Sinnemahoning State Park
Sinnemahoning State Park, located near the center of the Pennsylvania Wilds’ scenic steep valleys region, encompasses 1,910 acres of beautiful scenery and outstanding wildlife habitat. Situated in Cameron and Potter counties, the park is nestled between the green-shouldered ridges of Pennsylvania’s Elk and Susquehannock State Forests. The park is long and narrow and includes lands on both sides of First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, a major tributary to the Sinnemahoning Creek. At the southern end of the park, a 145-acre reservoir created by the George B. Stevenson dam provides excellent fishing and water recreation opportunities. The abundance of wildlife within the park provides visitors with opportunities to view bald eagles, coyotes, elk and bobcats. In addition, the park’s geographic location is excellent for visitors to explore the other treasures of the PA Wilds region.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The Wildlife Center/Park Office is open specific hours. Overnight areas and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the Wildlife Center/Park Office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: The park contains two main picnic areas. The Eagle Watch Picnic Ground at the George B. Stevenson reservoir is located in an open grassy area, and includes picnic tables and charcoal grills. In addition, a pavilion with an adjoining checkers/chess table and grill is located at the Eagle Watch Area directly above the boat launch.
The 40 Maples Day Use Area includes two ADA accessible pavilions, along with numerous individual picnic tables scattered throughout the area. It also contains a volleyball net, horseshoe pits and a basketball half-court. Electricity is not available in this area
Pavilions can be reserved up to 11 months in advance and must be reserved at least two days in advance. Unreserved pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis
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 145-acre George B. Stevenson Reservoir has fishing for cold-water and warm-water species, including brook, rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, sunfish, bluegill, pickerel, perch, crappie and catfish. An ADA accessible fishing pier is located near the boat launch. Nearby creeks also provide good angling and some feeder streams in the park contain native brook trout. Excellent fly fishing can be found on First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, downstream from the mouth of Bailey Run for 2.1 miles. This section is designated as a delayed harvest, artificial lures only special regulation area.
George B. Stevenson Reservoir Depth Black-and-white Map (.pdf) (3,110 kb, 8/15)
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.
Fish Habitat Improvement: For several years, Sinnemahoning State Park has partnered with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Cooperative Habitat Improvement Program (CHIP) to place fish and turtle habitat structures in the lake and ponds throughout the park. This program places habitat structures, primarily made of wood or rocks, in lakes or impoundments in the Commonwealth. The habitat structures mimic the aquatic environment in a natural lake and aid in the survival and reproduction of aquatic species.
Hunting and Firearms: About 1400 acres of the park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during the established seasons. Common game species are deer, grouse, squirrel, bear, turkey and waterfowl.
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: 5 miles of trails
An ADA accessible wildlife viewing platform is located at the northern trailhead of the Lowlands Trail. This area is ideal habitat for deer, elk, woodcock, migratory songbirds and monarch butterflies. The trail from the wildlife viewing platform to the 40 Maples Day Use Area is ADA accessible.
A spur of the trail near the 40 Maples Day Use Area leads to a secluded viewing blind that overlooks an abandoned beaver pond. Quiet visitors may be able to see great blue herons wading in the pond or painted turtles basking on partially submerged logs. Osprey, green herons, belted kingfishers, bobcats and whitetail deer also frequent the area.
For a more primitive hiking experience, visitors can hike the Red Spruce Trail from the campground to the 40 Maples Day Use Area. This trail skirts an exceptional wetland area and passes under the dense canopy of mature mixed hardwood forest. This one-mile trail is marked with yellow blazes. Areas of rocks and roots make this trail surface more challenging than the Lowlands Trail.
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: one host position in the modern campground
Brooks Run Cabin: Brooks Run Cabin is nestled in a hemlock grove along Brooks Run stream at the southern end of the park. The four-bedroom modern cabin has accommodations for twelve people and includes an updated, fully-outfitted kitchen and a living room with a stone fireplace. Linens, washcloths, towels, cleaning supplies and food are not supplied. A secluded patio and campfire area provides convenient space for outdoor cooking and entertaining. This popular cabin can be reserved up to 11 months in advance and must be reserved at least two days in advance. It is available by the week during the summer season and for a minimum of two days for off-season reservations.
