We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

“Good Birding Area” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wildwood Park

Wildwood Park
Ranked #4 of 52 things to do in Harrisburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Wildwood Park is located in the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania on the outskirts of downtown Harrisburg. Its 229 acres are a haven for countless species of flora and fauna centered around the 90 acre freshwater wetland. A popular three-mile loop trail encircles the park with side trails and boardwalks for a total of six miles of trails. Its attractive Olewine Nature Center features engaging exhibits on environmental education. Established in 1901, during the City Beautiful Movement, Wildwood was part of a nationwide effort to improve urban life. In 1976, the Dauphin County Commissioners assumed ownership of the property. Now managed by Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department, Wildwood Park is one of Pennsylvania’s premier centers for environmental studies, educational opportunities and outdoor recreation. It is a cherished retreat for nature lovers, bird watchers and exercise enthusiasts.
Batesville, Arkansas
Level Contributor
121 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Good Birding Area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2011

For a place to bird - this one isn't too bad. A bit noisy in spots since this very near the numerous freeways that buzz through and around Harrisburg - but - pretty varied in terms of birds and a nice walk. Ponds were pretty choked with water plants - but it was a very nice walk - several warblers and some water birds. Worth a look if you are a birder.

Visited August 2011
Thank SusanCBM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

200 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
141 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Nice place for a quick walk with the dog”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2009

The main trail is 5K in length. It is partially paved. It is not a bad place for being in Harrisburg. Unfortunately you can still hear the traffic from the highway, but what do you expect? You are in Harrisburg. There are plenty of ducks and geese to look at and we occasionally run across snakes, squirrels and chipmunks. If you are looking for a real "hiking" trail, you will be very disappointed. However, our dog does love to stretch his legs and tries to chase squirrels. Overall, a good place for a quick walk to get out of the house.

1 Thank squashirt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent for those who love nature”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2009

This nature center is literally "just off the beaten path". In fact, visitors can hear the sounds of the highway in most areas of this park. That may be the only drawback to this sanctuary--attempting to block out the passing traffic noise in areas where the highway encroaches upon the apparently unaffected flora and fauna. But I've listed this attraction as excellent due to the overwhelming opportunities to witness nature close-up. On my visit in the middle of June, my nephews and I observed several types of frogs, birds, and plant life. In addition to the abundant nature life that surrounded us during our visit, the four hours we spent were free of charge. People, young and old alike, were out and about enjoying themselves. The place also has a great website that helped my nephews and I navigate the park. If you go, try to make the bird blinds a stop on your visit. We spotted three large herons and one egret. We'll definitely go back someday.

2 Thank Dublin576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“What a wonderful free place to take your children!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2008

I just love this nature center. It's free. When I was a stay at home mom with my preschooler, we could go there for hours. We'd walk on the boardwalk, then go to the nature center to explore and do FREE crafts. He always had a good time. We loved going there with other friends. Hikes there were always fun. At one time they had a stroller walk for moms and babies, but that was ended due to funding, but get some friends together and do your own stroller walk on the boardwalks thru the Wildwood Lake Sanctuary.

2 Thank Tamizpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Amazing retreat in the midst of highway and city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2008

Wildwood Lake Sanctuary is an amazing place. It's great for family fun, for photographers, for nature lovers, for romantic rambles...even for interesting walking opportunities during a long car ride on 81.
In the winter, some trails invite cross-country skiing. Check out http://www.wildwoodlake.org. There is a 12,000 sq. ft. Nature Center. There are wood chip, gravel, soil or boardwalk trails throughout and over the wetlands...some trails are wheelchair accessible. Trails run through open meadow, woodland, over ponds, by the lake, to the gorge and bog and over the protected marsh. You might spy fox, ground hogs, birds, dragonflies, lightening bugs and deer. Lots of plant life, including iris and wild flowers. But the big draw, a reason for encouraging excellent funding to develop and maintain all this info and beauty, is the American Lotus, which is an endangered plant species. WLS is accurately described as one of Pa.'s premier centers for environmental and ecological nature studies, educational opportunities throughout the year and outdoor recreation.
The Lotus lake is beautiful...with egrets in the summer, another endangered species.

5 Thank explorer3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Wildwood Park also viewed


Been to Wildwood Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing