It’s the start of the weekend. Do you have any plans on how to spend it yet?
The United States has a lot of places for you to visit and enjoy, especially this weekend. Pennsylvania alone has a lot of sites to offer. One of which is Lake Tobias, a wildlife park that’s fit for every member of the family. It’s one of the perfect places in the US to spend the weekend with the whole family.
But before you drive to this place, let’s dig more details about it first, shall we?
- 1 Lake Tobias: A Closer Look
- 2 Important Things to Note
- 3 Getting to Lake Tobias
- 4 Things to Do Near Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
Lake Tobias: A Closer Look
When talking about Pennsylvania, it’s hard not to think of its lush forests that will surely draw you closer to nature. It’s one of the original 13 colonies of the United States that offers a nice green scenery packed with hundreds of activities that anyone in the family will enjoy, especially this weekend.
There are a lot of places to visit here, though, which can be overwhelming. But if you were to ask us, one of the top places that we can recommend is the Lake Tobias. This place is surely filled with nice green sceneries that serve as habitats to the animals that it houses.
What You Can See and Do in Lake Tobias
At first glance, you might just think it’s a mere zoo that offers viewing activities of animals in their cages. However, there’s more to this place than that.
Yes, it hosts animal exhibits where the animals can be viewed in their realistic habitats. Here, you can get to see big cats such as the majestic lion and the Bengal tiger known for its unmistakable stripes and immense size. The wildlife park also houses bears that can reach an impressive stature of up to six feet tall and can weigh up to 500 pounds.
Lake Tobias also serves as a home to other creatures aside from big cats and bears. Here, you can also get to see a massive Asian water buffalo. There is also the largest antelope in the world, the elands, which will pique your curiosity with the interesting clicking noise that they make with their split toes knocking together.
There are also graceful European fallow deer that has distinctive long tails and white spots along their backs and flanks. Of course, there are beautiful Grant’s zebras that will flash their unique stripes. Their newly added giraffes, the tallest land mammal on earth, are surely not to be missed as well, especially if you’re traveling to Lake Tobias with kids.
There are smaller mammals too. The wildlife park also houses cute gibbons, kangaroos, sloths, as well as even capybaras.
Lake Tobias also has some birds of a feather that will amaze you. Some of which are the elegant East African crowned crane that radiates royalty with its identifiable golden crest. As you navigate through the park, you can also get to see equally elegant and stunning birds like peacocks as they energetically dance as they do their mating ritual.
Of course, who wouldn’t miss the flightless yet amazing birds like the ostrich, which is known for its large size and long neck? There is also the rhea, a bird that can run up to 40 miles per hour.
2Reptiles and Exotics
Lake Tobias isn’t just about the cute and sweet stuff. It also houses reptiles and other exotic animals. Here, you can conquer your fears on reptiles like snakes and alligators as the park offers a close-up experience where you can even get to touch them. Through this experience, of course, you can also get to know them better that will help you understand them and take away your fears.
The park also has exhibits for exotic animals. If you will stroll around the park’s building dedicated to reptiles and exotics, you can get to see exotic animals like Burmese python, poison dart frogs, tamarins, tropical birds, marmoset, large tortoises, two-toes tree sloths, and more.
There are also shows you can watch where you can also learn more about the fascinating animals featured, as well as the zoo’s conservation efforts that will also give you a better look at them.
But aside from viewing these animals, you can also get to go on a safari tours and try out other educational hands-on activities.
In the safari tour that the wildlife park offers, you will not just get to see exotic animals up close but you can also get to fill your eyes with amazing views and learn more about the animals that the park houses.
In this activity, you can even experience a face-to-face encounter with friendly elks, regal watusi, mighty bisons, and more. You will also get to enjoy a ride in an open-air cruiser that will tour you around the 150-acre of land filled with rolling hills, pasture, and woodlands. Of course, the park will provide a tour guide who will accompany you on the tour and he/she will share their knowledge about the various species that you will encounter. They will also share what they know about the animals’ habitats. With this tour that goes approximately 45 minutes, you will surely experience being transported into another world as you see herds of mammals and flightless birds of all shapes and sizes. The best part is that all of these animals roam freely. Hence, you will surely see something different every time you take the safari tour.
Of course, you will not just get to see animals but you can also touch and even feed them. In Lake Tobias, you can create meaningful memories with your family, friends, and even animals. This is because the wildlife park also offers a petting zoo. From the cutest and smallest African pygmy goats to the long-necked alpacas, you and your loved ones will enjoy this activity that Lake Tobias offers. You can feed them too. However, note that you can’t feed them with your own food. For the animals’ safety and proper diet, pellets and carrots from the park’s employees, petting zoo booths, and coin-operated dispensers around the petting zoo and the rest of the park are the only food you can feed the animals.
