Surrounded by the stunning Black Moshannon Lake, Black Moshannon State Park is a dream RV destination for lovers of the outdoors. Encompassing 3,481 acres in Centre County Pennsylvania, the park is huge and it has a very long history with humans. The Native American Seneca tribe originally used the area as grounds for hunting and fishing before European settlers cleared some land for farming. Huge amounts of old growth White Pine and Eastern Hemlock were later cut during the late 19th century as America developed. The park was later established in 1937 after the Civilian Conservation Corps reestablished the forests.
Black Moshannon State Park is open year-round for recreation. There are 21 miles of trails in the park that are open to hiking and mountain biking in summer. During the wintertime the trails are frequented by cross-country skiers, and those who like to snowmobile. Birdwatching is also very popular and there have been 175 different bird species recorded in the park. A lot of the park is open for hunting during the season and the lake and creek are open for swimming, boating and fishing.
RV campers can chose between 44 electric sites that have 50 amp connections and water hookups, 12 full hookup, or seven non-electric sites. Five of the camping sites also come with disability access. Camping is available up to December during the winter and peak season runs from April until October.
The park is quite easy to find as it is located next door to the Mid-State Regional Airport. The road conditions are usually good during the summer so you shouldn't have access problems. During the winter time this area does experience heavy snow. Make sure you check the park website before starting your journey to see if any unforeseen closures are occurring.
From south and southeast: Take US 322 West. Exit from US 322 West at exit 68 which is west of State College. Stay right and continue for six miles. Take the ramp on right to US 220 north for five miles. There will be a sign for the park in the village of Julian. Take the left when you see the sign and Beaver Road will take you to the park after around eight miles.
Coming from the northeast: Take I-80 west to Milesburg Exit 158, then Alt. US 220 south for six miles. Turn right onto PA 504 west for 12 miles to the park.
From the northwest: Take I-80 East and take exit 133 at Kylertown. Turn left onto PA 53 and drive straight at the traffic light. At the park sign, turn right onto Winburne Road. You will then reach the park after around 9 miles.
Black Moshannon State Park has one very well maintained camp ground that can accommodate 63 RV campers at a time. Each of the sites come equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring regardless of whether they are electric sites or not. All 44 of the 50 amp electric sites have water hookups which is a nice addition that isn't a very common feature. There are also 12 full hookup sites that have access to sewerage facilities. A dump station can also be found in the centre loop. There are wash houses available for all campers that feature with flush toilets, showers, and laundry tubs. If you want to do some serious laundry there is also a coin laundry available in the cabin area.
Some sites will also allow leashed pets to be kept on the campground sites. You should be able to get ATT and Verizon phone service in the campgrounds, but if you need to use a phone urgently there is also a public one available on the road into the park.
Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. The camping season is closed over winter, but it begins the second Friday in April and ends after deer season in mid-December.
Swimming in Black Moshannon State Park is made possible by a sandy beach that is located on the banks of the Black Moshannon Lake. The beach is a great place to spend a summer's day and it is also accessible to those with disabilities. There is a bathouse at the beach that was built by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps where you can get changed and wash off. The beach is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. No lifeguards here, so make sure you are confident in your swimming ability before taking the plunge.
The 250 acre lake is also a great place to do some boating. Canoes, motor boats and sail boats are all common vessels that float throughout the lake. A stretch of the lake is known for being one of the best whitewater canoe runs in Pennsylvania. This is because the lake has a 13 mile stretch of Class 2+ whitewater for canoeing and kayaking. All boats must be properly registered before they are launched. During the summer there are kayak and canoe rentals available.
Fancy some cold water fishing? The park offers the opportunity to do this in the Black Moshannon Creek and several of its tributaries. These waters are stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission with rainbow and brown trout specifically for sport fishing, so hopefully you'll get some bites. You can also cast a line in the lake where the warmer waters attract species such as yellow perch, bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass. During the winter the lake is also open for ice fishing.
Once the cold weather sets in and the lake freezes up you can head out and do some ice-skating. An area of the lake by Boating Area #1 is maintained for ice skating but always check with the park office to determine ice conditions in the skating area. Ice thickness is not monitored in other areas of the lake, so stick to the specific ice-skating area for safety reasons. If you plan on doing some ice-skating you must pack your own skates.
After Labor Day Black Moshannon State Park transforms into a huge hunting ground. More than 3,000 acres are available for hunting, trapping and the training of dogs. Hunting in this park is done to help prevent an overpopulation of animals and over-browsing of the understory within the park. Common species in Moshannon State Park are wild turkey, deer, bear, squirrel and grouse. You are not allowed to hunt woodchucks in the park and you must check in at the site office before you begin.
There are 21 miles of trails at Black Moshannon State Park that can be used for hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The trails vary in what activity they are open for, but all trails are open to hiking, some to skiing and two (Sleepy Hollow and Star Mill) are open to snowmobiles and mountain bikes. Sleepy Hollow, Seneca, Indian, and Hay Road Trails are the most popular in the park. We recommend the Bog Trail if you are wanting a short walk to spot plants and animals.