Day Trip Destination: Lake Tobias

Lake Tobias

It is nice to get away for a day trip and spend time with the family. As a father of two young children, we are always looking for different things to do together on the weekend. Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting various attractions that are near Franklin County.

If you love animals seeing wildlife, exotic animals, reptiles, and baby animals then you would have an enjoyable trip to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

Located in Halifax, PA the park is about an hour and thirty minutes from Chambersburg. One of the most exciting attractions that my children enjoy is the Safari Tour. The Lake Tobias Wildlife Park has specially designed open busses that take you on a tour of 150 acres of rolling land to see various herds of animals from around the world. Some animals wander up to the bus and you can get pretty close to the wildlife, with them coming right to you for a treat.

Their website says, “It’s a long way from Central Pennsylvania to the dry plains of Africa or the woodlands and forests of Australia, but the incredible safari tour at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park makes those exotic locales feel a lot closer. Introduce your whole family to all kinds of feathered, furry, and funny friends at our wildlife safari zoo. Enjoy up-close-and-personal encounters, learn about the animals’ natural habitats, and soak up fresh air galore.”

Even More to Do

My sons are very interested in reptiles and they have many reptiles and other exotic animals to see, including lizards, poison dart frogs, alligators, a two-toed tree sloth, and more. If you are feeling adventurous you can touch an alligator or slide your hand across a python.

If reptiles are not for you, then you may enjoy the petting zoo. The petting zoo is one of my favorite things at the park, with the exception of the Safari Tour of course. There is just something about the goats that always makes me chuckle a bit. I always tend to make a friend, that follows me around hoping I drop a carrot for them. There are a variety of animals there to see and pet. They certainly love the attention.

They also have a zoo with a variety of exhibits including lions, tigers, bears, Asian water buffalo, and a new giraffe exhibit. Giraffes are the tallest land animal on earth and getting to see these gravity-defying creatures up close is a unique experience.

Click to Learn More About Lake Tobias

Park History

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park was founded by J.R. Tobias as “just a hobby to fall back on in my retirement” and grew into a beloved local attraction over the decades. Originally, J.R.’s interest in wildlife and exotic creatures led him to consider agriculture and animals as a career, but he opted to join the U.S. Marines instead of going to college, enlisting in 1943. 

Before J.R. Tobias’ death, he transferred ownership and operation of the park to his children. Six remaining children and a grandchild run the park today.

The park has been open to the public since 1965.

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