Reeds Gap State Park
Reeds Gap State Park is 220 acres of wilderness in the New Lancaster Valley of Mifflin County. Large hemlocks and white pines cast cool shadows over Honey Creek, which flows through the park.
Picnicking: Four mostly wooded picnic areas are available year-round. There is ample parking, tables and one small, non-reservable shelter. Modern flush toilets and running water are available during the warmer months.
Three 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.
Fishing: Native and stocked trout are found in Honey Creek and smaller mountain streams like Reeds Gap Run. Hiking trails offer access to Honey Creek. The spring months offer the best angling.
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: Over 100 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, 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. 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: 3 miles of trails
ATVs are prohibited on state park roads and trails.
Camping: tents only
Explore camping for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: Skiers can enjoy the trails, service roads and open areas. About five miles of ungroomed trails are available with proper snow conditions.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
A park educator offers programs during the late spring and summer months. Organized groups and schools can request special programs by contacting the park office.
The annual Reeds Gap Kids Day Festival is held the second Saturday in October and features many children’s activities.
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
Some picnic tables, the middle restroom and the park office are accessible. Service roads may be used to provide access for people with disabilities. Parking permits are available from the park office.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
The dominant habitat in and around the park is of towering white pines, hemlocks and oaks. Maple, ash, tulip poplar, gum, hickory, dogwood, mountain laurel and rhododendron add to the year-round scenic beauty.
Reeds Gap is a natural water gap in Hightop, also called Thick Mountain. American Indians from the village of Ohesson, today’s Lewistown, used this valley as hunting grounds. When European settlers arrived, they homesteaded and named the area the New Lancaster Valley.
During the late 1700s, Reeds Gap became a bush meeting ground. The settlers packed lunches and traveled in their horse-drawn wagons to hear a circuit preacher and enjoy neighborhood fellowship. These bush meetings, also known as homecomings, were held through the 1920s.
In the mid-1800s, the park’s namesakes, Edward and Nancy Reed, set up a water-powered sawmill along Honey Creek just inside of the western boundary of the present park.
Part of the historic water-storage dam is still visible near Honey Creek in the southeastern corner of the park. Edward Reed’s son, George Wilbur Reed, was a sawyer at the mill. Another son, John, later moved the watermill to Virginia by horses.
Around 1900, a steam-powered sawmill was located by the park’s maintenance building. After decades of logging, the forests were gone. On January 15, 1905, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased this depleted land from the William Witmer and Sons Lumber Company. Eventually parts of this land became Reeds Gap and Poe Valley state parks.
Around 1930, people sold five-cent bottles of soda pop cooled in Reeds Gap Run to attract picnickers and to improve the local economy.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a national work program established in 1933 during the Great Depression. A residential camp for over 200 young men was built five miles east of Reeds Gap in the upper end of New Lancaster Valley. Camp S-113 was run by the U.S. Army and the former Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. One of their projects was to change the “jungle” around Reeds Gap to an attractive recreation facility. By the late 1930s, the park offered stone fireplaces, tables, picnic pavilions, play equipment, pit toilets and running water.
Local bands entertained on summer Sunday afternoons from a bandstand and swimmers enjoyed a small lake formed by a CCC-built dam in Honey Creek. Reeds Gap State Park officially opened in 1938.
The CCC program ended early in World War II. Most of the wooden CCC structures were removed as they deteriorated, but part of the old CCC camp is now a Bureau of Forestry field office. Electrical power came to the valley in mid-1940s.
For more information on the CCC explore the CCC Years.
For more information on the CCC explore the CCC Years.
In 1965, a major developmental phase started when swimming pools replaced the old dam. Shortly thereafter, a new water system, flush toilets, a modern bathhouse, snack bar, maintenance building and parking lots were constructed. In 2009 the ageing swimming pools were removed.
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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.
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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.
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Reeds Gap State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau. www.juniatarivervalley.org
The 200,000-acre Bald Eagle State Forest, adjacent to the park, is managed for timber, water, wildlife and recreation. The gravel Locust Ridge Road at the east end of New Lancaster Valley features a scenic view of the valley. You can take this road on your way to see the large old-growth timber at Snyder-Middleswarth State Forest Picnic Area. The Big Valley Vista on the gravel Siglerville-Millheim Pike is also spectacular. 570-922-3344
Maps and Downloadables
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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.
Reeds Gap is reached from US 322 at the Milroy Exit. Follow park signs for seven miles.
GPS DD: Lat. 40.7232 Long. -77.47504
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.
Reeds Gap State Park