Elk State Park
The 3,192-acre Elk State Park is in the rugged mountains of northern Pennsylvania. The 1,160-acre East Branch Lake is large enough for unlimited horsepower boating and is great for waterskiing. The lake and nearby streams are stocked with warm-water and cold-water fish.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. Contact the Kinzua Bridge State Park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Picnic tables are available at the Instanter Drive Boat Launch. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a picnic area and playground by the dam.
No Swimming: Swimming is not permitted in the lake. A swimming pool is available at Bendigo State Park, about 13 miles away on PA 1004.
Boating: unlimited horsepower motors permitted
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 1,160-acre East Branch Lake is a cold-water fishery. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks muskellunge, walleye, smallmouth bass, brook, rainbow, brown, and lake trout in the lake. Five Mile, Seven Mile, Straight, Middle Fork and Crooked creeks are all stocked streams. Many smaller streams abound in native brook trout.
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 3,151 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are black bear, deer and turkey. Hunting is also permitted on the adjacent Elk State Forest and State Game Land 25.
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.
Camping: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates a campground with facilities by the dam.
Ice Fishing: The 1,160-acre East Branch Lake is a cold-water fishery. Common species are muskellunge, walleye, smallmouth bass, and brook, rainbow, brown and lake trout.
Iceboating: Iceboats must display a current state park launch permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
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.