Clear Creek State Park is located in the beautiful Allegheny National Forest right between Clear Creek and the Clarion River. The park covers 1,901 acres of land in the towns of Barnett and Heath, which helps provide year-round recreation for visitors from all over the United States. The areas where the park covers were once home to a booming lumber business. When the resources became depleted, and the land became too hard to farm, it was sold to the state in 1919.
In 1922, Clear Creek State Park was first open to the public for campers and other nature lovers. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) stayed at the park for seven years building trails, cabins, and bridges, as well as concession stands, restrooms, and a beach. In 1987 the park added shelters, cabins, and several other facilities. The latest update to the park was made in 2008 when they renovated the campgrounds.
The park is open year-round, but the campgrounds close in late-December and open again in mid-April. There are 53 campsites available for RV and trailer camping. Of these, 41 campsites have modern electric and water while the rest do not have any hookups. There are a few water spigots and a dumping station to accommodate for lack of hookups. There are two campgrounds divided by Clear Creek, but only one of them is pet-friendly.
You and your family can enjoy the large playgrounds, beautiful swimming areas, and clean trails in the summer when you visit the park in your motorhome. In the winter, there are several activities like skiing, sledding, or building a snowman with your loved ones. The park enjoys cool summers and snowy winters, making it a perfect place to plan your next family getaway in an RV.
With the town of Brookville only 12 miles away and a short trip on I-80, the park is easy to locate. Whether you are coming from the east or the west, PA-949 will lead you directly to the park’s entrance. You can swing by Brookville, Brockway, Marienville, or Ridgway to pick up supplies or groceries on your way to the park. These cities also offer fantastic museums and small restaurants for you to experience.
The park’s roads are well maintained, so you won’t have to worry about low hanging branches attacking your rig on your drive into the campgrounds. When driving into the park, remember to drive slow due to the narrow roads. The park’s office is where you can check-in and pick up any permits or licenses you may need. You can also get firewood and other knick-knacks. It is recommended that you walk or ride your bike while in the park to experience the joy of the great outdoors.
If you plan on arriving much later than anticipated, then go ahead and call the park in advance. If you arrive and no one is there to greet you, then use the envelope check-in honor system to pay and find a spot for your rig. In the rainy season, the park may close sections off due to flooding. In winter, be sure to check the forecast in case you feel like heading to the slopes. The busiest time of year for the park is May through August. After this time, the available campsites increase until the campground closes in December.
In the lower campground in sites 31 through 53, you can bring your furbaby along for the ride as long as it is supervised and restrained during your stay. Twelve of these sites offer electric hookups while the remaining 11 do not. There are no sewer hookups, but you’ll find an RV sanitation dump located nearby. There is also a comfort station with showers near site 45. The length limits vary a great deal from 20 to 40 feet, so make sure you check that out when you make your reservations. You can cook outdoors over the provided campfire grill or indoors if you have electricity. Each site also has a picnic table, so you don’t have to try to balance your plate on your lap when eating. Some of the sites are close together and do not allow much privacy from your neighbor, while others have trees and shrubs between them. You are only a few feet from the river and the creek so you can enjoy all the water activities here as well.
In the Pet-Free Campground of Clear Creek State Park, you will find 30 campsites with water and electric hookups available. While there are no sewer hookups, there is an RV sanitation station nearby for you to dispose of your waste, and there is a comfort station by campsite 21 with restrooms and hot showers. The sites are well shaded and have plenty of room in between each lot. The length limits for motorhomes and trailers vary from 20 to 40 feet, so make sure to keep this in mind when placing your reservations either online or by phone. The trees and shrubs provide a lot of privacy from your neighbor. Located to the north of the creek and just to the east of the river, you will be in the middle of plenty of waterfront space. The campground has eight sites with 30-amp hookups while the rest have 50-amp hookups. You can cook over an open fire in the provided campfire grill if you do not want to cook indoors, and there is a large picnic table to seat the whole family.
If you are ready to get out of the RV for a while and sleep indoors, the park has 22 rustic cabins along the Clarion River for you to choose from. Thirteen of these cabins sleep up to four people, eight of them allow up to six people, and there is one that allows up to eight. Cabins 13 and 18 are ADA accessible, and cabins 10-13 allow pets. Reservations are required and can be made up to a year in advance.
