Raccoon Creek State Park
Raccoon Creek State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s largest and most visited state parks. It began as a Recreational Demonstration Area operated by the National Park Service in the 1930s during the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era. The park encompasses 7,572 acres and features the beautiful 100-acre Raccoon Lake. Facilities are a mix of modern and rustic with group camps from the CCC era.
Hiking - Mountain Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Swimming - Boating - Fishing - Hunting - Recreation Hall - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Snowmobiling - Organized Group Cabin Camps - Organized Group Tenting - Backpacking - Lakeside Lodge - Cabins - Camping
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: About 200 picnic tables are available throughout the park. All picnic areas have grills, drinking water, and modern restrooms.
Swimming: The 500-foot, ADA accessible, sand/turf beach is open from late May to mid-September, 8:00 AM to sunset. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. Swim at your own risk. A bathhouse and a concession stand are nearby.
Explore swimming for more information.
Boating: electric motors only
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.
A private boat concession rents canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and hydrobikes. www.raccooncreekboatrental.com
Fishing: Raccoon Lake has bluegill, sunfish, bullhead and channel catfish, yellow perch, walleye, muskellunge, crappie, sauger, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake is open to fishing year round. Coldwater fish like brown and rainbow trout are stocked and found both in the lake and in feeder streams. An ADA accessible fishing peninsula is located on Raccoon Lake near the beach. The twelve-acre Upper Lake provides catch and release fishing year round. A short stretch of Traverse Creek near the park office is regulated specifically for children under 12.
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: Over 7,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, rabbit, pheasant and squirrel. Early and late goose hunting is permitted.
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: 44 miles
Mountain Biking: 17 miles
Horseback Riding: 16 miles of equestrian trails
Recreation Hall: Located in the Modern Cabin Area, the Recreation Hall can be rented for group meetings or family reunions. It accommodates 100 people. The facility is a large hall with modern bathrooms, kitchen, and fireplace. Reservations for the hall can be made for a fee at the park office. The hall is ADA accessible.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
Camping: rustic sites
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: one host positions
Backpacking: 19.5 miles
Modern Cabins: The ten modern cabins contain a furnished living area, kitchen/dining area, full bathroom, two or three bedrooms, and sleep six or eight people. The cabins have electric heat and are available for rent year round. Cabin 10 is ADA accessible. Cabin users must bring their own cooking and eating utensils and bed and bath linens. Pets are prohibited.
The summer season rental period begins the second Friday in June and ends the Friday after the third Thursday in August. During this time, all cabins must be rented for a one week period, beginning on a Friday. All other rental periods are considered off-season and cabins must be rented for a minimum of two nights, up to a maximum of 14 consecutive days.
Explore cabins for more information.
Lakeside Lodge: This three-bedroom cottage sleeps ten people. The lodge has a full kitchen with cookware and table ware, dining room, one and one-half bathrooms, living room with a fireplace, laundry facilities, central heat, and air conditioning. It also has a large patio area with an outdoor gas grill. Renters must bring their own linens. Pets are prohibited.
Items the renters need to bring with them are bed linens, pillows, blankets, towels, dish soap, laundry detergent and first aid kit. Optional items to consider bringing are a bow saw, matches, lawn chairs, cell phone, TV w/antenna, and radio.
The summer season rental period begins the second Friday in June and ends the Friday after the third Thursday in August. During this time, the lodge must be rented for a one week period, beginning on a Friday. All other rental periods are considered off-season and the lodge must be rented for a minimum of two nights, up to a maximum of 14 consecutive days.
Organized Group Tenting: There are six group tenting areas in the western side of the park. Sioux A and Sioux B are located within the Sioux Rustic Campground and accommodate 20 and 60 people respectively. Sioux is open year-round and pets are permitted.
The more remote Pioneer area is divided into four group tenting sites: Apache, 60 people; Blackfeet, 20 people; Cherokee, 60 people; and Mohawk, 40 people. Pioneer areas are open from mid-April to the end of November and pets are prohibited.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Organized Group Cabin Camps: These three camps are rented from mid-April (earliest) to mid-October (latest), for a nominal fee to nonprofit, organized, adult and youth groups like scout, YMCA, school, church, or other organizations. The camps contain rustic lodges, dining halls, cabins, and utility buildings. Camp #1 holds 30 campers. Camp #2 holds 130 campers. Camp #3 holds 80 campers. Reservations are made at the park office for long or short rental periods. Seasonal availability varies.
Maps and rosters for the group camps are on the maps tab, above.
Explore organized group cabins for more information.
Spectacular ice formations may be seen at the Frankfort Mineral Springs in the winter.
Cross-country Skiing: Most trails are open to cross-country skiing, however it is recommended to avoid trails rated "most difficult." A designated 2.2-mile cross-country skiing trail is located between the beach access road and the roadside east picnic area.
Snowmobiling: Snowmobiling is permitted on four miles of Nichol and Pioneer Camp roads, conditions permitting. Parking is available in a lot off PA 168 and Nichol Road. Please use caution because these roads are also open to hunters with disabilities.
Sledding: Sledding is permitted.
Ice Fishing: Ice fishing is permitted on the 101-acre Raccoon Lake as conditions permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: Ice skating is permitted on the 101-acre Raccoon Lake as conditions permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. 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 also available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center. Programs are offered year round. The center has exhibits and brochures on natural history and historic areas of the park. For more information, contact the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center at 724-899-3611.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
The area near the western edge of the park is named for Robert Doak who was born in Ireland in 1750 and immigrated to eastern Pennsylvania with his brothers in 1767. In 1772, he arrived here and began homesteading until enlisting in the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War in 1776. After the war, he left the army and met and married Sarah McKibben. Their 800-acre homestead was soon busy with ten children helping with the many chores.
The farm was handed down to Robert and Sarah’s descendants. The last Doak to live on the farm was Emma, who married Victor Nickles. The farm house, barn, and other buildings are gone. However, the current building stands on the original barn foundation from the early 1800s.
Today, Doak Field is the site of many park programs on outdoor recreation and local history. For more information, call the Wildlife Reserve Interpretive Center at 724-899-3611.
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.