Surrounded by gorgeous forests and nestled in a rugged mountain valley, Poe Valley State Park is a hidden gem. The 620-acre park is located in Penn Township and is surrounded by Bald Eagle State Forest. The park began development when the Civilian Conservation Corps was formed during the Great Depression. Along with building the original park facilities, the CCC also worked to clear brush to prevent forest fires. Some of the infrastructure they created included roads throughout the forests, constructed bridges and planted trees for reforestation. One of the major highlights of the park is the 25 acre Poe Lake. This manmade lake provides a home for many species of fish and you can also go boating on it. Hunting, hiking and swimming are also very popular with park guests. During the winter time the park completely transforms and offers some great recreational activities. Snowmobiling, cross country skiing and ice fishing prove to be the most popular things to do during this time.
Camping at Poe Valley State Park is provided in one campground that has 45 campsites. Out of these 45, 27 sites have 50 amp electrical hookups and a few also have water hookups. You can camp at Poe Valley State Park from the months of April through to December. Peak season also runs from April to December and during the winter there will be little maintenance performed inside the park.
RV Rentals in Poe Valley State Park
Transportation in Poe Valley State Park
Poe Valley State Park is located in central Pennsylvania. The park is close to many small towns, including Potters Mills, Millheim and it is around 25 miles from Penn State University. There is only one road that leads into the park and it can be accessed from the north off Penns Valley Road. The roads leading into the park are very windy and could be difficult to navigate if you have a larger rig. There is also no entirely paved road access to the park. Access to Poe Valley State Park during the winter months may be limited. This is because winter maintenance is not performed on park roads or state forest roads that access the area. Call the park office to make sure that there is access to the park if you are planning to visit it during the winter months.
If you are coming from Potters Mills: Go east on US 322 for around one and a half miles to near the top of the Seven Mountains Scenic Area. From there, follow marked state forest roads for ten miles to Poe Valley.
From Millheim: Go west on PA Route 45 for around one and a half miles, then follow signs south for 12 miles to the park.
There are no public transport options to get to Poe Valley State Park.
Campgrounds and parking in Poe Valley State Park
Campsites in Poe Valley State Park
Poe Valley State Park Campground
Poe Valley State Park Campground is located to the east of Poe Lake. The road into the park is eight miles of dirt so it might be a bumpy ride if you have a big rig but it is worth it for the great facilities. The campground is made up of two loops that feature 45 RV suitable campsites. All of the sites have water hookups and 27 have 50 amp electric connection. Around half of the sites are also pet friendly so you can bring your furry friend on your RV getaway. Flush toilets, warm showers, dump station, trash and recycling containers are amenities that are found in the campground.
Throughout the winter the park can close at anytime due to poor weather. The roads and camping areas are not kept open and will close during December. You can still visit the park if the roads are plowed but there is no guarantee that they will be clear. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Seasonal activities in Poe Valley State Park
Poe Lake is a popular warm water and cold water fishing destination, especially during the beginning of trout season in mid-April. The lake is stocked with trout several times throughout the season. Common fishes that are found in the lake are rainbow trout, brown trout, pickerel, sunfish, perch and catfish. If you are looking to do some stream fishing you can try Penns Creek and Big Poe Creek, which are located very close to the state park.
If you like to get out on the water then you will be excited to visit Poe Lake State park. There is one boat launch area and 12 seasonal mooring spaces available on the 25-acre lake. If you bring a boat you can moor by the dam during your stay. Don't worry if you don't have a boat as there are rentals available near the swimming beach. Paddleboats, kayaks and canoes are on offer from the rental stand. Powered boats must have electric motors as gas powered motors are prohibited on the lake.
What better way is there to relax during the summertime then by going for a swim? There is a swimming beach at Poe Lake that is open from late May to early September. You can swim from 8:00 A.M. to sunset and the maximum water depth of the swimming area is five feet. Need a snack? There is a food and refreshment concession near the swimming beach that offers hot foods, snacks, and ice cream.There are no lifeguards at the beach so make sure you are confident in your swimming abilities.
Although the park can be difficult to access during the winter time, if you can make it there are some great opportunities for fun winter recreation. The lake is available for ice fishing and ice skating but you must be wary of the ice thickness as it is not monitored. The trails in the park transform to great cross-country skiing and snowmobiling terrain. Snowmobilers are allowed to use the roads but they are also shared by motor vehicles.
Poe Valley State Park has plenty of trails that pass through the park. Reeds Gap Spur Trail is a 18 mile hiking trail that begins in Reeds Gap State Park and ends in Poe Valley State Park. Other trails in the park all connect with the system of hiking trails that is found in Bald Eagle State Forest. The 306 mile long Pennsylvania Mid State Trail also passes through the park which is very popular with backpackers.
During the established hunting seasons there are more than 450 acres available for hunting, trapping and training of dogs. The lake is closed to hunting and trapping at all times of the year. The most popular game species found in Poe Valley State Park are deer, turkey, bear, grouse and squirrel. Hunting woodchucks is prohibited and dog training is only allowed from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in the designated hunting areas.