Clear Creek State Park
Clear Creek State Park encompasses 1,901 acres in Jefferson County. The park occupies a scenic portion of the Clear Creek Valley from PA 949 to the Clarion River. The park has camping, rustic cabins, and Clarion River access for fishing and boating.
Cook Forest State Park is only 11 miles away.
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.
Picnicking: Picnic tables, charcoal grills, and vault toilets are located in each picnic area. Five 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. Pavilions Nos. 1 and 2 are ADA accessible.
Swimming: The 180-foot sand beach is open from late May to mid-September, 8:00 AM to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules.
Explore swimming for more information.
Canoeing: The Class 1 Clarion River provides excellent canoeing and kayaking, especially during the spring and fall. The average downward flow is four miles per hour. Two popular paddling trips are four and 10 miles in length. Rental canoes are available from businesses outside of the park. There are public boat launches at both Cook Forest and Clear Creek state parks.
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.
The following concessionaries offer canoe, kayak and tube rentals:
Fishing: The Clarion River flows along the border of the park and provides fishing for trout, warmwater game fish, and panfish. Clear Creek is stocked with trout seasonally.
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 1,000 acres of Clear Creek State Park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, squirrel, bear, and turkey. Over 10,000 acres of adjacent state forests and over 500,000 acres of Allegheny National Forest are also open to 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. 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.
Hiking: 25 miles of trails
Scenic Vistas: There are two seasonal scenic overlooks in the park on the Tadler Run Loop Trail. Beartown Rocks is a popular nearby overlook in Clear Creek State Forest.
No Feeding Wild Animals: Black bears are native to this area. All food should be put away after use and kept in a tight, secure container in the trunk of a car or in a camper. Feeding wild animals is prohibited. When wildlife loses its fear of people, these animals can become pests, and dangerous situations can result.
Overnight accommodations are available from the second Friday in April to the third Friday in December.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Showers, flush toilets, and a sanitary dump station are available. Near the campground are a nine-hole disc golf course and a concrete basketball court.
Two canoe/kayak camping sites are located at the southern end of the campground. These sites are for individuals and groups traveling on multi-day trips down the Clarion River by canoe or kayak. Use is limited to one night and tents only with a maximum group size of eight.
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Yurts: Two round, canvas and wood walled tents are on a wooden deck and sleep four people in two bunk beds. Yurts have a cooking stove, microwave oven, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring, and picnic table.
Rustic Cabins: There are 22 rustic cabins near the Clarion River. Each cabin has beds, mattresses, refrigerator, microwave, table and chairs, and gas heat. Occupants must provide their own bedding, cookware, and tableware. Cabins sleep four, six, or eight people. Extra cots are not available. Frost-free water faucets are outside. A shower house is nearby. Two cabins are ADA accessible. Dogs are permitted at designated cabins for a fee.
The cabins must be rented for one week in the peak season. In the spring and fall rental season, cabins must be rented for at least two nights. Firewood is not provided.
Explore cabins for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing: Snowshoeing is permitted on all trails. Cross-country skiing is recommended Clear Creek Trail, Sawmill Trail, and portions of Truby Trail.
Sledding: A sledding slope is located on the pipeline right-of-way near Pavilion No. 3.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the park office.
Programs are offered spring through fall. A nature museum with logging and nature exhibits is open spring through fall. The Ox Shoe Trail is self-guided and takes one hour to hike, and reveals the logging history of the area.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
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.
Nearly four miles of the Clarion River flow through the park. However, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the valley and approximately 24 miles of the river throughout both Clear Creek and Cook Forest state parks and the Clarion River Lands.
The Clarion River is designated a National Wild and Scenic River for its scenic beauty, water quality, and archaeological significance.
Many sections of the river provide a glimpse into the past. Since the river was used as a transportation route, signs of settlements are located along the river banks. The most prevalent signs are from the logging era. Bracket dams and log landings are still visible.
Because river corridors are natural transportation routes, the Clarion River hosts a great diversity of plants and animals. Plant species include cardinal flower, rhododendron, mountain laurel, and many species of forest trees. Common bird species include great blue heron, merganser, kingfisher, and bald eagle. Animal species include deer, wild turkey, river otter, muskrat, porcupine, and black bear.
