Ryerson Station State Park
Ryerson Station State Park is in Greene County in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, near the West Virginia border. The 1,164-acre park features the 62-acre Ronald J. Duke Lake that is named in memory of a former manager of Ryerson Station State Park. The lake is currently drawn down for dam safety issues.
Picnicking: Picnic tables are available throughout the park, along with charcoal grills, drinking water and restrooms. Some of these facilities are ADA accessible. A small, children’s play area is in the main picnic area.
The park has five picnic pavilions. Three 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.
Swimming: Weather permitting, a free pool is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. The pool complex is ADA accessible, including a lift for the pool.
Explore swimming for more information.
Boating: There are currently no boating opportunities in the park.The 62-acre Ronald J. Duke Lake is currently drawn down for dam safety issues. Efforts are ongoing to rebuild the dam.
Fishing: The 62-acre Ronald J. Duke Lake is currently drawn down for dam safety issues. Efforts are ongoing to rebuild the dam.
North Fork of Dunkard Fork flows through the lakebed and offers fishing for trout and panfish. In the spring, the PA Fish and Boat Commission stocks the creek downstream from the breastwork of the old dam and upstream of the lakebed, near the Iron Bridge.
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 900 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, squirrel and turkey. Early and late goose hunting may occur.
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: 13 miles of trails
Camping: rustic sites, some with elec.
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: one host position in the rustic campground
Camping Cottages: Located in the campground, the two cottages sleep five people in bunk beds, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets. Parking for up to two vehicles is available at each cottage.
Organized Group Tenting: A rustic camping area is available for organized adult or youth groups from the second Friday in April to the end of September. The area can accommodate up to 100 people and provides vault toilets, drinking water, fire rings, picnic tables and a pavilion. Reservations are required.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: Cross-country skiing is permitted on the un-groomed hiking trails and open areas throughout the park.
Sledding: Several small hills throughout the park are suitable for sledding.
Snowmobiling: Six miles of snowmobile trails are available for use by registered snowmobiles from the day following the last deer season in December until April 1, weather permitting.
Ice Fishing: There are currently no ice fishing opportunities in the park.
Ice Skating: An ice skating area is in the Maple Grove Day Use Area. Contact the park office for ice skating opportunities.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
A variety of programs are offered during the summer season. The park environmental educator offers evening programs in the amphitheater on summer weekends, and guided hikes several times a week. Interpretive programs are also conducted at the environmental learning classroom in 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.
Kingdoms, nations and states have fought for the lands in and around Ryerson Station State Park.
The earliest known landholders were the Monongahela People. These American Indians disappeared right after European Colonists arrived in North America, leaving a huge territory that many fought to fill.
France and Great Britain fought for the Ohio River Valley in the French and Indian War, from 1689 to 1763. Unsatisfied with the peace treaty made with the victorious British, American Indian tribes fought Pontiac’s Rebellion, which lasted three years.
To settle a land dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland, Mason and Dixon surveyed the border between the states. In 1767, the surveyors were halted in Southwestern Pennsylvania by the Mingo Tribe who rightly feared that the white men were trying to steal their land.
Because European Settlers were invading Indian lands, angering the Indians, the British bought what became Southwestern Pennsylvania from the Iroquois League of Nations in 1768. The Iroquois claimed the lands, but never lived there. The Mingo, Shawnee and Lenni Lenape tribes that inhabited the land were not at the parley and did not give up their claims. The American Indians fought for their lands, killing settlers.
The colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania claimed the land. In 1774, Virginia built a fort at the confluence of the North and South forks of Dunkard Fork of Wheeling Creek. A shelter from Indian raids, Ryerson’s Fort was used until at least 1784, maybe even 1793. It is unknown when Ryerson’s Fort came to be called Ryerson’s Station. The fort was one of many stations used by rangers who patrolled for raiding Indians.
The U.S. courts settled the land dispute between the states in 1784, making the land part of Pennsylvania.
The fighting between the settlers and Indians continued. In 1787, seven members of the Davis Family were killed at their home, which was near the current park office.
The American Indians moved west, but the fighting in Southwestern Pennsylvania did not end. In 1794, U.S. citizens took up arms against the government and its new tax in the Whiskey Rebellion. President George Washington brought the army to quell the insurrection, finally bringing peace.
As part of its plan to have a state park within 25 miles of every resident of Pennsylvania, the former Department of Forests and Waters began acquiring land for a park in 1958. The dam was completed 1960.
In 1967, the campground was completed and Ryerson Station State Park opened to the public. The park was named for nearby Ryerson’s Fort. Duke Lake was named for Ronald J. Duke, a former park manager.
Keep in Touch
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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.
Join a Friends Group
The Friends of Ryerson Station State Park is a non-profit group that works to further the goals of Ryerson Station State Park. http://friendsofryerson.webs.com
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
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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.
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Ryerson Station State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency. www.gogreenecounty.org
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.
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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 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.
Common Birds Brochure
Common Birds of Ryerson Station (.pdf) (365 kb, 3/11)
The park is on both sides of Bristoria Road, just off of PA 21, three miles from Wind Ridge, PA. These highways are accessible from either Washington or Waynesburg, PA.
GPS DD: Lat. 39.88614 Long. -80.44549
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.
Ryerson Station State Park