Brooks Run Cabin Brochure (.pdf)
Explore cabins for more information.
Firewood: Firewood is available from several vendors in the area. An invasive insect, the emerald ash borer has been identified in several counties in Pennsylvania and is known to be transported in lumber and firewood. To prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer, please do not move firewood to, or from, other areas.
Cross-country Skiing: Park trails and open fields are available for skiing with adequate snow cover.
Snowmobiling: The park trail consists of 1.1 miles of joint-use road and 4.1 miles of trail for a total of 5.2 miles. The trail is clearly delineated by signs and orange blaze markers. Current snow depths and conditions are posted on the state park website.
The park trail joins the trails of the Elk State Forest at Brooks Run Road, making 25 total miles of trail system. All state forest trails are groomed weekly. Snowmobiles may be operated on designated trails and roads from the day following the last deer season in December until April 1, weather permitting. Snowmobiles are prohibited from operating on frozen water surfaces and shorelines. All snowmobiles must be registered.
Ice Skating: Conditions permitting, an ice skating area is available on the pond at the Wildlife Viewing Area near the northern end of the park. Please use caution. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Fishing: Conditions permitting, all areas of the lake are open for ice fishing except within 50 feet of the trash boom by the dam. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Extreme caution must be taken during ice related activities. Dangerous ice conditions like unsafe or weak ice or air pockets may exist due to rapidly rising or falling lake levels.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Sinnemahoning State Park offers year-round environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and other youth groups. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office. Teacher workshops on a variety of subjects are also available.
Canoe and kayak programs are very popular from spring to fall. The park has an inventory of kayaks and canoes and offers paddling programs that range from basic to competitive racing.
Wildlife watching pontoon boat tours of the George B. Stevenson reservoir are offered on most Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In addition, specialty bird watching tours that feature a hot brunch served onboard are scheduled several times each summer, usually on major holiday weekends.
Biking programs are offered on selected Saturdays from May to October. The park has ten hybrid bikes in various adult sizes for use during the program or you may bring your own. Helmets are provided and must be worn.
Wildlife watching programs and opportunities are available year-round. Participants may search for amphibians in the spring, watch bald eagles snatch a fish from the lake or observe black bear gorging on fall berries. Elk can often be seen grazing in open areas near 40 Maples Day Use Area. Keep Wildlife Wild – feeding wildlife is dangerous and illegal. Please don’t feed wild animals.
Outdoor photography workshops are offered several times each year. The workshops focus on digital wildlife and landscape photography and are designed for the novice photographer. More advanced workshops will be available in the future. Contact the park office for dates, times, and applicable fees.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
The Birds n’ Brunch Pontoon Boat Tour is a special, bird-watching, pontoon boat excursion offered several times each season. The tour includes a light brunch on the boat, complete with tablecloths and music, while anchored in a secluded cove of the lake. Afterward, the boat moves along the shores and wetland areas of the George B. Stevenson Reservoir and offers glimpses of eagles, herons, mergansers, kingfishers, and other birds that frequent the area.
Women in the Wilds Weekend is offered each summer as a female-focused weekend filled with opportunities to learn new outdoor skills. Programs include mountain biking, archery, kayaking, outdoor photography, GPS, geocaching, fly-fishing, deer and turkey hunting, and many others. Participants may choose up to eight different sessions over the three days of the event.
The First Fork Festival at Sinnemahoning State Park celebrates the history and culture of the First Fork Sinnemahoning Valley. Held annually on the second Saturday of October, this community-focused, admission-free event features local authors, artists, and artisans showcasing their talents amidst a backdrop of full autumn color in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Haunted Halloween Trail and All Hallows Eve Celebration invites visitors to Sinnemahoning State Park for a BOOtiful evening! Visitors can watch for ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, and some scary native critters along the Lowlands Trail. Children can enjoy Halloween crafts and games in the Wildlife Center classroom while learning about the origins of Halloween and the animals that are traditionally associated with this holiday.
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.