Simon B. Elliott State Park is 318 acres of wooded wonderland where you can explore the Moshannon State Forest with its miles of trails made from old logging roads. The mature oak and other hardwoods are majestic and provide shade during the hot summer months and warmth during the winter. You will enjoy the diversity of the mountains and swamp meadows as well as the various types of birds and other wild critters who live here.
The park was named for a member of the Pennsylvania State Forestry Commission, Simon B. Elliott, who was a conservationist and promoted the area as a nursery to grow trees. The mountains here were previously covered in huge hemlock and white pine trees until the 1900s when the Goodyear and Pennsylvania Lumber Companies harvested the timber and built railroads.
The state eventually bought the land that became the Moshannon State Forest and in 1933, the Simon B. Elliott State Park was established. During the summer, the area is popular for RV and tent camping, fishing, picnicking, swimming, and hiking and during the winter, snowmobiling and skiing are enjoyed. No matter what you enjoy doing, you can find it at Simon B. Elliott State Park.
In northwestern Pennsylvania off Interstate 80, you can find the majestic beauty of Samuel B. Elliott State Park. Right in the heart of the Moshannon State Forest in Penfield, Pennsylvania, this wooded playground is easy to find and accessible to everyone. To get to the park from the north, PA 153 takes you right to the park, or PA 255 will get you to exit 111 on Interstate 80, which takes you to the park entrance. And if you are coming from the south, take Interstate 99 or PA 219 to exit 111 on Interstate 80.
Once you are off the highway and onto the smaller streets, they get a bit narrow and some can be quite treacherous if you’re driving a large RV. Take it slow and easy and watch out for wild animals that tend to wander into the road such as raccoons, squirrels, and whitetail deer.
In the park, the streets can be a bit narrow as well and some of the tree branches hang low during the spring, summer, and early fall. It is best to park your trailer or RV at the campsite and walk around the park. There is a large parking lot at the center of the park where you can find a spot for the rig when you do need to drive somewhere.
The Simon B. Elliott State Park Campground is set in the lush beauty of the Moshannon State Forest. You can choose from 24 basic sites, which are open all year long. These spacious campsites have pads that range from 18 to 47 feet in length and since there are a limited number of spaces, you should reserve your site in advance to make sure you get one that fits your RV.
There are no utility or water hookups offered here but you can get potable water at the spigots near sites 10 and 24 or at the restroom by campsite seven. This restroom is ADA-accessible, as is campsite seven. There are picnic pavilions by sites eight, nine, 10, and 20, perfect for having a family picnic or get-together. You can also find the RV dump site by the water spigot near campsite 24. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed or otherwise restrained.
All campsites are available first-come, first-served at the discretion of the camp host, who is at campsite 13. However, this is on a day to day basis and if someone happens to reserve the site you are at, you may have to move.
Whatever you do, don’t forget your fishing gear because there are a number of streams and ponds at Simon B. Elliott State Park. These awesome mountain streams hold a plethora of native marine species such as brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout as well as crappie and perch. You may even find some striped bass and sunfish. So make sure you have your fishing poles, lures, and net so you can catch something big enough to eat for dinner.
Gather your friends and family in your RV and head to Simon B. Elliott State Park for a BBQ or picnic. They have three large pavilions where you can host your own party. Pavilion two is north of the campground and holds 54 people with nine tables, pavilion three is just to the east of Crystal Spring Road and holds 44 people with eight tables, and pavilion four is just east of pavilion three and holds 48 people with five tables. They all have several BBQ pits and restrooms with running water.
There are several trails at the park so you cannot just sit in the camper the whole time you are here. Get out and enjoy the Moshannon State Forest and all its flora and fauna. The Old Horse Trail is about two miles and starts at the campground by site 22. The North Fork and South Fork Trails both meander along the Doctors Creek in the Moshannon State Forest. The park is also where the Quehanna Trail System begins, which is a 75-mile trail that meets up with the Susquehannock Trail System.
If you are into hunting, you can do that at Simon B. Elliott as well. They have over 200 acres of woods for trapping, hunting, and training your hunting dogs. The Moshannon State Forest is a popular place to hunt pheasant, turkey, whitetail deer, squirrels, and rabbits. Dog training is only allowed from Labor Day until April. Make sure you check with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for hunting regulations before hunting anything.
Snowmobiling is a popular sport here at the park as well. In fact, the park plows the main parking lot just for the unloading and loading of snowmobiles. There are several trails such as the Old Sinnemahoning Road Trail, the Fourmile Road Trail, and McGeorge Road Trail. Other roads, such as Harley Dean, Oslong, Firebreak, Gordon, and Jury Mill Roads are available to both snowmobiles and automobiles. So, hook the trailer up to the RV and head to Simon B. Elliott State Park for some fun in the snow.
Pack the skis in the camper before heading to the park because they have special trails just for cross-country skiers in the winter. The Old Horse Trail is about two miles starting at the campground at campsite 22 and the Rattlesnake Trail, which meets the Old Horse Trail, is about two miles in the Moshannon State Forest. The Old Sinnemahoning Road Trail is a multi-use trail and the South and North Fork Trails branch off this trail into the forest as well.