Pennsylvania’s Parker Dam State Park offers stunning exhibits of nature combined with a multitude of recreational activities. The park offers exciting options ranging from hiking and mountain biking to picnicking, water recreation, and hunting. Winter offerings include skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating. The availability of excellent amenities with full hookup sites makes Parker Dam stand out as an RV camping destination. The park occupies 968 acres in Penfield, Clearfield County surrounded by the generously-sized Moshannon State Forest. Visitors to the park can conveniently access Moshannon State Forest for more recreation like mountain biking, backpacking, and exploring the woods.
The charms of Parker Dam State Park lie in its ancient setting. Cradled by limitless woods from all sides, the park offers rustic cabins and old-fashioned campgrounds as a gateway to old times.
Named after William Parker, who built a dam at the park’s lake, Parker Dam State Park offers unparalleled scenic beauty. The park is home to the 20-acre Parker Lake, the camping destination of the park. Thickly forested regions of coniferous and deciduous forests and trees loaded with maple and cherries present an unprecedented scenic charm.
The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset for visitors. RV campers can spend an entire night in the park’s old-fashioned campground and group sites. Other options of overnight stay include the park’s Tyler and Rustic Cabins and backpacking in the Moshannon Forest. Memorial Day to Labor Day mark the busiest camping season at the park.
You will face no major difficulty in reaching the park located on the northern side of Pennsylvania’s Clearfield County in your car or RV. There is plenty of help available in the form of printed and online maps and GPS. Upon arriving at the park, check in with the park office located near the entrance and get a vehicle sticker for your RV or whatever vehicle you are driving. You will find lots of convenient parking options spread throughout the park. You will find parking lots at the entrance, campgrounds, and specific important locations like the day-use area. The campground features an ADA accessible parking lot. There is a combination of paved and unpaved roads in the park. Excessive snow may cause temporary road blockage in the winter. The campground road has a limited capacity for traffic, and you may find difficulty while backing your car or RV. Avoid driving or parking at the grass. The campground and campsites are not suitable for big rigs.
Located towards the east of Parker Lake is the park’s old-fashioned campground comprising modern campsites with electric (30- and 50- amp) and full hookups. There are 22 full hookup sites and 60 sites with electric connections only. 23 sites are non-electric. The campsites are a combination of pull-through and back-in sites. The campground also features a few wheelchair friendly and pet-friendly sites. Only one camping unit is allowed per campsite. Maximum RV length is 40 feet. Maximum occupancy is five persons per site.
The campground opens the second week of April till the end of December every year. Peak season lasts Memorial Day to Labor Day. The limit of stay is 14 consecutive days during the peak season and 21 days during the off-season. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the park’s toll-free number or online. Reservations can be made up to 11 months before arrival. Unreserved sites are given on a first come first serve basis. Wi-Fi is unavailable. Generators creating excessive noise are prohibited. On-site amenities include a coin-operated laundry, a dumping station, and modern restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, and ADA accessibility.
Unreserved sites are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 20-acre Parker Lake serves as the park’s recreational hub. There are many options to choose from when it comes to water recreation. The lake is maintained for fishing, boating, and swimming. RV campers visiting the park from Memorial Day to Labor Day can rent boats, canoes, and kayaks from the park’s concession store for a nominal fee. Only electric motors are permitted in the waters. A sandy beach on Parker Lake welcomes RV campers to either sunbath or take a dip in the water from late May to mid-September. Fishing opportunities abound throughout the year. The lake is well-stocked with a variety of gamefish including trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish.
Parker Dam State Park makes a splendid picnic spot. Combine the fun of outdoor picnic with RV camping as there are options ranging from small picnic tables to large pavilions. The picnic tables are laid out in the park’s woods. Complimentary charcoal grills are provided. Restrooms and drinking water are available on a walking distance. There are seven picnic pavilions, all large enough for groups of up to 75 people. Five out of seven pavilions also feature electricity. The pavilions are reservable. If not reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The park is abounding with hiking trails scattered throughout the park. RV campers are recommended to park their RVs and get ready to undergo the most wonderful hiking experience of their life. Inhale springtime freshness, discover the magic of fall, and beat the summer heat on 16 miles of picturesque hiking trails. The Abbot Hollow Trail, CCC Trail, Beaver Dam Trail, Logslide Trail, Souders Trail, and Quehanna Trail are few of the many trails that meander along various panoramic locations of the park. A few hiking trails also transition into the neighboring Moshannon Forest.
If quietly viewing wildlife is not your cup of tea or you are looking for more wildlife thrill during your RV camping trip, consider hunting for a variety of game species. You can choose to hunt deer, grouse, bear, rabbit, squirrel, and turkey. Hunting is permitted on 807 acres of the park during specific times of the year. Besides hunting, the park also offers trapping and dog training. Dog training is permitted only from Labor Day to the end of March. There are also hunting opportunities in the surrounding Moshannon State Forest.
With a wide array of winter-specific activities, Parker Dam State Park makes sure campers enjoy RV camping to the fullest. The park has arrangements for carrying activities like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and sledding. The roughly one-and-a-half-mile Snow Trail opens for snowmobilers and skiers every year from December until April 1. Beaver Dam, Skunk, CCC, and Souders trails also permit cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Near the swimming beach, a small area can be found for ice skating. There are also opportunities for sledding in the form a sledding run and large sledding hill.
Parker Dam State Forest and its surrounding Moshannon State Forest are home to many species of animals and birds. The park and its neighboring forest are an excellent way to discover a variety of wildlife and rare birds in their natural habitat. RV Campers frequently sight ravens, ovenbird, American redstart, white-tailed deer, turkey, and beaver during their camping adventure. The unusually attractive Elks, are also among the park’s habituating wildlife. Birdwatchers can feast their eyes on a diverse range of rare bird species residing in different parts of the park.