Worlds End State Park
Worlds End State Park is situated in a narrow S-shaped valley of the Loyalsock Creek, just south of Forksville, Sullivan County.
Surrounded by the Loyalsock State Forest, the 780-acre park offers visitors diverse recreational opportunities within a pristine environment. The rugged natural beauty coursing through the heart of the Endless Mountains landscape provides many photographic possibilities.
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: The main picnic area is along Loyalsock Creek, just upstream of the swimming area. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnickers are asked to dispose of hot charcoal in the facilities provided. A food concession, playground and recycling station are found within the picnic grounds.
Picnic Pavilions: Three large 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. One pavilion is ADA accessible.
Swimming: A small dam on Loyalsock Creek forms a swimming area that is open from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, sunrise to sunset. The mountain stream water is always cold and exhilarating. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming.
Beginning in 2016, smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the swimming area. For visitors who smoke and still want to use this beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes or other handheld, lighted smoking devices.
Explore swimming for more information.
Snack Bar: A food concession operates from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. In addition to the usual fast-food refreshments, a limited line of camping and picnicking supplies such as ice and charcoal are offered.
Sightseeing: ADA accessible Loyalsock Canyon Vista, reached via Mineral Spring and Cold Run roads, and nearby High Knob Vista, provide outstanding views of the Endless Mountains region. Scenery is particularly unforgettable during the June mountain laurel bloom and the fall foliage period in October.
Whitewater Boating: Whitewater boaters may use Loyalsock Creek at any time of the year, although the area by the swimming beach is closed during the summer. The best water is March to May. Due to rapid fluctuations in water level, kayakers should inquire about conditions before coming to the park.
The stream is NOT suitable for open canoes.
Non-powered boats that launch in a state park 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.
Visit the Safety Code of American Whitewater for useful safety information.
Fishing: Loyalsock Creek is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The cold mountain water provides good fishing most of the year.
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: About half of Worlds End State Park is open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, grouse, squirrel, bear and turkey.
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: 20 miles of trails
Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.
Camping: warm showers and flush toilets
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Cabins: The 19 rustic cabins are available for rent year-round. Rentals are for one week periods during the summer, and two-night minimum stays in the off-season. Information is available at the park office. Cabins are equipped with a refrigerator, range, fireplace insert, table, chairs and beds. Three shower buildings are available and a recycling center is at the entrance to the cabin area. Guests should bring their own linens, dishes and sundries. Guests are responsible for their own firewood.
Explore cabins for more information.
Organized Group Tenting: This rustic area has three sites that hold 30 people each, or combine to hold 90 people. Adult and youth groups may apply. Advance reservations are required.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: Several park areas are suitable for Nordic skiing. A 20-mile trail network is close by on state forest land.
Snowmobiling: Several miles of park roads are used as joint-use snowmobile trails. Additionally, many trails have been designated on nearby state forest land. A trailhead is along Worlds End Road to Eagles Mere, a short distance south of the park.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Worlds End State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through guided walks, hands-on activities and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and a sense of stewardship toward the natural and historical resources. Curriculum-based outdoor investigations and hands-on environmental activities are available to public schools, youth and community organizations and homeschool associations. Group programs must be scheduled in advance through the park office.
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.
The extensive forest cover, hemlock valleys and mountainous terrain provide ideal habitat for “big woods” wildlife. White-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey are regularly sighted.
The patient observer may find bobcat, coyote and river otter. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded. Many breeding species that one could expect to find further north are present, including northern goshawk, yellow-bellied flycatcher and white-throated sparrow.
Do not feed wildlife. Keep food locked inside cabins or vehicles. Wildlife is best viewed by walking any of the hiking trails or slowly driving the extensive Loyalsock State Forest roads in and around the park.
Worlds End State Park is in a picturesque corner of the Allegheny High Plateau known as the Sullivan Highlands, which is part of the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Millions of years of erosion by Loyalsock Creek created the stunning scenery and gorge.
About 350 million years ago, this part of Pennsylvania was on the coastline of a shallow sea that covered most of the interior of North America. High mountains to the east eroded, dumping vast amounts of clays, sands and gravels on the coast, building up the sediment for about 100 million years. The great pressure of the sediments squeezed the sands, clays and gravels into the shale, sandstone and conglomerate rocks found in the park today.
