    Its just yet another way to keep poor people away, exploit tourism and tax locals.
    We don’t go to Mauch Chunk Lake in Carbon County because of the fees for even county residents!
    State Parks are meant to be FREE for the use of ALL THE PEOPLE…not just those who can afford it!
    I already pay for this park in my TAXES! If it was free for PA or County residents with ID then that would at least be FAIR!

    • Marie Stoves

      It’s the out of state folks from NY that are trashing it. Make them pay. And kick out those,seen breaking rules.

  • Sam

    The state found another way to get $$ from the taxpayers that paid for the park to begin with !!

  • Carolyn

    It should be free for people who live in PA or maybe a very small amount such as 3 dollars. Out of staters should have to pay more say around 8 dollars. The park would bring in a good amount of money since it seems like most people who occupy the park now are from out of state.

  • Beth

    When we go on vacation to New York and visit their state parks there is an entrance fee by car. I think it is $7. It is for the day and it is good for any of their state parks which there are quite a few in the Thousand Island area. The parks are beautiful. Each one has a beach or pool, a brand new playground (Playworld – made here in PA), and well kept. They have a carry in / carry out policy so there are no trash cans but you never see garbage laying around. I would love to see our state parks have a small fee if it will improve the beauty and quality.

  • bill

    how about no one on the government system allowed at the park they don’t pay for the park so they shouldn’t be allowed and out of staters pay more

  • joemama1980

    Other states charge to use their parks, they charge people from out of state more. PA should as well. It does have to be a lot but it will cover up keep and up grades. Why should volunteers have to pick up the garbage others left?

  • Deez Nutz

    So this woman is willing to spend money on fuel to drive here from Brooklyn, but not a couple of dollars to pay for parking that would help toward the cost of keeping the park clean. We don’t want your trash either, clean up after yourselves!

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