Within the state forest and operating under a separate administration are three state parks. Caledonia State Park is a little less than 1,200 acres and located about the middle of this long and narrow state forest. Pine Grove Furnace State Park is situated in the northern end of the state forest and is about 700 acres in size. Mont. Alto State Park is 35 acres and is the oldest state park in Pennsylvania. These state parks provide swimming, picnicking and associated recreation. Caledonia and Pine Grove Furnace also provide a jumping off point for hikers on the Appalachian Trail.
The area receives extremely heavy public pressure on a year-round basis. Snowmobiling has been increasing annually. York County, which is adjacent to the state forest, has the highest number of registered snowmobiles in the state. Hunting and fishing are popular pastimes throughout the area. Motorcycling and recreational vehicle uses are also increasing at an astounding rate. The close proximity to several large metropolitan areas is one of the major reasons for this extremely heavy use. Washington, DC and Baltimore are less than two hours away by car. Local residents and those enrolled at the many local colleges also constitute a large portion of the number of people utilizing the state forest.
It appears that rock climbing and primitive camping will become increasingly important within the next few years. The Michaux District is the only of the 20 State Forest Districts to administer a state-owned golf course.