Collisions with Europe and Africa folded and raised the rock of the park into a large, flat highland, which probably stood far higher than it does today. Millions of years of erosion have carved the highland into the ridges and valleys of today. Where you see a ridge, you will find hard rock. The valleys once held softer rock. Loyalsock Creek has flowed through the area for an unknown length of time, creating the rugged, serpentine valley of Worlds End State Park.
A fossil is any evidence of previous life. Dinosaur bones are a well-known example of a fossil. At Worlds End State Park, there are unique fossils from before the time of dinosaurs! About 350 million years ago, this area was a series of river deltas on the coast of a warm, shallow sea. Ancestors of the modern-day lungfish inhabited the rivers. During dry periods, the lungfish burrowed tail first into the mud and hibernated until the water returned. Sometimes these burrows were filled with different sediment than the mud in which the fish burrowed, creating a rod shaped fossil composed of rock different from the surrounding rock. Nearly five inches in diameter and several feet long, the lungfish burrow fossils have been found in the red siltstones.
Just upslope from Loyalsock Canyon Vista is the Rock Garden. This blocky maze of rock is composed of very hard conglomerate and sandstone that has been eroded and frost heaved to create the deep, narrow crevices, which are perfect for exploration.
For detailed information on the geology of the area, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey created the brochure Trail of Geology 12 Park Guide, Worlds End State Park.
Early settlers to the area used two horse trails to cross the rugged highland from Muncy Creek to the forks of Loyalsock Creek at the town of Forksville. This treacherous road became obsolete in 1895 with the building of PA 154. Pioneer Road Trail and Worlds End Road follow the path of the old horse trail. Worlds End Vista, at the junction of Pioneer Road Trail and Worlds End Trail, is the view that possibly inspired the name of the park.
At the turn of the 20th century, logging became big business in the area. At least one sawmill operated within the park area. The loggers cut the trees and floated them away on the creek, leaving behind hillsides covered in briars, stumps and tree refuse that were prone to forest fires and flooding. In 1929, the former Department of Forests and Waters began purchasing the devastated land to create a state forest park. In 1932, $50 was allotted to create the park facilities, which purchased little more than four picnic tables.
In 1933, to ease the rampant unemployment of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Companies of 200 young, unemployed men, or veterans, built camps as bases for performing reclamation and construction projects like planting trees, building parks, fire fighting and prevention, creating roads and trails and other conservation work.
Four CCC camps were built in Sullivan County. Camp S-95 in Laporte built many of the park facilities, like the swimming area and dam, cabins, pavilions, hiking trails and roads. Camp S-95 closed in 1941.
For more information on the CCC explore the CCC Years.
What’s the Name of this Place?
The name of the park has swirled with controversy. A map from 1872 called the area Worlds End. The excerpt below is from an article from July 20, 1935, by W.S. Swingler, Assistant District Forester of Wyoming State Forest, now Loyalsock State Forest.
“There was even a dispute as to the proper name of the area. Some people called it Worlds End, others Whirl’s Glen, and still others Whirls End. The first name arose from the topography of the place. Seven mountain ranges converge on the point and one does receive the sensation of being at the ultimate ends of the earth. The proponents of the second name base their claim upon the whirlpool in the Loyalsock Creek and the third name was probably a contraction of the other two. Since the whirlpool had largely disappeared, it was decided that the name Worlds End would be the most appropriate. Hence, the name Worlds End State Forest Park.”
In 1936, a letter campaign caused the park name to be changed to Whirls End. Another letter campaign forced the matter to be brought to the former State Geographic Board, who supervised the official naming of places. The name was changed back to Worlds End in 1943.
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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.
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Worlds End State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from:
the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau. www.endlessmountains.org
the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. www.sullivanpachamber.com
Area attractions include the Sullivan County Fair, Pennsylvania Bow Hunters Festival, Lumberjck Festival and a toboggan slide at Eagles Mere.
Worlds End State Park is adjacent to Loyalsock State Forest, which offers hiking, hunting fishing and other outdoor recreation.
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.
Worlds End cabin map (.pdf) (208 kb, 12/13)
The park is along PA 154 and is easily reached from:
GPS DD: Lat. 41.4718 Long. -76.58145
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.
Worlds End State Park