Come explore over 1,900 acres across the northern heartland of Pennsylvania at Sinnemahoning State Park, filled with lush forests, a cascading creek, and a large lake. The park is located in the center of the Pennsylvania Wilds, a collection of two million acres of public lands across the northcentral part of the state. Sinnemahoning State Park comes from an area with rich local history, from the days of the fur trappers in the early 1800s to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Named from a Native American word that means "stony lick," Sinnemahoning State Park is filled with opportunities for outdoor adventure.
Hikers can get up close to this sylvan setting with five miles of trails to traverse. If you bring your binoculars in your motorhome, you might be lucky enough to spot bobcats, elks, or bald eagles. The whole family can learn more about these native critters by visiting the exhibits at the Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning. The George B. Stevenson Reservoir spreads across 145 acres, offering tremendous options for aquatic activities, including boating, fishing, and ice fishing. The winter brings more outdoor fun in the form of ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. RV campers can choose among 35 electric campsites with modern amenities.
Sinnemahoning State Park is nestled in a hilly, sylvan region inside of Elk State Forest and near Susquehannock State Forest. This is an area of Pennsylvania where you can truly get away from it all since you're quite far from any major city. Wharton and Austin are the nearest tiny towns, which at least can offer a gas station and bite to eat. If you need supplies or groceries, your best bet is to head to Emporium or Coudersport, which are both about 45 minutes away. Sinnemahoning State Park is also only 30 minutes from Cherry Springs State Park, one of the best stargazing locations in the entire Northeast.
PA-872 runs through the length of the Sinnemahoning State Park. While the scenery outside the window will be gorgeous forested hills, keep in mind that some parts of the road will be narrow and winding. You'll also want to pay attention for any falling branches, especially after a storm. Winter travel might be tricky, so check for weather conditions before you head out. Sinnemahoning State Park is long and narrow, so there is basically one road inside the park that you will take you from the south entrance all the way to the north entrance.
Parking is available at the Lake Day Use Area, 40 Maples Day Use Area, the Wildlife Center, the Wildlife Viewing Area, and the campground.
Sinnemahoning State Park Campground offers 35 sites for RVs, trailers, and tents with 30- and 50-amp electric hookups. The campground is located in a beautiful wooded section of the park, so you'll have plenty of shade to cool you off and offer a bit of privacy. Open from April until December, the campground offers several amenities, including a dump station, restrooms, showers, a playground, and potable water.
If you want to cook dinner outside or heat up some s'mores, you can do so since each site features a fire ring, lantern hook, and picnic table. About half of the sites are pet-friendly, so if you want to camp with your best furry friend, make sure you book a site that allows pets. Most sites can hold a 40-foot rig, but some can accommodate RVs up to 75 feet long. Two sites are walk-in, and there is space for secondary vehicles across the street. Reservations are accepted up to 11 months in advance.
If you are coming to Sinnemahoning State Park in the Class A on a whim, you still might be able to get a spot. Any unreserved site will become available on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground is open from April to December, and only certain sites are pet-friendly.
If you want to get out of the rig for a night or two or are camping with a larger group, you might want to rent the Brooks Run Cabin. This cozy, cute cabin has enough room for 12 people with four bedrooms, a living room, and a fully-equipped kitchen. You can have your own little slice of heaven with a private campfire and patio, complete with views of a majestic hemlock grove. Remember that you will have to bring your own linen and food. You can book the cabin up to 11 months in advance, and unfortunately, pets are not allowed.
Sinnemahoning State Park offers breathtaking scenery along the five-mile Lowlands Trail from forests to grassy knolls. The whole family can learn about the local wildlife and geology by checking out the interpretive signs along the trail. Don't forget to stop at the beaver pond near the 40 Maples Day Use Area, where you can spot herons and turtles. The Lowlands Trail is also open for biking. If you're looking for a shorter route, you can try the Red Spruce Trail. This trail is also a bit more challenging due to the rugged terrain. The views of the wetlands and forests will be well worth it, though.
George B. Stevenson Reservoir offers plenty of opportunities for aquatic adventures. Boating across the lake's 145 acres is a truly serene experience as you take in the forested mountains all around you. Kayaks, canoes, and motorboats as welcome, as long as electric motors are used. The Lake Day Use Area offers restrooms and easy access to boat launches. Mooring spaces are available for rent during the peak season.
The lake is also a popular destination for fishing. There are loads of different types of fish you'll have the chance to catch, including catfish, crappie, bass, sunfish, and trout. The best spot for casting off is at the ADA-accessible fishing pier in the day-use area.
Kids and the whole family can enjoy learning about the park's wildlife and geology at the Sinnemahoning Wildlife Center. Interactive exhibits will also take you through the history of the valley. This is also a great place to learn more about exploring the Pennsylvania Wilds since the park is right at the center of it. Don't forget to grab a souvenir at the gift shop before you head back to the Airstream.
Sinnemahoning State Park is a hotspot for wildlife viewers and birders. The first place you should park your motorhome is at the ADA-accessible wildlife viewing platform in the northern end of the park. A herd of elk lives in the park, and you might spot them grazing in the grassy knoll. The fall is the best time to see elk. Bobcats and coyotes might make an appearance too. On the southern end of the park around the lake, there is an active bald eagle nesting area. You'll often see eagles soaring above during the winter and early spring.
The park offers 1,400 acres that are open to hunting, dog training, and trapping during the appropriate seasons. There are a wide variety of game available in the park, including squirrel, turkey, and deer. Dog training is permitted in specific areas from the beginning of September to the end of March. Make sure you follow all Pennsylvania hunting regulations and only hunt in designated areas.
If you're traveling to Sinnemahoning State Park in your campervan during the winter, you'll have plenty of activities to choose from. Cross-country skiing is welcome on all park trails and fields. A designated six-mile trail opens up for snowmobiling, which connects into the Elk State Forest. Kids will love the chance to go ice skating on the pond near the Wildlife Viewing Area. Keep in mind that you will be skating at your own risk, so always check the ice thickness before heading out. Ice fishing in the reservoir is also popular during the winter.