Do Not Feed Wildlife
The waterways of the Clear Creek Valley provided numerous springs for early European settlers’ subsistence, travel paths, and power. While roads like Truby Trail were eventually established, the Clarion River transported goods to large markets along the Allegheny River. Most goods were timber related: logs, bark for tanneries, and cut boards. In order for sawmills to cut trees into boards, lumbermen needed to harness the natural power of moving water. Bracket dams and mill ponds channeled this energy to move logs downstream and turn turbines, which ran the saws inside the mills. Eventually steam power replaced the older turbines, but the industry remained attached to the waterways.
Successful lumbermen, George and William Frazier, owned a large tract of land in the valley in the late 1800s. George and his family resided in the valley while William oversaw the lumber yard in Pittsburgh. Signs of the lumbering era remain for the scrutinizing eye and several features within the park bear the Frazier name.
After lumbering ceased in the valley and farming among the rock and eroded ground was abandoned, the property was sold to the state as forest land in 1919. The first public campsites at Clear Creek opened in 1922.
A little over ten years later, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s initial inauguration and the start of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Clear Creek Camp S-53 was established. A forest suppressed by gooseberry and chestnut blight received help at the hands of hundreds of men enlisted in the CCC. From the formation of the camp to when they departed in 1937, they built the cabins, swimming area, food concession building, restrooms, trails, bridges, and roads.
They also planted numerous trees throughout the valley. In 1987, the Clear Creek cabin colony, shelters, and several other facilities were added to the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on the CCC explore the CCC Years.
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Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of good conservation, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) was created in 1999 to give supporters and users of Pennsylvania's parks and forests a positive way to contribute to the conservation of our publicly-owned properties. The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation welcomes the support of individuals and businesses who share a commitment to conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural, scenic, and recreational areas of this commonwealth. www.paparksandforests.org
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We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
Do you take conservation personally? iConservePA is a Web site managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources whose vision is to inspire citizens to value their natural resources, engage in conservation practices and experience the outdoors. Take conservation personally.
Come Work with Us
Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offer a wide range of civil service and non-civil service jobs, from foresters, to rangers, to engineers, to educators, to botanists and so much more. Learn what is currently available.
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Clear Creek State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from:
Nearby Parks and Forests
The 11,636-acre Cook Forest State Park and Clarion River Lands are known for their stands of old growth forest. Cook Forest’s “Forest Cathedral” of towering white pines and hemlocks is a National Natural Landmark. The Clarion River connects Clear Creek State Park to Cook Forest State Park along a scenic 10-mile stretch of river popular for canoeing and kayaking. 814-744-8407.
Adjacent to Clear Creek State Park, the 14,431-acre Clear Creek State Forest provides hunting, fishing, hiking, and recreation. Much of the state forest is along the Clarion and Allegheny rivers. 814-226-1901
Allegheny National Forest (ANF), Pennsylvania’s only national forest, is approximately 517,000 acres and includes land in Elk, Forest, McKean, and Warren counties. 814-728-6100
Explore Pennsylvania Wilds
Pennsylvania Wilds is two million acres of public lands for hiking, biking, fishing, boating, hunting, and exploration in northcentral Pennsylvania.
Highlights of the area are elk watching at the Elk Country Visitor Center, scenic PA Route 6, Pine Creek Gorge (PA Grand Canyon), the darkest skies in the east at Cherry Springs State Park, and hundreds of miles of backpacking trails, bike paths, and trout fishing streams. www.pawilds.com
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
You must have the free Adobe Reader to view the maps and brochures that are in pdf format (.pdf).
Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Clear Creek State Park Map (.pdf) (1,540 kb, 6/16)
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Clear Creek State Park Cabin Map (.pdf) (599 kb, 4/15)
The park is located off of PA 949.
From the east, take Exit 78 of I-80. Follow PA 36 north to the town of Sigel, make a right onto PA 949 north and continue four miles to the park entrance, which is on the left.
From the west, take Exit 73 of I-80. Follow PA 949 north for 12 miles to the park entrance, which is on the left.
GPS DD: Lat. 41.32292 Long. -79.07671
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Clear Creek State Park