With summer now in full force, many people are looking to get outside and enjoy nature. Memorial Lake State Park is a great place to do that.

Memorial Lake State Park, one of the two state parks in Lebanon County, spans 230 acres in East Hanover Township.

All photos by LebTown photographer Will Trostel

Street signage leading to the park entrance.
Park office for Memorial Park.

The park is surrounded by Fort Indiantown Gap, the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard. When visiting Memorial Lake, there are several indicators of Fort Indiantown Gap’s proximity, from signage throughout the park to the frequent sights and sounds of helicopters overhead.

Memorial Lake will fall outside a planned perimeter fence for Fort Indiantown Gap, a project that has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: Increased security coming to Fort Indiantown Gap; construction of two gates to start this spring

Fort Indiantown Gap was used as a training site for seven divisions of the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1945, Memorial Lake Park was established to honor Pennsylvania National Guard Members’ service in both World Wars. It became a state park in 1955.

A park sign denotes the dedication of Memorial Lake to Pennsylvania soldiers.

The trail in the park, which has a lot of shade, is a popular place for people to walk and jog. Many people take their dogs along to bond with them and give them exercise.

Lisa Clay and her dog “Dutchie” walk the trails of Memorial Lake.

A popular activity for visitors of Memorial Lake Park is taking boats out onto the lake. They can bring their own boats or rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and rowboats by the hour from the boat rental facility.

The boat rental building is located near the entrance of the park.
There are many different boats for people to choose from.
Boaters filled the waters on a Wednesday evening at the park.

The lake in the park was created by a man-made dam, which people can go see when visiting.

One of the many bridges, large and small, in the park crosses over the dam.
When crossing the bridge, you can get an overhead view of the dam.
The dam is marked off by buoys to prevent boaters from getting too close to it.

Another popular activity at Memorial Lake is fishing. Fishermen can catch various species of fish, including Bass, Muskellunge, Northern pike, Yellow Perch, White and Black Crappies and Panfish.

Many fisherman can be found scattered throughout the park during fishing season.

In addition to walking or jogging along the park trails, park-goers can improve their fitness by utilizing the workout equipment throughout the park. Each piece of equipment has a sign demonstrating how to use it.

Of course, if people prefer a more leisurely visit to the park, they can simply sit (perhaps with a picnic lunch) and enjoy the weather and the views of the lake.

Local folk relax in the shade on a nice day in the park.

Do you have a favorite spot in Lebanon County? Let us know and we might feature it in a future LebTown story.

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