5Baby Animal Program
The wildlife park also has a baby animal program where you can join. Here, the baby animals who have been rejected by their mothers are taken care of by the park’s staff. And you can help them too as you enjoy the place. In this activity, you can socialize with the cute baby animals in the park as they transition to their new home. Feed them, help them, relax, and even learn more about them as the park’s Baby Animal Crew members assist you. It’s a nice experience that you shouldn’t miss too.
6Museum and Education Center
Of course, your experience doesn’t just stop there as Lake Tobias also provides more room for learning and experience with its J.R. Tobias Museum and Education Center. Here, you can travel back in time to see and experience the park’s history and see how a marine turned his family homestead into a sprawling zoo that became one of the well-loved attractions in Pennsylvania today through photos, videos, artifacts, as well as hands-on exhibits. Through this, you can also get to learn more about how we can all contribute to the conservation of the endangered wildlife on our planet.
Aside from that, you can also get to learn more about animals through the park’s educational exhibits about the park itself and its endangered animals. Here, you can also get to see beautiful toucans, a 500-gallon fresh water aquarium that features silver arowana, motoro stingrays, jaquar, and more.
If you want a unique place to celebrate special events, Lake Tobias can also got your back. The park also welcomes such celebrations. Whether it’s a class trip, club outing, company picnic, and even family reunions and birthday parties, you are more than welcome to celebrate and gather here too. However, there are certain guidelines for that.
In order to receive the group rate, Lake Tobias requires you to have a minimum of 20 people, ages three to adult. The park also asks groups to pre-schedule their event at least two weeks in advance. If the group visit is scheduled less than one week in advance, there will be some changes in the admission rates.
Important Things to Note
Before you go to a place, regardless of your purpose, it is a must to get to know its rates and schedule better. Lucky for you, though, we got your back as we’ve already done the research on that. For the rates, it varies. Check this out.
Lake Tobias Rates:
For the pre-paid admissions, guests needs to pay $7 per person. If you want to join a Safari Tour, pre-paid admissions costs $13.
Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with pre-paid admissions or if you forgot to buy tickets in advance. You can still purchase tickets at the park’s gate. However the rate is different. If you were to purchase admission tickets at the park’s gate, note that it costs $8 per person while the Safari Tour costs $6 per person.
Note that both the “admission only” and the “admission plus Safari Tour” passes already include Zoo Exhibits, Petting Zoo, Reptile Exhibits and Show, as well as the J.R Tobias Museum and Education Center.
Children who are aged 2 and under are always free as well.
As for the groups and parties’ rates, you can check them out here. For bigger special occasions, you can check their offers here. As for scheduling and other concerns, their lines are also open and you can contact them at (717) 362-9126.
Lake Tobias Schedule:
Of course, it is also best to get to know an attraction’s schedule to avoid hassles. Good thing we can also share the wildlife park’s schedule.
Lake Tobias’ schedule varies depending on certain months and/or events. On regular days and visits, the wildlife park usually opens at 9:30 in the morning and closes at 6 in the evening. During the weekends, however, the park is open from 9:30 Am to 7 PM.
For the month of September onwards, however, they are usually only operational during the weekends from 9:30 AM to 6 PM. Sometimes they open their gates to guests during holidays like Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc. also from 9:30 AM to 6 PM.
Meanwhile, for pre-scheduled groups and other big gatherings, they usually open their gates 30 minutes earlier than their regular operational hours. They also offer group visits on Thursdays and Fridays for this month to October from 9 AM to 2 PM.
However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, that has taken a toll on many businesses and other attractions, we’re still unsure of how its schedule will go. We suggest that you always keep an eye on their schedule days before your planned visit as the wildlife park might impose some changes on their schedules or make some announcements.
Getting to Lake Tobias
Since the wildlife park is located at the heart of Pennsylvania, there are a lot of ways to get there. For starters, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is located approximately 25 miles north of Harrisburg and four miles north of Halifax. They are just off Route 225, outside the small town of Fisherville. But here are more detailed directions that depends on which side of Pennsylvania you’re coming from.
From the North
If you’re coming from the northern part, take Route 225 South to Elizabethville. At the intersection, continue on 225 South approximately six miles to Fisherville. Then, you will see the wildlife park’s sign already.
