Blue Knob State Park
Blue Knob State Park offers year-round wilderness adventures on 6,128 acres of woodland. The park is in the northwestern tip of Bedford County, west of I-99. Altoona, Johnstown and Bedford are within 25 miles of this scenic park.
The elevation of the park can cause air temperatures to be several degrees cooler than the surrounding cities. The annual snowfall averages about 12 feet. One of the unique features of the park is the solitude it provides the visitor. There are many opportunities to enjoy the quiet and refreshing serenity of the mountains and streams.
Hiking - Mountain Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Swimming - Fishing - Hunting - Scenic Views - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Snowmobiling - Downhill Skiing - Organized Group Cabin Camps - Backpacking - Cabins - Camping
The park is open sunrise to sunset. Some facilities close at the end of the summer season, but other areas are open year-round.
Scenic Views: Blue Knob State Park is named for its majestic dome-shaped mountain. At 3,146 feet above sea level, Blue Knob is the second highest mountain in Pennsylvania, only 67 feet less than Mount Davis in Somerset County. Situated on a spur of the Allegheny Front and overlooking the scenic Ridge and Valley Province to the east, Blue Knob has spectacular views. Unique photographic opportunities are available during low humidity weather and with changes of season.
Picnicking: Burnt House and Mowery Hollow picnic areas are open year-round. Willow Springs Picnic Area closes the Friday after Thanksgiving and reopens the week before Memorial Day.
Seven picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Swimming: Weather permitting, the swimming pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. The pool is only open on weekends for the first two weeks of the summer season. Pool depth ranges from 2 to 5 feet. Weekday and evening use is recommended. For visitor safety, diving in the pool is prohibited.
Fishing: Trout fishing enthusiasts find excitement in fishing Bob’s Creek and its tributaries. Streams within the park contain native brook trout along with stocked trout placed through a cooperative nursery program operated by the Pavia Sportsmen Club Inc. and the park. Fishing is good April through June and in early fall.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 5,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, squirrel, turkey and grouse.
The park is adjacent to the 12,000-acre State Game Land 26. This combination of public lands provides many recreational opportunities and offers both easily accessible areas and several walk-in areas. “No Hunting” areas are posted. Permanent tree stands are prohibited on public lands.
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.
Hiking: 18 miles of trails
Please be sure to wear appropriate foot wear when hiking at Blue Knob State Park. Trails are closed for nighttime use.
Many trails at Blue Knob are steep. A hike down a trail means that a hike up is required. A well planned hiking trip utilizes different trails to provide an extended hiking experience that covers many miles and avoids a steep return climb.
Chappells Field Trail: 2.5 miles, inverted orange V blaze, easiest hiking
Crist Ridge Trail: 1.9 miles, orange blaze, easiest hiking
Homestead Trail: 1.8 miles, orange blaze, easiest hiking
Lost Turkey Trail: 26 miles, red blaze, most difficult hiking
Mountain View Trail: 5 miles, double red blaze, most difficult hiking
Rock ‘N’ Ridge Trail: 2.8 miles, inverted blue T blaze, more difficult hiking
Sawmill Trail: 3 miles, yellow blaze, more difficult hiking
Three Springs Trail: 2 miles, orange blaze, easiest hiking
Mountain Biking: Several of the park’s multi-use trails are designated for mountain bike use. For beginners, Chappells Field Trail is a good challenge. For the more experienced, Three Springs Trail is an intermediate ride. Three Springs Trail is also open to horseback riding. Please be considerate of other trail users. For more experienced and expert mountain bikers, Crist Ridge Trail, Rock ‘N’ Ridge Trail and portions of Mountain View Trail are suggested.
Horseback Riding: Equestrian trails are marked with orange diamonds. The trailhead is across from the campground entrance at Chappells Field. Horseback riding is permitted along the right-hand side of park roads. Caution must be used on trails that pass through hunting areas. All groups conducting trail rides must secure a special use agreement.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore the campground map.
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Backpacking: Constructed in 1977 by the Youth Conservation Corps, Lost Turkey Trail is a 26-mile trail traversing state park, state forest, state game and private lands. Distance markers are at one-kilometer intervals. Hikers should secure maps and information on parking areas, trail conditions and regulations. Many people use sections of this trail for day hikes.
Modern Cabins: Three cabins and one house are available to rent. The Fishers Haven and Bear Den cabins sleep four people. The Directors Cabin sleeps six. The cabins are available from the second Friday in April through the last weekend of October. The Twin Fawn House sleeps eight and is available year-round.
Cabins offer electric heat, two bedrooms, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Twin Fawn House offers three bedrooms, living room, bathroom and kitchen. Renters must supply their own bed linens and towels. A limited supply of dishes, pots and pans, and dinnerware are provided. In the summer season, the cabins and house only rent by the week. In the off-season, the minimum rental is two days. Advance reservations are recommended.
Explore cabins for more information.
Organized Group Cabin Camp: A 100-person capacity camp is available for overnight use to organized groups from June through August. The group camp offers sleeping quarters, bathroom and shower facilities and a large dining hall/kitchen complex. A reservation system is based on previous long-term use, priority for youth groups, length of stay and number of people. Contact the park office for additional information.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: Most park trails are suitable for expert skiers. For beginner skiers, Chappells Field Trail and the closed campground are recommended. For the intermediate skier, the service roads, closed roadways and open fields are recommended. Weather conditions on the trails are usually ideal but skiers should use expert or mountain ski equipment.
Snowmobiling: Snowmobile routes are open daily after the end of hunting season in December. The trail system consists of eight miles of trails and roads and is marked with orange diamonds. Park roadways are not open for snowmobile use.
Please stay on the designated trails. No other off-road vehicles are permitted on state park lands.
Downhill Skiing: The park leases the downhill skiing area to Blue Knob Recreation, Inc., which operates Ski Blue Knob, one of the most challenging ski resorts in Pennsylvania. The area offers a vertical drop of 1,050 feet. The ski area provides snowtubing, day and night skiing, with extensive snowmaking, and a total of four chairlifts ensure a fast return to the top of the mountain. 800-458-3403 www.blueknob.com
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Summer programs are conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Buck Hill Amphitheater and Sunday afternoons in the park day use areas, unless otherwise posted. Organized groups can arrange special programs through the park office. Fall and spring programs are conducted for schools and organizations upon request.
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.