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 - Mountain Biking - Picnicking - Swimming - Boating - Fishing - Hunting - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Snowmobiling - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Iceboating - Organized Group Tenting - 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.
Make a reservation.
Swimming: An 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.
Concession: 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 4 boat launch areas. Boat rentals are available in the summer season. Boating Area 1 is ADA accessible.
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.
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 Dry Hollow downstream to 0.3 miles 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. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are within the 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.
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
Tent Hill Trail: 0.2 mile, more difficult hiking
Ski Slope Trail: 2 miles, most difficult hiking
Sleepy Hollow Trail: 1.2-mile loop, more difficult hiking
Snowmobile Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
Shingle Mill Trail: 2 miles, 4 miles full loop, more difficult 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. Visit the Web site alleghenyfronttrail.info
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore the campground map.
Explore camping for more information.
Make a reservation.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Deluxe Camping Cottage: Located in the cabin colony, a deluxe cottage has a bedroom and main room, cooking stove, microwave, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring, picnic table, nearby water pump, and sleeps five people in bunk beds. The camping season begins the second Friday in April and ends the second week in December.
Make a reservation.
Modern and Rustic Cabins: From the second Friday in April until the second week of December, the park rents 13 rustic cabins. The cabins have minimal furnishings, kitchen stove, microwave, 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 on a two-day minimum basis during other seasons. An ADA accessible cabin is available.
Explore the cabin map.
Explore cabins for more information.
Make a reservation.
Organized Group Tenting: Adult or youth groups of up to 60 people may reserve the rustic group tenting area, which has modern restrooms.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
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, Snowmobile Trail and designated trails in the state forest after the end of deer season in late December. The Black Moshannon Snowmobile Club partners with the park.
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 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.
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 program. 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
ADA accessible picnic tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. ADA accessible restrooms are located at the campground, cabins, and the beach and food concessions areas. Access to the beach, campsites, cabins, Bog Trail and drinking fountains is available.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.