Adventurous elopements can take you anywhere

Whether that's across the globe, or to your own favorite hiking trails.

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I will always be in favor of bare feet or hiking boots over heels or dress shoes - especially when it comes to elopements. Adventurous weddings and elopements can happen anywhere, but today we're talking about my home state of Pennsylvania - a hidden gem, bursting at the seams with interesting adventurous locations to elope. Boasting everything from state parks to national forests to beachfronts, and even one of the best star gazing locations in the entire world, Pennsylvania is full of beauty, and it's a pleasure to have all of this virtually in our own backyards. Adventurous elopements have a reputation for needing the most epic, west coast backdrop of cliffs or deserts or the northern rainforests of Washington State, but I'm making a case for the epic nature of the east.

Adventurous elopements are for everyone, near or far,
and you can find plenty of adventure right here on the east coast.

These mountains are old. They are full of character, rolling hills, waterfalls and rivers that take your breath away. You can feel the history in the Appalachian mountain range. These mountains feel like home.

The locations listed here are general parks and locations, but every wedding and elopement brings their own vision and factors to the table to make your day complete. As your photographer and elopement planning connoisseur, I am here to help you with permitting, timing, and finding the exact perfect location within each of these parks for your elopement!

Want more elopement planning resources? Take a look at this blog:

Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos


Easter Pennsylvania is where I call home. From Philadelphia all the way up to the Poconos, there are so many adventurous locations for elopements in such a condensed area. This is incredibly easy access from the city, making for a simple weekend trip (or even day trip) for any elopement.

All state parks require a permit for weddings and elopements.

Delaware Water Gap

Spanning both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Delaware Water Gap is full of steep mountains, incredible views, and absolutely gorgeous streams and waterfalls. Despite being busy on some of the main trails, like Mount Tammany and Mount Minsi, there are plenty of hidden gems off the beaten path (such as Van Campen's Glen, an easy out-and-back hike to a gorgeous waterfall tucked deep in the park). A permit is sometimes needed for commercial photography and film (take a look at the requirements here), and permits are required for weddings and elopements within the park (take a look at the application process here)

Trexler Nature Preserve

With an absolutely breathtaking view in the Lehigh Valley area, Trexler Nature Preserve is a popular photo location with rolling hills and the most dreamy fields you've ever seen. Their sunsets are unmatched and golden hour is truly gold. They also have an indoor educational center that can be rented for small weddings and elopements - which is always a great resource when it comes to weather considerations. Permits are required for any weddings or elopements in the park. Reach out for more information here!

Hawk Mountain

One of my absolute favorite hikes in the region is Hawk Mountain, a raptor conservatory that has a beautiful, well maintained trail up to a vast overlook. My favorite things about this location are a) the bathrooms, and b) that there are other overlooks right at the base of the trail that are wheelchair and handicap accessible (it is a dirt trail, but there are no steps and the trail is well packed). Engagement sessions at Hawk Mountain are permitted for the cost of admission to the trail, and elopements for incredibly small groups should reach out to them here.

leaser lake

A hidden gem in the Lehigh Valley Park System, Leaser Lake is another wheelchair and handicap accessible location right along the lake, with views of the mountains in the distance. There are beautiful trees, incredible sunsets, and ample parking that goes right up to the lake and boat launch. Reach out for more information here!

World's end state park

True to its name, this rugged state park is off the beaten path and should allow you a very private elopement experience. There are cabins, camping, and hiking, and peak seasons are early summer (June specifically, for the mountain laurel bloom) and fall for the foliage. Take a look here for more information!

rickett's glen state park

If you're looking for waterfalls (plural), Rickett's Glen is for you! The definition of a glen is a "secluded, narrow valley". From old growth trees to many, many waterfalls, Rickett's Glen is the dreamy, enchanted elopement look of our collective dreams! Find more information on the permit process here!

hickory run state park

With many trails leading deep into the trees and up to hidden waterfalls, Hickory Run State Park is an excellent elopement location in the Northeast, boasting trails such as Hawk Falls for a super intimate ceremony. There is hiking involved here, so this would be best suited for smaller groups or completely private elopements. Click here for more information on applying for permits.

Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos


Stretching for the vast majority of the state, Central PA is home to a wide variety of unique and picturesque parks. This portion of the state is more remote, more rugged, and holds unmatched beauty.

All state parks require a permit for weddings and elopements.


Formed from the remains of a limestone and dolomite quarry, the White Cliffs of Conoy are a central-PA feature. A short, roughly 1.5 mile hike out a flat trail leads to the other-worldly clearing of the cliffs, overlooking the Susquehanna River. This location is best at either dusk or dawn, due to the lack of tree-coverage and direct light.


Whether your vision is eloping somewhere in the small town of Wellsboro or heading deep into Pine Creek Gorge, the PA Grand Canyon is one of the major features of the entire state. Featuring incredible views over the gorge, and beautiful river walks, this gorge is tucked deep in the northern-central region of the state and is bound to make your celebration truly epic. This location has a lot of different directions you can go, so be sure to check for permits in any specific location (and remember, I'm here to help with this!)


Known as one of the best star gazing location in the entire world (!!!), Cherry Springs State Park has options for camping, glamping, and cabin rentals in one of the more remote, rustic, and magical state parks in the country. Best for very intimate gatherings, this is a great spot to rent a cabin for up to 6 guests and enjoy the quiet privacy of the mountains of Pennsylvania, with one of the best views of the Milky Way in the world. Take a look at their website and inquire about permit information here.


