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.
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. Overnight areas and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: 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. Mountain streams like Reeds Gap Run hide small populations of native trout. 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 is also permitted on the adjacent Bald Eagle State Forest.
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: 3 miles of trails
Reeds Gap Spur Trail of the Mid State Trail starts near the intersection of State Park Road and New Lancaster Valley Road. The trail climbs along scenic Reeds Gap Run to Knob Ridge Road, which leads to Poe Paddy State Park 18 miles away. This very beautiful and rugged trail has interesting large rocks along the upper section. Once many logs were brought down the trail to a sawmill that stood by the park office.
ATVs are prohibited on state park roads and trails.
Camping: tents only, pets permitted on all sites
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 Fall Festival is held the second Saturday in October and features many children’s activities.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
Some picnic tables, the restroom in Parking Lot B, and the park office are ADA accessible. Service roads may be used to provide 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 dominant habitat in and around the park is of towering white pines, hemlocks, and oaks. Maple, 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 popular bush meeting ground. People packed lunches and traveled in horse-drawn wagons to the area 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 operated by the park’s maintenance building. After decades of logging, the forests were gone. On January 15, 1905, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the depleted land from 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 during the Great Depression.
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.
In 1933, a national work program called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a residential camp five miles east of Reeds Gap in the upper end of New Lancaster Valley. The former Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters ran Camp S-113 and the U.S. Army directed the 200 young men. A goal of the camp was to change the “jungle” around Reeds Gap into an attractive recreational facility. By the late 1930s, the park offered stone fireplaces, tables, picnic pavilions, play equipment, pit toilets, and running water. Reeds Gap State Park officially opened in 1938. On summer Sunday afternoons, local bands entertained from a bandstand and swimmers enjoyed a small lake formed by a CCC-built dam in Honey Creek.
World War II ended the CCC. 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.
For more information on the CCC explore the CCC Years.
Electrical power came to the valley in mid-1940s.
In 1965, a major developmental phase replaced the old dam with swimming pools. A new water system, flush toilets, a modern bathhouse, snack bar, maintenance building, and parking lots were constructed. In 2009, the aging 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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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
The Siglerville-Millheim Pike takes you to Poe Valley and Poe Paddy state parks. Poe Valley offers modern camping and a 25-acre lake. Poe Paddy has popular rustic campsites along Penns Creek. 717-667-3622
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.
From PA 322 take the Milroy Exit. Turn east toward Milroy. At the traffic light, turn left onto Old US Hwy 322. Continue straight onto Hill Street then make a right onto Sigler Street. At the stop sign continue onto South Main Street. In 0.3 mile, keep right to stay on South Main Street. Continue onto Naginey Road. At the next stop sign, continue straight onto Honey Creek Road. Honey Creek Road turns left and becomes Locke Mills Road. From Locke Mills Road, turn right onto New Lancaster Valley Road and follow it for 3 miles to Reeds Gap State Park.
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