Black Moshannon State Park

Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands and conserves unique, natural environments. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting that provides recreational opportunities in all seasons.

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.

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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

Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. The beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Swimming: An ADA accessible sand beach is open from mid-May to mid-September, 8:00 AM to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules.

Visitors enjoy the sand beach at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.GPS: Lat. 40.91622 Long. -78.05909

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, and other handheld, lighted smoking devices.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Concessions: An ADA accessible boat rental and an ADA accessible park store and a refreshment stand are open seasonally.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible. Boating: electric motors only

The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake has 90 mooring spaces and four boat launch/mooring 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.

A man fishes from a wooden fishing pier at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Fishing: The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake provides habitat for warmwater fish. Below the lake, Black Moshannon Creek contains trout. Trout anglers can enjoy their sport in several nearby streams, especially Six Mile Run. A Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only area is designated on 1.3 miles of Black Moshannon Creek from the state park boundary 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.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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 vehicle or enclosed trailer. 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 all other park trails.

Horseback Riding: Snowmobile Trail provides access to many miles of equestrian trails in Moshannon State Forest.

Hiking: 20 miles of trails
The trails pass though all of the varied habitats of the park. Seneca, Indian, Bog, and Hay Road trails and a short section of the Moss-Hanne Trail are connected, making them suitable for loop hikes.

Blueberry Trail: 1 mile loop, easiest hiking
Get a taste of the Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area on this short loop. Parking is available at the Mid-State Airport. The trail is abundant with many berries which also attracts a variety of wildlife and bird species.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Bog Trail: 0.3 mile, 0.5 mile full loop, easiest hiking
A wooden boardwalk stretches out into the bog at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.Take the boardwalk to explore a wetland dominated by sphagnum moss and leatherleaf, and accented by sedges, rushes, carnivorous plants, and lilies. Observe waterfowl and other wildlife along the trail. Wayside panels tell the surprising story of bogs and other park wetlands. Access for people with disabilities is at Boating Area 3.
GPS: Lat. 40.9014 Long. -78.05775

Hay Road Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
This grassy old road eases through a mature mixed-oak forest with a black cherry understory and once was used by farmers who harvested marsh grasses.

Indian Trail: 1 mile, more difficult hiking
This trail leads travelers through changing scenery of open oak woods, pines, clearings, and an unusual grove of hawthorns.

Lake Loop Trail: 0.7 mile, easiest hiking
This flat loop connects two bridges for an easy walk along the lake’s lower shoreline. The trail offers a visit to the beach and the dam. Please walk pets to the back of the beach house.

Moss-Hanne Trail: 7.7 miles, more difficult hiking
On its way through the Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area, this trail travels through pine plantations, hemlock bottomlands, wetland edges, hardwood forests, grassy openings, blueberry patches, and beaver ponds. Waterproof footwear is recommended since some sections are often wet. Two boardwalk sections allow exploration of a big marsh and an alder swamp. The best blueberries are found near this trail from mid-June to mid-August

Seneca Trail: 0.8 mile, easiest hiking
This trail weaves through a typical second growth forest of oak and cherry, which shades stumps of pine that were logged out over a century ago.

Shingle Mill Trail: 3.67 miles (2 miles within the park), more difficult hiking
This path ventures from the parking area near the dam and follows beautiful Black Moshannon Creek. The trail continues north of the Huckleberry Road bridge and connects to the Allegheny Front Trail.

Ski Slope Trail: 2 miles, most difficult hiking
A trail passes through a forest at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.Begin at the beach parking lot for a trek up Rattlesnake Mountain. Enjoy the views from the highest point in the park, including an old ski slope. At the PA 504 crossing, try to decipher the old Philadelphia-Erie Turnpike mile marker.

Sleepy Hollow Trail: 1.2-mile loop, more difficult hiking
Explore a hemlock-birch forest and woodlands of cherry and oak. This trail is recommended for spring wildflowers. Look for evidence of a 1984 selective timber cut. Harvested trees were killed by years of gypsy moth defoliation. New growth provides good food and cover for turkey, deer, and songbirds. The trail starts near Pavilion 1.

Snowmobile Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
This trail connects to gravel roads and trails open to snowmobiles, horses, and mountain bikes on surrounding state forest land. Use the Beach Parking Lot which is plowed in winter. This grassy old road provides a trip through an oak woods with an open understory.

Star Mill Trail: 2.1-mile loop, easiest hiking
With fine views of the lake and opportunities to see wildlife, this trail travels through pines, a climax forest of beech and hemlock, and an uncommon stand of balsam fir. Look for evidence of Star Mill, a sawmill built in 1879.

Tent Hill Trail: 0.2 mile, more difficult hiking
Begin near Campsite 22. This trail drops down to the lake shoreline and connects the campground with Lake Loop Trail.

Allegheny Front Trail: 40 miles, most difficult hiking
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 Moshannon State Forest. AFT is ideal for backpacking or a day hike on any segment.

Stay the Night

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
An RV is shaded by trees in the campground at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.The 73 campsites each have a picnic table and a fire ring. Most sites can accommodate either a tent or a trailer. Many sites have electrical hookups. Some sites have full service hook up, which includes sewer, water, and electricity. Pets are permitted on designated sites. Some campsites are ADA accessible.

The campground features washhouses with flush toilets, showers, and coin-operated laundry machines. A sanitary dump station is available. The camping season begins the second Friday in April and ends after deer season in mid-December.

GPS: Lat. 40.91878 Long. -78.06863

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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Campground host site amenities include 20, 30, or 50-amp electric service with water hookup. Hosts are required to assist the park personnel 40 to 56 hours week. A four-week minimum stay is required. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Deluxe Camping Cottages: Two deluxe cottages are available from the day before trout season 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.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.This log cabin is a rentable rustic cabin at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.Modern and Rustic Cabins: 13 rustic, 6 modern
From the day before trout season 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/oven, refrigerator, electric lights, a wood burning stove, and bunk beds.

Six modern cabins, complete with electric heat, bedrooms, living/dining room, kitchen, and bath, are available year round. 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

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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.

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Backpacking: The Allegheny Front Trail is a 40-mile loop trail that encircles the park in Moshannon State Forest. Several park trails are trailheads. Backpack camping is only permitted in the Moshannon State Forest sections of the trail.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths. Please be safe on the ice.

Cross-country Skiing: All trails are open to cross-country skiers. Recommended trails are marked with the cross-country skier symbol on the map.

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, conditions permitting.

Surrounded by his equipment, and ice fisherman sits on the ice of the lake at Black Moshannon State Park, Pennsylvania.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, pike, crappie, and largemouth bass.

Ice Skating: When conditions allow, an area of the lake by Boating Area 1 is maintained for skating.

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. Program schedules are available at the park office.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.

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Access for People with Disabilities

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.