Black Moshannon State Park | Outdoorsy

Black Moshannon State Park
Guide

Introduction

In the center of Pennsylvania sits one of the state's most geographically and geologically unique parks, perfect for your next RV adventure. Black Moshannon State Park spans over 3,000 acres high up on the Allegheny Front, causing cool temperatures and distinct flora and fauna. The land that the park sits on has been an important area for centuries; it was first utilized by Native American tribes for hunting, fishing, and trading. By the 1800s, there was a small tavern along a major route (now known as PA-504) for travels to rest, eat, and visit. Years later, a lumber company planted roots on the land and produced more timber than any other logger in Pennsylvania, helping the nation construct vital infrastructure. The beginnings of a state park started to take place in the 1930s, and with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Black Moshannon State Park has come to be one of the state's most beloved outdoor playgrounds.

Nowadays, visitors can swim and boat in the lake, picnic at over 200 tables located throughout the park, and explore the trails that extend into the surrounding Moshannon State Forest. Fishing and hunting are also popular pastimes at the park, and once winter hits, snow sports enthusiasts flock to the area to enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. No matter what time of year you visit, you're sure to be treated to splendid views and a plethora of outdoor activities.

If you're staying overnight, you'll have the choice to park the rig at one of 63 RV- and trailer-friendly sites. Some sites are equipped with full hookups, while the rest offer electricity. The campground remains open from April through December, perfect for those who are looking for a place to park the rig during the peak summer months or the snowy season.

RV Rentals in Black Moshannon State Park

Transportation

Driving

Black Moshannon State Park is located in Centre County, high in the Allegheny Front in central Pennsylvania. The park is hours away from big cities like Pitsburg and Philadelphia and is surrounded by pure, unspoiled nature. Although the park may have you feeling like you've traveled far off the beaten path, you're actually rather close to civilization with major routes like I-80, I-99, and US-322 all surrounding the park. These well-traveled roads make it easy to reach the park, even for those maneuvering big rigs or hauling a travel trailer.

Both State Road 3032 and PA-504 will lead you into and through the park. These roads are smaller and present some slight inclines and a few twists and turns, so those driving large vehicles will want to take these roads at a slower pace. The campground is located on the east side of the lake, along with a few trailheads, a fishing pier, and a few boat launches. Other main attractions can be found on the west side of the lake and include a swimming beach, more boat launches, and trailheads, and several picnicking areas.

Parking

Parking lots are numerous but fill up quickly during the peak summer months, so if you're hoping to snag a spot, you may want to arrive at the park early. Lots are located near the swimming beach, the boat launches, and the park office.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Black Moshannon State Park

Campsites in Black Moshannon State Park

Reservations camping

Black Moshannon State Park Campground

Black Moshannon State Park is equipped with 63 RV- and trailer-friendly sites. Of these, 45 offer electric hookups, and 11 provide full hookups. The remaining seven are basic sites with no hookups available. Site lengths vary from 25 to 70 feet long, with both pull-through and back-in sites available. There are also five ADA-accessible sites, along with various pet-friendly campsites. For those looking to sleep under the stars, there are also nine tent-only sites available at this campground.

All sites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings, and a dump station, coin-operated laundry facilities, and wash houses with flush toilets and hot showers can be found nearby. There are also a few trailheads and picnicking areas located in the vicinity. The campground is open from April to December, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Any unreserved sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

First-come first-served

First Come, First Served Camping

Any unreserved sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alternate camping

Deluxe Camping Cottages

Those looking to get out of the RV for a night or two while still enjoying an authentic camping experience can rent one of the park's two deluxe camping cottages. Both the Blueberry and Cranberry Cottage is equipped with basic necessities including a stovetop, refrigerator, electric heat and lighting, and bunk beds able to sleep up to five. Although there is no indoor plumbing, restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, and potable water can be found nearby. The Cranberry Cottage is ADA-accessible and pet-friendly, while the Blueberry Cottage is not. The deluxe camping cottages are available from April to December, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Modern Cabins

If you prefer a more convenient camping experience, stay at one of the park's seven modern cabins. These cabins offer creature comforts like electric heating, indoor plumbing, and full kitchens, but guests should bring their own cooking and eating utensils, towels, and linens. Six of the cabins can sleep up to six guests, while the last is able to accommodate up to eight. There are three pet-friendly cabins and three ADA-accessible cabins available. The modern cabins are available year-round, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Rustic Cabins

The park also offers 13 rustic cabins equipped with electricity, full kitchens, bunk beds, and wood-burning stoves. These cabins can sleep between four to six guests, and one cabin is ADA-accessible. The rustic cabins do not allow pets, so if you're camping with your four-legged friends, you may want to rent one of the modern cabins or camping cottages. The rustic cabins are available from April through mid-December, with the exception of cabin number 14 which is available year-round. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Organized Group Tenting

