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 State Forest and Susquehannock State Forest.
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 eagle, coyote, elk, and bobcat.
Hiking at Sinnemahoning State Park
5 miles of trails
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
The Lowlands Trail follows the course of the First Fork through five miles of the park, passing through open fields, shrubby riparian zones, and mature, towering forests. This scenic trail was originally part of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad bed.
Interpretive panels along the way provide insights into the wildlife and ecology of the park.
An ADA accessible wildlife viewing platform is located at the northern trailhead of the Lowlands Trail. This area is ideal habitat for:
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.
Red Spruce Trail
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.
Picnicking at Sinnemahoning State Park
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
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.
Stay the Night at Sinnemahoning State Park
Flush toilets, warm showers, electric hookups
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. The restroom and some campsites are ADA accessible.
Tall evergreen trees shade the campers in the campground at Sinnemahoning State Park.
The 35-site campground is one mile south of the Park Office and Wildlife Center along PA 872.
The campground opens the second weekend of April and closes in mid-December.
The camping area features a sanitary dump station and a modern restroom with flush toilets and showers.
Campsites accommodate camping equipment from tents to large recreational vehicles and motor homes. All sites are equipped with a:
Pets are permitted on designated sites.
Campsites can be reserved up to 11 months in advance and up to noon on the day of arrival.
Wildlife Watching at Sinnemahoning State Park
Sinnemahoning offers visitors a variety of wildlife watching experiences. Depending upon the season, visitors could encounter:
Nesting bald eagles
Elk cows with calves
Bears gorging on berries
Coyotes yipping in the night
Elusive bobcats slipping through the brush
Bald eagles are a common sight around the lake. Since 2000, a pair of eagles has set up year-round residence in the area. January through March, visitors can observe the pair engaging in bonding rituals and nest-building activity. During March, one to three eggs are laid and incubation begins.
Eaglets hatch around the middle of April with fledging occurring usually in the month of June. During the winter months, watch for eagles fishing in the open waters below the dam or eating carrion along the roadside.
Throughout the rest of the year, a good pair of binoculars and some patience will provide the casual observer with a spectacular display of eagle behavior.
Sinnemahoning State Park is home to a growing elk herd. Elk are mainly grazers preferring to feed on forbs, legumes, and grasses, but will browse on trees and shrubs when adequate ground vegetation is not available. Look for elk near the:
Wildlife viewing platform
40 Maples Picnic Area
Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning
The viewing platform area is managed cooperatively between the Pennsylvania Game Commission and DCNR's Bureau of State Parks. The grassy opening near the viewing platform was planted in clover and trefoil, a wildlife favorite. Although elk prefer these open, grassy areas, other wildlife benefit from the food source as well.
Fall is the rut or breeding season for elk. Watch for a herd of cows being guarded by a dominant bull. Listen for the bugle and belly grunts of a bull as he defends his harem from other intruding bulls.
Remember that elk are wild and can be dangerous -- especially during calving (June) and rutting (September/October) seasons. Please view elk and other wildlife from the viewing platform at the northern end of the food plot and stay on designated trails.
Boating at Sinnemahoning State Park
Electric motors only
The lake access features a boat launch and mooring area. Forty mooring spaces near the boat launch area are available for rental from April to October and five courtesy spaces are held in reserve for overnight guests.
A mooring permit is required and may be obtained at the Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning.
Fishing at Sinnemahoning State Park
The 145-acre George B. Stevenson Reservoir has fishing for coldwater and warmwater species, including:
Brook, rainbow, and brown trout
Smallmouth and largemouth bass
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. 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.
Conditions permitting, all areas of the lake are open for ice fishing except within 50 feet of the trash boom by the dam.
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.
Hunting at Sinnemahoning State Park
During established season, about 1,400 acres are open to:
Training of dogs
Common game species are:
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.
Cross-country Skiing at Sinnemahoning State Park
Park trails and open fields are available for skiing with adequate snow cover.
Ice Skating at Sinnemahoning State Park
Conditions permitting, an ice skating area is available on the pond at the Wildlife Viewing Area near the northern end of the park.
Ice thickness is not monitored.
Snowmobiling at Sinnemahoning State Park
The park trail consists of 1.5 miles of joint-use road and 5.1 miles of trail for a total of 6.6 miles.
The trail is clearly delineated by signs and orange blaze markers.
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.
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