Penn-Roosevelt State Park
This 41-acre park is in an isolated area of the Seven Mountains region known as the Stone Creek Kettle. While this Centre County park is small in size, it is surrounded by an 80,000-acre block of Rothrock State Forest. Penn-Roosevelt is a good base for those seeking low-density recreation on this vast expanse of public land.
Trash and Recycling: Penn-Roosevelt State Park participates in a carry-in/carryout trash disposal program for small parks. There are no trash collection or recycling facilities. Visitors are asked to limit the amount of disposable items brought to the park and to take all trash, garbage, and recyclables home. Campers should carefully burn any paper waste in their campfire, but please do not burn foil, glass, cans, plastics or food waste.
Picnicking: A picnic area is on the west side of the lake. Picnic tables and a reservable picnic pavilion are available on the eastern side.
Make a reservation.
Hunting and Firearms: Hunting is availalbe on adjacent state forest lands.
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.
Hiking: Many trails are on nearby state forest land.
The Mid State Trail bisects the park and provides cross-country hiking in the Ridge and Valley Region of central Pennsylvania. This 171-mile ridge top route connects US 22 at Water Street, Huntington County and the West Rim Trail in the Tioga State Forest north of Blackwell, Tioga County. This trail passes through a diversity of forested areas from newly regenerated forest stands to mature and old growth timber areas. Scenic vistas dot the trail, which passes through Thickhead Wild Area, and Bear Meadows and Detweiler Run natural areas.
The main trail is marked with orange paint-blazed rectangles—two inches by six inches. Side trails are blue paint-blazed rectangles of the same size. Trail registers are at a number of places along the trail and overnight camping is permitted anywhere along the trail except in the natural areas or within 200 feet of any forest road. Hikers wishing to overnight at Penn-Roosevelt State Park must use the camping area and pay the nightly fee. Hikers over-nighting on the trail who wish to leave their vehicle overnight at the park should register with the Greenwood Furnace State Park office and use the main parking lot next to the CCC camp monument.
The Mid State Trail is a rugged and demanding mountaintop trail, and hikers assume their own liability, realizing the difficulty and possible dangers involved. A detailed trail guide, including maps, is available for a small fee by writing to:
Horseback Riding: Thickhead Mountain Road, leading west from Penn-Roosevelt State Park, is closed to motor vehicles and along with the connecting Detweiler Road, makes an excellent trail ride. Horse rentals are not provided.
Camping: rustic restrooms, tents only
Explore camping for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
The roads to the park are not maintained in the winter months so access to the park may not be possible.
Cross-country Skiing: Skiing is permitted on park trails.
Snowmobiling: Many miles of surrounding state forest roads are open for joint-use by snowmobiles and licensed motor vehicles.
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.
Wildlife is abundant in the area. The alert observer may see white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey and many species of small game. Due to the small acreage, Penn-Roosevelt State Park is closed to hunting. However, the surrounding Rothrock State Forest is open to hunting. The camping area makes an excellent base for a fall hunting trip. Feeding wild animals such as bears, raccoons and skunks is prohibited. When wildlife loses its fear of people, dangerous situations can result.
The small, 3.5-acre lake at the confluence of Sassafras Run and Standing Stone Creek is not stocked, but there are wily native brook trout. The stream below the dam is stocked in the spring. Wading is permitted in the lake and stream; swimming is not. On quiet evenings, muskrats can be seen on the lake and an occasional duck, goose or eagle visits from time to time. Trapping is not permitted.
At the turn of the 20th century, large railroad logging operations were in progress in the Seven Mountains area with the hillsides and hollows receiving a “lumberman’s shave” typical of the day. During the summer, Reichley Brothers, a logging company, ran a 39-mile Sunday excursion train carrying up to 210 passengers, mostly from Lewistown. The trip began at Milroy, traveled to Poe Mills, to Thickhead Mountain, through the Stone Creek Kettle, and back to Milroy by way of Laurel Creek. One of the hardest climbs was at Stone Gap, just south of the main park area.
These logging company properties were later sold to the Commonwealth in large tracts, forming the bulk of the Rothrock State Forest. Many of the railroad grades were later used as a base for the state forest roads. Observant visitors can still find some of the grades.
Penn-Roosevelt State Park did not exist until June 5, 1933, when members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived to set up a work camp during the height of the Great Depression. The camp at Penn-Roosevelt was first known as Camp S-62, Stone Creek Kettle. The CCC of the 1930s was segregated and the camp at Stone Creek Kettle was one of only 12 Black camps in Pennsylvania. Corpsmembers lived at the camp and constructed recreational facilities, including a 195-foot log-crib dam that has since been stone-faced. They also built many of the surrounding forestry roads and trails. Two fireplaces, a unique stone bake oven and other ruins of the camp can still be found.
For more information on the CCC, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Online Archive.
For many years, Penn-Roosevelt was a state forest picnic area and in 1983, it was officially designated as Penn-Roosevelt State Park.
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Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
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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.
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Penn-Roosevelt State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau. www.centralpacvb.org
Rothrock State Forest has over 94,000 acres of land open for various recreational activities and includes these special areas.
The 150-acre Alan Seeger Natural Area (5 miles southwest) has some magnificent specimens of old growth eastern hemlock and an almost impenetrable growth of rhododendron that blooms in early July.
The 45-acre Detweiler Run Natural Area (5 miles west) is quite isolated and is characterized by old growth white pine and hemlock with heavy undergrowth of rhododendron of unusual size.
The 325-acre Bear Meadows Natural Area (10 miles west) consists largely of a swamp comparable to the glaciated areas found further north. Here are found specimens of trees and shrubs found in very few locations in Pennsylvania.
The 2-acre Big Flats Laurel Natural Area (11 miles west) is on a high mountain plateau and features several acres of our state flower, the mountain laurel.
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:
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.
Common Birds Brochure
Common Birds of Penn-Roosevelt State Park (.pdf) (409 kb, 3/11)
The park is easily reached from US 322, one-half mile east of Potters Mills (where US 322 changes from two to four lanes) turn south onto Crowfield Road (six miles to park). Or further east, turn south, (near the runaway truck ramp) onto Stone Creek Road (also six miles to park).
Penn-Roosevelt can also be reached from Greenwood Furnace State Park. Turn onto Broad Mountain Road at the park office. Follow the Penn-Roosevelt signs (12 miles to the park). Obtain a copy of the Rothrock State Forest Public Use Map from Greenwood Furnace State Park or the Bureau of Forestry office in Huntingdon.
The roads to the park are not plowed in the winter.
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.
Penn-Roosevelt State Park