Poe Valley State Park
Cozy Poe Valley State Park is nestled in a rugged mountain valley in Centre County. Seemingly endless forests surround the 25-acre Poe Lake. The 620-acre state park is surrounded by the 198,000-acre Bald Eagle State Forest. Poe Paddy State Park is nearby.
Picnicking: The shaded picnic area is by Poe Lake and has drinking water, playground areas, charcoal grills and charcoal disposal containers and accessible picnic tables. One picnic pavilion can be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. If not reserved, the picnic pavilion is free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Make a reservation.
Swimming: The swimming beach at Poe Lake is open from late May to early September unless otherwise posted. Swimming hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. The maximum water depth of the swimming area is five feet.
The food and refreshment concession near the swimming beach offers hot foods, snacks and ice cream, as well as ice and some camping and picnic supplies. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and some weekends in the spring and fall seasons.
Boating: electric motors only
The boat rental near the swimming beach offers paddleboats and other small watercraft for rent. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor day and some weekends in the spring and fall seasons.
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.
Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Fishing: Lake angling is popular, especially at the beginning of the trout season in mid-April. The lake is stocked with trout several times per season. Many enjoy the winter ice fishing season. Common game species include brown and rainbow trout, catfish, pickerel, sunfish and perch. For stream fishing, the famous Penns Creek and Big Poe Creek are within a short distance of the park. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission seasons and limits apply.
Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: Over 450 acres of the park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. The lake is closed to hunting and trapping. Common game species are deer, turkey, grouse, bear and squirrel.
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. 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: 3 miles of trails
ATVs are prohibited on state park roads and trails.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore the campground map.
Explore camping for more information.
Make a reservation.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host positions
Camping Cottages: There are three camping cottages in the campground that comfortably sleep five people. Each cottage has three single bunks and a full-sized bed, a table with benches, electric lights and receptacles, electric heat and a porch with a table. There is a fire ring and picnic table at each site. The cottages are available during the camping season from the second Friday in April to late October.
Make a reservation.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Access to Poe Valley during the winter months may be limited. Winter maintenance is not performed on park roads or state forest roads that access Poe Valley. Caution must be used when traveling to Poe Valley during the winter season.
Cross-country Skiing: While no specific trails are provided, most skiers use local roads since only minimal snow plowing is done in this area. Skiers should be cautious since both snowmobiles and four-wheel drive vehicles also use many of these roads.
Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles may use the Big Poe Road in the park and surrounding state forest roads daily after the end of the rifle deer season in December. Most roads are joint-use roads shared by snowmobiles and motor vehicles. Please snowmobile safely.
Ice Fishing: Ice fishing is popular. Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is at least four inches thick and carry safety equipment.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Guided walks, evening amphitheater programs and other special activities are part of the summer program. Organized groups and schools can request special programs by contacting the park office.
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.
The park was named for Big Poe Creek, which flows through the valley.
In the mid-1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created the park and built many of the roads. They completed the dam in 1937. Several miles upstream from the park, a stone memorial marks the site of the camp, whose remaining structures are now used as a private hunting camp.
For more information on the CCC, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Online Archive.
Keep in Touch
Add yourself to the DCNR's online community to receive info on this park, or parks in general.
Like to spend time in the outdoors, meet friendly people and help make Pennsylvania State Parks great? Volunteering at a park might be for you.
Becoming a Conservation Volunteer is easy.
Scouts and organized groups can earn free camping by completing service projects.
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
Make a Donation
To a park - find this park's address below
To a park's friends group - see above
To a park or the Bureau of State Parks - Pennsylvania Parks and Forestry Foundation www.paparksandforests.org
Through a purchase at a park gift shop
Thank you for your support!
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 Natrual 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.
Tell us What You Think
Contact this park with compliments, concerns and issues about the park.
Poe Valley State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau. www.centralpacvb.org
The surrounding 195,000 acres of Bald Eagle State Forest have hiking, hunting, fishing, scenic overlooks, natural areas and other outdoor recreational opportunities. For information, maps and wood permits, please contact Bald Eagle State Forest, 570-922-3344.
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 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.
From Potters Mills, go east on US 322 for 1.5 miles to near the top of the Seven Mountains Scenic Area, then follow marked state forest roads for ten miles to Poe Valley.
From Millheim, go west on PA Route 45 for 1.5 miles, then follow signs south for 12 miles to the park. Gravel roads turn to paved roads near the park. No entirely paved road leads to the park.
For GPS devices use the following address:
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park information Window.
Poe Valley State Park