Ole Bull State Park
Ole Bull State Park consists of 132 acres along the Kettle Creek Valley in Potter County. This area is called the Black Forest because of its once dense tree cover, mountainous terrain, and wilderness habitat.
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: The picnic area lies along Kettle Creek and has four picnic pavilions, picnic tables, fireplaces, drinking water, restrooms and playground equipment. 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. The Stone Pavilion has electricity available when reserved.
Swimming: The beach is in Camping Area 1 across from the picnic area. The 150-foot sandy beach along Kettle Creek is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. Parking for the beach area is provided at the picnic area parking lot. Pets are not permitted in the beach area. All children ten years of age or younger must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age.
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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Fishing: The excellent water quality along Kettle Creek provides good fishing. Both Kettle Creek and Ole Bull Run offer fishing for brook, brown and rainbow trout. A special regulation area for children and people with disabilities is located below the dam breast to the fordway. Fishing is prohibited between the wires at the dam basin and swimming area. Fishing licenses are required and are available nearby at several issuing agents.
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 25 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, grouse, bear and squirrel. Hunting is permitted in the surrounding Susquehannock State Forest.
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.
Hiking: 5 miles of trails
The Daugherty Loop Trail combines old logging and railroad grades to form a one hour walk through the Black Forest of Pennsylvania. Ole Bull Trail leads to the historic foundation remains of Ole Bull’s “home site” and a panoramic view of the park area. The Beaver Dam Nature Trail provides an introduction to the habitats along Kettle Creek. This 0.75-mile trail starts at the concrete fordway and has a flat trail surface.
The 85-mile Susquehannock Trail System passes through Ole Bull State Park. A picnic area parking lot serves as a trailhead for overnight hikers. A trail register is located at the park office for hikers who leave their vehicles overnight. Please read posted regulations.
Mountain Biking: Trails in the park and in Susquehannock State Forest are open to mountain biking.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host positions
Ole Bull Cabin: This one and one-half story log cabin can be rented year-round. Rental information can be obtained at the park office. The cabin has a modern, accessible kitchen, two baths and sleeps 12 people in three bedrooms. Pets are prohibited. The cabin has an accessible bathroom and an access ramp.
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The park provides parking, restrooms and picnic and camping facilities throughout the winter.
Explore theWinter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: In addition to a groomed cross-country skiing trail, cross-country skiers and snowshoers are allowed throughout the park.
Snowmobiling: A snowmobile trailhead provides access to the many miles of state forest trails. Snowmobiles are permitted on marked trails only.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
During the summer months, the park has an environmental interpretor who presents programs on the history and natural resources of the area. The programs include guided walks, children’s programs and evening campfire programs. Please contact the park office for special request educational programs.
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.