Black Moshannon State Park
Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. The park conserves unique, natural environments and is in Centre County on PA 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting.
According to local tradition, American Indians called this watershed “Moss-Hanne,” meaning “moose stream,” thus the origin of the park’s name. Appropriately, the “black” in the park name describes the tea-colored waters. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is fed by clear springs and small streams which flow through the bogs that stretch in most directions from its shores. As the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant teabag to color the water.
Hiking - Horseback Riding - Mountain Biking - Picnicking - Swimming - Boating - Fishing - Hunting - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Snowmobiling - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Iceboating - Organized Group Tenting - Deluxe Camping Cottages - Cabins - Camping
Picnicking: There are 250 picnic tables provided in four picnic areas. Eight picnic pavilions, some with electricity, may be reserved for a fee, or when unreserved, may be used on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge. ADA accessible pavilions and tables are available.
Swimming: The ADA accessible sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules.
GPS: Lat. 40.91622 Long. -78.05909
Beginning in 2015, smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the swimming area. For visitors who smoke and still want to use the beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes or other handheld, lighted smoking devices.
Explore swimming for more information.
Concessions: An ADA accessible boat rental, a park store and a refreshment stand provide services to park visitors.
Boating: electric motors only
The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake has 90 mooring spaces and three boat launch areas. Boat rentals are available in the summer season. Boating Area 1 is ADA accessible. The use of gas powered motors is prohibited.
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Fishing: The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake provides habitat for warm water fishing. Below the lake, Black Moshannon Creek contains trout. Trout anglers can enjoy their sport in several nearby streams, especially Six Mile Run. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply. A Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only area is designated on 1.3 miles of Black Moshannon Creek from the state park boundary downstream to 0.3 mile downstream of the Huckleberry Road bridge. An ADA accessible fishing pier is on the western shore of the lake.
Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: Over 3,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs from the day after Labor Day through March 31. Common game species are deer, wild turkey, bear, grouse and squirrel. Adjacent state forest land is also open for public hunting.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer or leased campsite. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Mountain Biking: Sleepy Hollow and Star Mill trails offer convenient, short loops to bikers. Snowmobile Trail provides access to additional trails on state forest land for mountain bikes. State forest roads (unpaved) are also open to biking. Ski Slope Trail provides a challenge to mountain bikers. Biking is prohibited on other park trails.
Horseback Riding: Snowmobile Trail provides access to many miles of equestrian trails in Moshannon State Forest.
Hiking: 20 miles of trails
Hay Road Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
Seneca Trail: 0.8 mile, easiest hiking
Indian Trail: 1 mile, more difficult hiking
Bog Trail: 0.3 mile, 0.5 mile full loop, easiest hiking
Lake Loop Trail: 0.7 mile, easiest hiking
Moss-Hanne Trail: 7.7 miles, 11 miles full loop, more difficult hiking
Star Mill Trail: 2.1-mile loop, easiest hiking
Ski Slope Trail: 2 miles, most difficult hiking
Sleepy Hollow Trail: 1.2-mile loop, more difficult hiking
Tent Hill Trail: 0.2 mile, more difficult hiking
Snowmobile Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
Shingle Mill Trail: 2 miles, 4 miles full loop, more difficult hiking
Blueberry Trail: 1 mile loop, easiest hiking
Allegheny Front Trail: This trail encircles the park, traversing 40 miles of the Allegheny Plateau, some rocky and rugged, on the way to five mountain trout streams and eleven vistas in the Moshannon State Forest. It’s ideal for backpacking or a day hike on any segment. There is an optional sign-in for backpackers at the park office. alleghenyfronttrail.info
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
GPS: Lat. 40.91878 Long. -78.06863
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Deluxe Camping Cottages: Two deluxe cottages are available from the second Friday in April until the end of deer season in mid-December. The deluxe cottages have minimal furnishings; kitchen stove top, refrigerator, microwave oven, electric heat, lighting and bunk beds. There is no running water in these deluxe cottages. However, there is a restroom and shower facility for shared use. Cranberry Cottage is ADA accessible.
Modern and Rustic Cabins: From the second Friday in April until the end of deer season in mid-December, the park rents 13 rustic cabins. Rustic cabin 14 is ADA accessible and available year round. The cabins have minimal furnishings, kitchen stove, refrigerator, electric lights, a wood burning stove and bunk beds. Six modern cabins are available year-round, complete with electric heat, bedrooms, living/dining room, kitchen and bath. Renters must supply their own bed linens, towels, dishes, pots, pans and dinnerware. Cabins are available for weekly rental in summer and for a 2-night minimum during other seasons. Modern cabins 16 and 20 are ADA accessible.
GPS: Lat. 40.91321 Long. -78.0662
Explore cabins for more information.
Organized Group Tenting: Adult or youth groups of up to 60 people may reserve the rustic group tenting area, which has flush toilets, but no showers.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Cross-country Skiing: All trails are open to cross-country skiers. Trails marked with the cross-country skier symbol on the map are recommended.
Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles may use Benner Run Road, Shirks Road, Snowmobile Trail, the Food Concession Road, a small portion of the Sleepy Hollow Trail (for access to cabin area) and designated trails in the state forest after the end of deer season in late December.
Ice Fishing: Except for the ice skating area, all of the 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is open for ice fishing. Popular species caught through the ice are yellow perch, bluegill, northern pike, crappie, and largemouth bass. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: When conditions allow, an area of the lake is maintained for skating by Boating Area 1.
Iceboating: Most of the lake is open for iceboating. A state park launch permit is required for iceboats. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice. Check with the park office to determine ice conditions in the skating area. Other areas of the lake are not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Families, individuals, schools and special request groups participate in the park’s environmental interpretive programs. Bog walks and stream studies provide understanding of aquatic ecosystems, wetlands and human influences. Obtain program schedules at the park office.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.