Located in scenic Tioga County, the 407-acre Hills Creek State Park abounds in wildlife. Osprey, loon, and waterfowl visit the lake that boasts a variety of warmwater fish species.
Camping, cabins, swimming, and picnicking make this an ideal spot for a family vacation.
Hiking at Hills Creek State Park
5.5 miles of trails
Lake Side Trail
Beginning at the entrance to the camping area, this trail follows the lake shore in a westerly direction for about one mile, finally arriving at the Beaver Hut Boating Area. A beaver house plus many signs of beaver activity may be seen in this area.
From the boating area, the trail generally follows the lake shore in a southerly direction for about one mile, ending at the dam breast of Hills Creek Lake. This section of the trail offers an excellent variety of bird life attracted by seeds from white spruce, red-osier dogwood, and viburnums that dominate this moist area.
The trail then parallels the park road through Picnic Area #1 and passes the park office. It ends at a parking lot beyond the gate on the main entrance road, a distance of about 0.5-mile.
This trail circles the northeast section of the park from the cabin area. It winds through pine plantations, dense stands of alder, and fields containing numerous wildflowers. Wildlife abounds in this section of the park, and it is not uncommon to startle deer or grouse along the trail.
Yellow Birch Trail
This trail starts at the entrance to the camping area but travels in an easterly direction for about one mile. Although short in length, this trail leads through a diversity of forest habitats from stands of hardwoods to hemlock swamps and marsh areas. The observant hiker may see a variety of wildlife and animal signs along with interesting tree development.
Northern Extension of the Mid State Trail
The Mid State Trail is a long-distance backpacking trail in central Pennsylvania which passes through the park and connects to the main trail.
Picnicking at hills Creek State Park
There are two picnic areas and three reservable picnic pavilions:
Picnic Area No. 1 is at the south end of the lake near the breast of the dam.
Picnic Area No. 2 is just north of the swimming beach along a large cove of the lake.
The picnic areas have:
Modern comfort stations
The picnic areas are open year-round, but all other day use facilities are closed seasonally.
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.
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
Stay the Night at Hills Creek State Park
flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
The 85-site camping area is at the north end of the park and can be reached by the main park road. The campsites range from grassy open areas to sites dominated by immense hemlock trees. Many sites have electric hook-ups. Some sites have full-service hook up, which includes:
The campground opens the second Friday in April and closes the third weekend in October.
Modern washhouses with warm showers, restrooms, and water fountains are in central locations throughout the camping area.
A sanitary dump station is just outside the camping area.
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. Six sites are ADA accessible.
Pets are permitted on designated sites.
Swimming at Hills Creek State Park
A sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8:00 A.M. to sunset. The sandy lake bottom and grass beach are quite popular.
The modern bathhouse and snack bar is nearby and open seasonally.
Swim at your own risk.
Smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the swimming area.
For visitors who smoke and still want to use the beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes:
Other handheld, lighted smoking devices
Wildlife Watching at Hills Creek State Park
Wildlife abounds in and around Hills Creek State Park. Along with an active beaver colony, there are other water-loving creatures, including:
Great blue heron
Bald eagles are frequent visitors to the park.
Visitors may see transient black bear, wild turkey, or deer.
Hills Creek also is a perfect habitat for:
During the spring, Hills Creek Lake becomes home to migrating waterfowl like loon, bufflehead, and common merganser.
Boating at Hills Creek State Park
electric motors only
The 137-acre Hills Creek Lake has three boat mooring areas with a total capacity of 30 boats. Two of these areas also double as boat launching areas with concrete launching ramps.
Fishing at Hills Creek State Park
The warm waters of the 137-acre Hills Creek Lake provide excellent fishing for warmwater species. The lake record for largemouth bass is just more than eight pounds.
Common species are:
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. A fishing pier for people with disabilities is at the Pines Boat Launch.
Ice fishing success in the 137-acre Hills Creek Lake is exceptional for yellow perch, bluegill, and an occasional walleye.
Ice thickness is not monitored.
Hunting at Hills Creek State Park
Hunting is prohibited within Hills Creek State Park. However, 13,000 acres of rugged State Game Lands 137 are within walking distance.
Sledding at Hills Creek State Park
A hill at the beach is good for sledding with adequate snow cover.
Cross-Country Skiing at Hills Creek State Park
Skiing is permitted on trails and open areas of the park.
Ice Skating at Hills Creek State Park
Ice skating is permitted at the beach on the natural ice of the lake.
Ice thickness is not monitored.
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR