Shawnee State Park
Shawnee State Park is 3,983 acres of Pennsylvania’s scenic Ridge and Valley Province. Ten miles west of the historic town of Bedford along US 30, Shawnee has modern recreational facilities that blend into the natural environment. A focal point of the park is the 451-acre Shawnee Lake.
Hiking - Biking - Picnicking - Swimming - Boating - Fishing - Hunting - Disc Golf - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Sledding - Snowmobiling - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Organized Group Tenting - Yurts - Shawnee Lodge - Camping Cottages - 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: Picnic tables, charcoal grills, water fountains and restrooms are scattered around the park. Five 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. Picnic Pavilion #3 is ADA accessible.
Swimming: The sand and turf beach has modern bathhouses with flush toilets and showers. Vending machines are available. The beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8:00 AM to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules.
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.
Fishing: The 451-acre Shawnee Lake is stocked with warm-water game fish. Common game species are smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskellunge, pickerel, catfish, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, sunfish, sucker, bullhead and carp. An ADA accessible fishing pier is by the Diehl Boat Launch.
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 3,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, rabbit, squirrel and grouse.
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: 16 miles of trails
Biking: 7.5 miles of trails
Disc Golfing: The 9-hole, 3 par course in the main day use area has nice distance holes and an up-and-over-the-hill challenge.
Camping: modern sites, some with electric
There is a sanitary dump station and centrally located washhouses with flush toilets, showers and laundry tubs. The camping season begins the second Friday in April and ends in late December.
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: two host positions in the modern campground
Camping Cottages: The three cottages sleep five people in bunk beds, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets.
Yurts: These round, canvas and wood walled tents have a wooden deck and sleep five people in bunk beds. Yurts have a cooking stove, microwave oven, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring and picnic table.
Shawnee Lodge: This two-story house is on an island in Lake Shawnee. It sleeps eight people in four bedrooms with two double beds and four single beds. The lodge has air conditioning and a modern kitchen. A fire ring and picnic table are in the yard. Renters should bring their own linens, towels and dishes.
Explore cabins for more information.
Organized Group Tenting: On the secluded Kegg Run finger of the lake, the organized group tenting area offers campers easy access to fishing, and canoe and kayak launching. Four campsites each have a capacity of 20 campers or a total capacity of 80. The camp has composting toilets and a hand-pumped well. Each site has picnic tables and a fire ring. Organized youth and adult groups can rent the area mid-April through mid-October. Advance reservations are required.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Most trails are suitable for novice and experienced skiers and snowshoers. Lake Shore is the most popular trail.
Sledding: A large area of hillsides near Picnic Area #2 is great for sledding.
Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles are permitted on an 11-mile trail network in the eastern side of the park.
Ice Fishing: Common species caught through the ice are yellow perch, northern pike, walleye, and pickerel. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: An area at Colvin Boat Launch is popular when conditions permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park environmental interpreter conducts a summer program of nature walks and evening programs that focus on the natural and historical resources of the park and surrounding landscape.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
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.
Shawnee Lake Assessment 2011
Due to ongoing concerns with health of Shawnee Lake, the Bureau of State Parks contracted with Princeton Hydro, LLC, to review and interpret collected lake data. Their findings are included within this report and include a list of possible lake management activities and their feasibility on Shawnee Lake.
Shawnee Lake Assessment Report 2011 (pdf) (287kb, 6/11)
The park is named for the Shawnee American Indians who migrated from the Potomac to the Ohio Country. In the early 1750s, a Shawnee village known as “Shawanese Cabbins” was located just south of Schellsburg.
General Forbes camped his army within the boundaries of the park while marching the Forbes Road in the campaign of 1758 against the French at Fort Duquesne, Pittsburgh. The rear guard of the army was commanded by George Washington, who slept here on October 15, 1758. One can still walk remnants of the Forbes Trail within the park.
The white barn, buildings and houses now surrounded by a lake of water were once surrounded by a sea of grass. These buildings belonged to John Bowman’s “Water Brooks Farm.” Bowman was president and chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and was the driving force behind the building of the Cathedral of Learning.
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Becoming a Conservation Volunteer is easy.
Scouts and organized groups can earn free camping by completing service projects.
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
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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 Natural 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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Shawnee State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from:
the Bedford County Visitors Bureau www.bedfordcounty.net
the Alleghenies. www.thealleghenies.com
Bedford County offers many points of interest. Days can be spent sampling the past heritage and the present culture through its mountains and rolling agricultural fields.
US 30, the Lincoln Highway, roughly follows the Forbes Trail that was the main highway between Fort Bedford and Fort Ligonier in the 1700s. Original inns and other examples of a unique Bedford architectural style can be seen along the road and in small settlements such as Schellsburg.
The City of Bedford Historic District includes the oldest courthouse in use in Pennsylvania and the Espy House where President George Washington headquartered in 1794 to review his troops on their way to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania. A walking tour of 51 buildings in the historic district is available in the Bedford County Travel Guide.
Old Bedford Village, on old US 220 just north of Bedford, is a complex of historical buildings which were collected from all over the county. Arranged in the manner of a typical colonial settlement, the buildings were reconstructed and contain demonstrations of the early American crafts which were found in colonial Bedford. Craftsmen clothed in authentic garb explain their craft.
For downhill skiers, Blue Knob Ski Area, in Blue Knob State Park, is one of the best ski resorts in Pennsylvania and is 25 miles from Shawnee State Park. Cross-country skiers will find a variety of interesting terrain for their sport.
Bedford County is well known by sportsmen for its beautiful trout streams and abundant deer and other wild game. For the non-hunter, Bedford offers great wildlife observation opportunities, especially migrating birds.
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.
You must have the free Adobe Reader to view the maps and brochures that are in pdf format (.pdf).
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.
Lake Depth Map
2011 Shawnee Lake Report (.pdf). (304 kb, 6/11)
US 30 and PA 96 pass through Shawnee State Park.
GPS DD: Lat. 40.02622 Long. -78.63552
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.
Shawnee State Park