From the South
If you’re coming from the south, it is best to take Rt. 83 North to Rt. 322 West. Then to Rt. 225 North to Halifax. At the traffic light in Halifax, continue on 225 North approximately four miles to Fisherville. Then, turn at the wildlife park’s sign.
From I 81 (East and West)
Take Rt. 81 to Rt. 322 West to Rt. 225 North to Halifax. At traffic light in Halifax, continue on 225 North approximately four miles to Fisherville. Then, you’ll see the wildlife park’s sign.
From the North West
In case you’re traveling from the North West, take Rt. 322 East to Rt. 147 North to Halifax. At traffic light in Halifax, take Rt. 225 North approximately four miles to Fisherville. Turn at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park sign that you’ll see.
Coming from the Turnpike:
Of course, we also have directions for you if you’re coming from the Turnpike. Just use Harrisburg East Exit (247) to Rt. 283 North to Rt. 322 West to Rt. 225 North to Halifax. At traffic light in Halifax, continue on 225 North approximately four miles to Fisherville. Turn at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park sign.
Things to Do Near Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
Apparently, Lake Tobias is perfectly placed near a number of Pennsylvania’s top tourist spots. And if you have more time, these attractions near the wildlife park is definitely worth the drive. In case you’re looking for some more adventure, you might also want to check out these attractions near the wildlife park.
Armstrong Valley Winery
Established in the late 1760s, this place, which includes a stone house, summer kitchen, ice house, barn, and several other buildings, boasts of acres that contains the vineyards. Here, you can get to shop for nice wines — from dry reds to other types of fruit wine – which you can bring home with you after a long day at Tobias Lake. It’s a nice stop that’s not to be missed.
The Winery at Hunters Valley
If you’re up for some more wines, don’t miss The Winery at Hunters Valley as well. Aside from some nice wine, this place also offers a nice pet-friendly panoramic view of the valley down the Susquehanna River.
Broad Mountain Vineyard
Another one of the top wine spots is the Broad Mountain Vineyard. This place offers a nice comfy and well-decorated tasting room interior that will relax you after a long day at the Lake Tobias. Its windows are also a must-see as they strategically and creatively designed it with wine bottles.
Bucks Valley Winery and Vineyards
Another one on the never-ending list of wineries in Pennsylvania is the Bucks Valley Winery and Vineyards. What’s unique about this place is that aside from the fact that you can get to enjoy quality wines, this place also offers a menu of brick oven dishes, such as pizza, artisan bread, and stromboli, that will make you come back time and again. Also, this place has a nice view of the beautiful landscape around the area that you can get to see in full view from their decks. This place is really relaxing and at the same time will fill you with some good food.
Popularly known as the oldest wooden ferry still in operation in the US, the Millersburg Ferry will give you a pleasant ride across the Susquehanna River. It’s going to be a relaxing ride after a long day at Lake Tobias. But if you’re not feeling a short river cruise, it’s okay. The place still offers nice scenery that will fill your eyes. Don’t forget to take photos with your loved ones.
Wiconisco Creek Pedestrian Bridge
Speaking of sightseeing, another place to visit is the Wiconisco Creek Pedestrian Bridge. Nearly 8 km away from Lake Tobias, this place offers a nice spot to sit on the park swings and just watch the ferry. Relax, take photos, and make some memories. It’s a nice stop this weekend after a visit to Lake Tobias.
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
In case you want to fill your minds with more knowledge, the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art is also a must-visit before and/or after your visit to Lake Tobias. Here, you can get to enjoy a large nature center, as its name suggests, with trails and gallery/museum. The best part of it is that the trails are free and only a small amount of admission is needed to view galleries.
Old Sled Works
If you’re up for some old stuff, the Old Sled Works is a must-visit. 16 km away from Lake Tobias, this place is filled with antiques that you can also bring home. It also has a sled museum, a car museum, a soda fountain, and an arcade museum that everyone in the family will enjoy as well.
Lykens Valley Golf Course
If you’re still up for some outdoor activities after visiting Lake Tobias, take your loved ones to the Lykens Valley Golf Course. As its name suggests, this place lets you enjoy a nice setting of rolling hills, streams, and wooden valleys. Here, you can also get to play golf and test your game at one of the most picturesque settings in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania really has a lot to offer. In fact, the weekend won’t be enough to explore the activities and sights that it has. Even so, Lake Tobias and some of the attractions near it are already enough to pump up your weekend. Each of these attractions will surely bring you different levels of relaxation, learning, and bonding. Each of these places are surely worth the drive as well. So what are you waiting for? Pack up your bags and plan for your trip this weekend. We’re sure each of these attractions has something cool to offer, especially this weekend.