If you're exploring Black Moshannon State Park with a large group and need a place to camp, stay at the organized group tenting site. This massive area can accommodate up to 60 people and is equipped with picnic tables and shelters, fireplaces and fire rings, playing fields, and restrooms with flush toilets. The group tenting sites are for organized groups only, and pets are not allowed. The site is available year-round, and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Seasonal activities in Black Moshannon State Park

In-Season

Hiking

There are over 20 miles of trails to traverse at Black Moshannon State Park, so don't forget to pack the hiking boots along in the campervan. Trails vary in length and difficulty, and whether you're an experienced hiker or just looking to stretch your legs after a long ride in the Class A, there's a trail for you. One of the most popular routes in the park is the ADA-accessible Bog Trail. You'll be able to walk along a wooden boardwalk and explore the park's wetland bog area. If you tread lightly, you'll be able to see some of the park's wildlife along with carnivorous plants and lilies -- don't forget your camera!

Boating

There's no better way to relax during your RV vacation to Black Moshannon State Park than by spending a day on the water. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is equipped with top-notch facilities including four boat launching areas (one of which is ADA-accessible), 87 mooring spaces, and boat rentals during the summer months. Those looking to enjoy the lake should note that only electric motors are allowed, and all water vessels must display a current boat registration.

Swimming

If you'd rather be in the water than on it, there is a swimming beach available on the northeast side of Black Moshannon Lake. The beach's location on the northernmost inlet isolates it from the rest of the lake and makes for a relaxing day of soaking up some rays or splashing in the roped-off swimming area. Once you've had enough sun for the day, there are picnic tables and a playground nearby, along with restrooms, additional parking, and various hiking trails.

Picnicking

With more than 200 picnic tables located throughout the park, you shouldn't have any problems finding a spot to enjoy an outdoor meal. There are four main picnicking areas, along with eight picnic pavilions -- some of which are even equipped with electricity. If you're hosting an event, the pavilions can be reserved in advance for a fee. Any unreserved pavilions will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're staying overnight, you can picnic right outside the teardrop, as each campsite is equipped with its own table and fire ring.

Educational Programs

If you'd like to learn a little more about the park's ecosystems, history, or flora and fauna during your stay, then attend one of the educational programs. These programs are available year-round and are great for the whole family. Programs could include bog walks, stream studies, guided photography hikes, or junior ranger programs. To see what programs are available during your time at the park, head to the park office and ask for a schedule.

Off-Season

Mountain Biking

Don't hesitate to bring your bikes along in the motorhome, because there are miles of trails to explore at Black Moshannon State Park. Bikes are not allowed on all trails, but don't let that deter you from kicking up some dirt. Ski Slope Trail is a favorite amongst mountain bikers and offers a challenge to skilled riders. Bikes are also allowed on Star Mill and Sleepy Hollow Trails. Additional riding can be found on the Snowmobile Trail, which will lead you into the surrounding Moshannon State Forest.

Fishing

Anglers who visit Black Moshannon State Park are in for a treat. No matter the season, there are some great fishing opportunities to be had. The 250-acre Moshannon Lake provides a habitat for warm water fish, including largemouth bass, pike, crappie, and bluegill. You can cast out from the fishing pier on the west side of the lake, or troll on the water itself and drop a line via boat. If you didn't have any luck on the lake, the Black Moshannon Creek and Six Mile Run provide good trout fishing.

Hunting

Hunters can take aim at a variety of game during their RV vacation to Black Moshannon State Park, including deer, bear, wild turkey, grouse, and squirrel. From mid-September through March, hunting, trapping, and dog training are all available in over 3,000 acres of land. If you don't have any luck on the park grounds, there are numerous state game lands nearby, along with the adjacent Black Moshannon State Forest, which also always hunting during designated seasons.

Winter Sports

Once the snow sticks, Black Moshannon State Park transforms into a winter wonderland. Snowsports enthusiasts from near and far flock to the park to enjoy some of Pennsylvania's best winter recreation. Cross-country skiers can take to the trails that hikers treck during the warmer months, and snowmobilers can take various trails and roads at a faster pace when conditions allow. Snowmobile Trail is aptly named and will lead snowmobilers to even more trails in the neighboring Black Moshannon State Forest. Once the lake has a healthy layer of ice, ice fishing and ice skating are also allowed. The park's campground remains open through mid-December, so you can be close to all the winter action -- just be sure to dress in layers and come prepared with all the winter camping necessities.

Wildlife Watching

Due to Black Moshannon State Park's unique geology, it is home to a remarkable variety of flora and fauna. The park's high elevation combined with bogs, marshes, swamps, and forests is what makes for the unparalleled wildlife watching opportunities. Visitors to the park will have the chance to see rare birds like the leatherleaf and Canada warblers, along with beavers, muskrats, and great blue herons near the lake. For your chance to see salamanders, black bears, and water snakes, explore the park's bogs via Moss-Hane and Bog Trails. The forested area of the park offers opportunities for seeing porcupines, fox, deer, ravens, flying squirrels, and more. No matter where you wander in the park, don't forget to grab the camera out of the pop-up.

Find the perfect campsite.