Featuring a sandy, lakefront beach, a gorgeous skyline trail, and views over the Central PA mountains, Bald Eagle State Park is a perfect location not far off the beaten path, with plenty of versatile options for your elopement. They also have the Nature Inn, which is a full-service wedding venue that can be rented out on weekdays and weekends, alike. This park near State College is a fantastic spot for all kinds of elopements and weddings, no matter the level of adventure you're looking for. Click here for more information on applying for permits.

Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos


There is untold and unmatched beauty in all the areas surrounding Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania. These forests and state parks feature even more waterfalls, idillic shorefront ceremony locations, and picturesque Appalachian foliage and scenery.

All state parks require a permit for weddings and elopements.

Ohiopyle state park

Waterfalls, rivers galore, and views for days (oh my!) - Ohiopyle State Park is a hidden gem along the west coast of Pennsylvania. Whether you opt to elope at an easily accessible overlook or trade in your fancy shoes for hiking boots to explore behind truly enchanting waterfalls, Ohiopyle is one of the ultimate adventurous locations in the state. Click here for more information on applying for permits.

Allegheny National forest

Dreamy rivers, pockets of sunlight, and ethereal woods make up this dreamy national forest. If you are a lover of ferns, this is the place for you! Lush greenery and tree growth make this forest truly magical. There are also plenty of local lodges and campgrounds to house you and any guests you might bring along to celebrate with you. Take a look at the Forest Service Website to get information on any applicable permitting and day use fees.

Erie Bluffs State Park

With 40-foot beach bluffs overlooking the Great Lake, Erie Bluffs State Park offers a certain wow-factor. This park also offers cobble beaches as well as a sandy shorefront, so there is a wide variety of landscapes throughout this park - not to mention the tree lined paths. Find more information on the permit process here!

Presque isle state park

This Erie, Pennsylvania beach overlooks Lake Erie in its ocean-like glory. A wooded trail out to the coast offers the best of PA forests, running right out to the sandy beach. This is a perfect location for intimate weddings and seaside elopements, alike! This location would be ideal at dawn or dusk for the softest light. Take a look here for more information!

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PLEASE LOOK AT THE STATE WEBSITE For a comprehensive list of pennsylvania state park wedding locations, capacities, and permit information.

Feeling ready to plan your elopement?

Let's work together!

As a lifelong Pennsylvania resident (and lover of travel all over the globe) and with years of both wedding and elopement photography under my belt, I am truly excited to partner with you on such an important part of your story.

My mission is always to leave you with timeless, personal, and intentional images that you get to hold onto forever.

Anna Claire Photos, LLC. has photographed weddings and elopements across the United States and internationally, and has been working in the wedding industry for seven years. I am invested in telling your love story exactly as it unfolds.

Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
Where to Elope in Pennsylvania, by east coast elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos
bride and groom engagement session on a hike, by elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos

"Anna has been absolutely incredible to work with! I came upon her work via Instagram and could immediately tell that the vibes were on point. This was confirmed when we chatted via phone and started the process of planning an engagement session. She was super helpful in helping to find the ideal hiking spot for the job and game to go even when it was threatening to rain. She was able to help us feel very comfortable and we were able to lean into our typical silly behavior. It felt like we were just on a hike with our friend who happened to be snapping cute photos of us. I could not be more in love with the results (I look at the pics every day for real).  She captured us in a way that feels so genuine and I absolutely cannot wait until our wedding photos!!! 1000/10 would recommend."


Bride and gloom eloping on the cliffs, by elopement photographer Anna Claire Photos

"Anna is both a truly wonderful person, and photographer. From the minute we started chatting I knew she was who we wanted to capture our vow renewal/elopement style anniversary photos. She was willing to follow us all the way up to Maine! She captured everything we had wanted and then some. Throughout the time we spent communicating she made sure we were getting exactly what we wanted and seemed genuinely excited to be a part of the process.. No fake professionalism here.. She genuinely invests in her client's experiences. When we received our sneak peeks we were genuinely in awe. No insecurities or feeling like it didn't reflect "us" as we experienced with past photos.. We were thrilled to have images that felt true to us and captured the day so perfectly!

She was so genuine, fun, sweet.. The list goes on! Her eye for details is just phenomenal.. Best experience ever and we feel like we made a new friend!

I wish there was a way to give more than 5 stars!

bride and groom smiling at each other after eloping, featuring a beautiful floral bouquet
"Anna was one of the best decisions I could have made about our wedding... From day one, Anna has always been calm, fun, friendly, and encouraging and always has a big smile on her face... Anna provides you with game changing material that makes it incredibly easy to plan your timeline, photos, group shots, etc. Creating a timeline was actually one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning to me, and Anna was the first vendor I spoke to and she helped me create a timeline that eased my worries. Not kidding- my whole attitude toward my wedding changed for the better after that phone call with Anna. For the wedding day, Anna brings this general calm energy that helps ease any worries you may have. She is flexible and ready to change up whatever you want to in the moment... Organized, timely, flexible, and relaxed are some other words I would use to describe Anna. My husband loves her and says she is “so awesome.” He is not a big “photo taking guy” but I think Anna helped changed that a bit 😆. Anna makes you feel like you’re just hanging out during your wedding day instead of taking rushed photos that feel stiff and posed…it just all feels very natural... am honestly obsessed with my photos and can’t thank Anna enough for what she helped create. I will definitely be using Anna for any and all future photography needs. Thank you for everything Anna!!   


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