2020 Heartland Gateway
2020 Heartland Gateway
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When thinking of a motorhome camping trip in the state of Pennsylvania, look no further than Parker Dam State Park. Located in Huston Township, on Pennsylvania Route 153, and just off of Interstate 80, you will find the park is surrounded by the Moshannon State Forest. The rustic, wooded park is filled with swamp meadows, pine plantations, and mixed hardwoods. The state park has an old-world charm with rustic cabins, a scenic lake and a unique campground in the midst of a limitless forest, making for a perfect state park RV camping trip. Parker Lake is ideal for fishing, and you will want to book an RV in Clearfield County so that you are able to make use of the lake and park for your outdoor recreation. The parks ideal location also makes for easy travel to the nearby borough of Clearfield and the city of Osceola Mills.
After being ravaged for its tall lumber logs that led to deforestation of the entire area, the state bought the land and began a massive project of restoring the forestland. Today, the park is a natural habitat for varied flora and fauna that you can enjoy on your visit.
There is a range of outdoor activities to take part in when you go camping at Parker Dam State Park. This state park has about 16 miles of interesting hiking trails to explore, and many of the trails pass through the park and continue on into the Moshannon Forest. Some of the trails go through streams and hardwood forests. Try the Abbot Hollow Trail, covering 1.7 miles of a wilderness valley that was destroyed by a tornado that swept through the area in 1985. It’s interesting to observe the habitats and how they survive the tornado and strive today. For an easy hike, consider Beaver Dam Trail, covering 2.3 miles of a muddy hike, with plenty of beavers around to keep you entertained. Keep a watch for lookout signs for these amazing creatures. The CCC Trail is a walk into history as the Civilian Conservation Corps used the trail as a road. It’s an easy hike through Pine plantations. For a difficult hike, attempt the Laurel Run Trail that covers one mile. Just be sure to bring plenty of water along for whichever trail you decide to conquer.
Anglers are able to try their luck in the 20-acre Parker Lake. Trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, and brown bullhead catfish abound in the lake that is also popular for ice fishing in the winter. If you enjoy boating, rent paddleboats, kayaks, canoes and rowboats from the park. There are mooring spaces available, and for your motorboats remember to display your registration details.
During certain seasons, hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park. Common game species include deer, bear, rabbit, and grouse. Take special care of firearms when you are out hunting. Safekeeping of firearms in no-hunting areas is especially important.
Parker Dam State Park camping areas are located to the eastern edge of the lake and have completely shaded sites and open grassy ones. The campground has over 100 spots, with most of them equipped with electric hookups and full-service hookups including sewer, water, and electricity. There is a dump station available. The campground is open from April to December, and there is a maximum two-week stay limit during the season, and three-week stay limit in off-season months. Bring your pets along but keep them on a leash.
If you’re looking to camp in an RV near Parker Dam State Park, try the Woodland Campground in Woodland. The campground has over 80 camping locations available, with pull-thru sites, full-hookups, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, sewer, water, big rig access, tent camping, a dump station, good cell phone coverage, and WiFi. Amenities located here include restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, and propane. The kids will have plenty of space to run around in the playground. There is also a separate pet area for your furry friends.
Clearfield County campers have much to look forward to in the areas surrounding Parker Dam State Park. A short drive from the park will bring you to Clearfield, located along the west branch of the Susquehanna River. The borough of Clearfield is a history buff’s paradise. Check out the Clearfield Historical Society, located in downtown Clearfield. It exhibits a great collection of items that records the settlement and development of the county. The Coalport Coal Museum in neighboring Coalport has exhibits gifted from coal miner’s families, going back to the hand-loading days and mining of bituminous coal that the area was known for. Catch a show at the Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre in Clearfield or the Reitz Theatre in DuBois, known for its old-world charm.
To stretch your legs, head to the Riverwalk, a one-mile-long walk along the Susquehanna River. There’s an amphitheater where you can catch a performance if you’re lucky, or just stroll along the riverbank.
When in Clearfield County, you shouldn’t miss the chance of viewing majestic Elk. The largest free-roaming herd of Elk can be viewed in Elk Country Visitor Center at Quehanna Wilds.
Catch a bite at one of the many eateries in Clearfield, with quick bites, fast food and fine dining options available.