Raymond B. Winter State Park
Raymond B. Winter State Park covers 695 acres of the Ridge and Valley Province in central Pennsylvania. Located within Bald Eagle State Forest, the park lies in a shallow basin surrounded by rocky ridges covered with an oak and pine forest. The focal point of the park is Halfway Lake which is filled by spring-fed mountain streams and contained by a hand-laid, native sandstone dam. Open year-round, the park provides diverse opportunities for recreation.
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 150 picnic tables are dispersed throughout the park. Charcoal grills, drinking water fountains, restrooms, horseshoe pits, play areas and other park facilities are within easy access from picnic areas. Three separate picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Swimming: The swimming beach features 300 feet of white sand and 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. The beach area includes restrooms, dressing facilities, a beach volleyball court and a children’s play area.
Beginning in 2016, smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the swimming area. For visitors who smoke and still want to use this beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes or other handheld, lighted smoking devices.
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A seasonal food and refreshment concession is at the beach house. The limited menu includes hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cold drinks and ice cream.
Fishing: The park is a coldwater fishery, stocked with brown, rainbow and brook trout. With the exception of the swimming area, the lake and its tributary streams are open to public fishing. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks the lake and Rapid Run regularly during the season. Many anglers gather near the sandstone dam or the fishing pier.
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 487 acres of Raymond B. Winter State Park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, bear, wild turkey, woodcock, squirrel and grouse.
Bald Eagle State Forest are also available for hunting and trapping.
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.
Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is permitted on designated trails. Raymond B. Winter State Park provides access to 25 off-road mountain bike trails in Bald Eagle State Forest. Riders will find over 48 miles of trails with nearly 100 miles of connecting forestry roads. The Central Mountains Shared-Use Trail System brochure provides general information about a number of the trails. The brochure also contains a map showing trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Maps are available at the park office and at the mountain bike trailhead in the main parking lot.
Hiking: 6.3 miles of trails
Bake Oven Trail: 0.96 miles, most difficult hiking
Boiling Spring Trail:1.41 miles, easiest hiking
Brush Hollow Trail: 0.73 mile, more difficult hiking
Old Boundary Trail: 0.77 mile, easiest hiking
Overlook Trail: 0.33 mile, more difficult hiking
Rapid Run Nature Trail: 1.09 miles, easiest hiking
West Boundary Trail: 0.64 mile, most difficult hiking
Mid State Trail: 250 miles, most difficult hiking
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: one host position
Camping Cottages: The three cottages sleep five people in bunk beds, and have wooden floors, windows, skylights, porch, picnic table, fire ring, electric lights and outlets and electric heat. The cottages require a two-night minimum stay with advance reservations. A one-night stay is accepted for walk-ins.
Cross-country Skiing: Five miles of park trails provide easy skiing and snowshoeing with connecting trails and roads on surrounding state forest land.
Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles are permitted on designated park roads which lead to over 300 miles of roads and trails in the Bald Eagle State Forest. Trailhead facilities at the park include restrooms, trash cans, parking and unloading areas. Conditions permitting, daily snowmobiling begins after deer season in December until April 1. Maps and information are available at the park office.
Ice Fishing: Ice fishing is permitted on Halfway Lake. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Raymond B. Winter State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs on a year-round basis. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward the natural and cultural resources.
Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools, youth organizations and homeschool associations. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the park office. Popular topics for students include adaptations, bird life, amphibians, reptiles, geology, wetland or forest ecosystems, watersheds and aquatic studies.
Teacher workshops are available on the Bureau of State Parks curriculum Watershed Education. Other educator workshop topics include schoolyard habitat, songbird education, and environmental education and children’s literature.
Several special events are conducted each year, including a history day and the winter Snowfest. The “Halfway Herald” includes a schedule of upcoming programs and activities and is available at the park office or learning center.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center/Sheary-Linn Amphitheater: Equipped with many educational tools, the center is a classroom and base for educational programs. The learning center features a hands-on science area, a computer center with environmental software, a library of field guides, classic environmental works and children’s books, and displays of native wildlife. Visitors can test their knowledge of lumber on the Wall of Woods display. Others can enjoy sitting at the center’s observation window listening to birds gathered at the microphone-equipped feeding station. Large porches provide opportunities to relax and enjoy the surrounding forest scenery. Near the learning center is the Sheary-Linn Amphitheater where outdoor interpretive programs are presented.
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.