Each one of the cabins has a furnished kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave as well as a kitchen table and chairs, but you will need to bring your own cookware. The bedrooms have mattresses, but you must provide your own bedding. There is gas heat, and you can find a frost-free water spigot outside. A shower house is also offered nearby. The kids will love the playground by cabin 10 across from the river.
If you have never stayed in a yurt, maybe now is a good time to get out of the RV and try this alternative camping method. This unique experience is unlike anything you have done before. And although it looks like you are sleeping in a tent on a deck, it has wooden walls, so it is more like a cabin. You will have two sets of bunk beds, so you can bring up to four people. They even provide heat, electric, and a kitchen with appliances and running water. You can also enjoy cooking outdoors on the BBQ pit near the picnic table. Both yurts are right on the Clarion River, so you will have access to all the water fun you want. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed, so your pooch will have to miss out on this experience.
Each winter, the skiing trails near Clear Creek open up for a winter adventure. If you plan on going on the trails, be sure to check the weather before you go and bring a buddy with you. If at any time you feel winded or dizzy, just stop and take a breather—the trails will be ready for you when you want to visit again. The Saw Mill Trail is one of the recommended courses to go skiing on. Be sure to dress warmly and to monitor how long you spend outside.
You are required to have a Pennsylvania fishing license to fish in the park and can pick one up from the park’s headquarters or online. You have two different options on where you can fish, and those are Clear Creek and the Clarion River. Clear Creek is stocked seasonally with trout, and the Clarion River is stocked with warm water game fish and panfish. If you decide to use a boat for fishing, then you must have either a permit or a registration form for your boat. In both the summer and winter, you should wear a lifejacket when fishing to help prevent accidents.
You can walk along the trails and take out your binoculars to see all that the park has to offer. The park’s office provides a few brochures where you can learn about the birds and plants that make up part of the park’s ecosystem. You may spot a wild turkey or even a black bear, but be mindful of your safety and do not feed the wildlife. If you see any trash laying on the ground while exploring, be sure to pick it up to keep the park beautiful.
During the hunting seasons, you will find that Clear Creek State Park has almost a thousand acres of space for trapping, hunting, and training your dogs. Some of the most commonly hunted game here include white-tail deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbits, and even bears. The park is actually in the Allegheny National Forest, which also has plenty of hunting space available. Make sure you follow the rules and regulations of Pennsylvania at all times and practice proper safety techniques when hunting.
There are a total of 20 trails in the park ranging from easy to difficult. With over 25 miles of trails, you will never get bored of walking in Clear Creek State Park. When hiking, be sure to practice good trail etiquette. Please stay on the trails and pick up any litter you may find. You can take your pet with you, just be sure to clean up after it. Remember to bring your water bottle and a sturdy pair of hiking boots to make your journey easier.
Starting in May to mid-September, the 180-foot beach is open for the whole family to enjoy. Smoking on the beach is strictly prohibited, and if you must smoke, please use the smoking areas and properly dispose of your cigarette when you are finished. Inclement weather may cause the swimming area to close until the forecast improves. Unfortunately, your pets are not allowed in this area, but you can take them on the trails with you as long as they stay on their leash. Remember to pack your sunscreen and bathing suit in your RV when you go.
You can take your kayak along the Clear Creek, or if you are up for a little bit of adventure, you can try the Class 1 rapids on the Clarion River. You may be able to rent a kayak from a local business in town. If you plan to launch your kayak from Clear Creek, then you must have a permit or registration before you can set off on your adventure. Remember to wear your lifejacket at all times on the water and leave your electronics on land lest they become one with the creek.
Go ahead and gather the family in the motorhome before heading to Clear Creek State Park for a picnic. The five pavilions in the park are reservable up to 11 months in advance. Each one has covered tables, barbecue pits, and vault toilets. Pavilions one and two are ADA accessible, and they can all accommodate up to 48 people with nine large picnic tables and plenty of parking. You’ll also be close to the river and creek so you can enjoy some water fun as well.