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Yellow Creek State Park

Yellow Creek State Park - BEST Places to Picnic

170 Route 259 Highway
Penn Run, PA 15765-5941

Explore Yellow Creek State Park!

Yellow Creek State Park is in Indiana County along one of the first �highways� in the state, the Kittanning Path. This trail was used by the Delaware and Shawnee nations and by early settlers. Today, US 422 roughly follows the old Kittanning Path, and provides the main access to the park from Indiana and Ebensburg. The park is named for Yellow and Little Yellow creeks, which create the lake. The creeks have lots of yellow clay in the banks and bottoms.


Yellow Creek State Park is along PA 422 between the towns of Ebensburg and Indiana.

Places to Picnic

Picnic tables and parking for over 4,000 people are available near the beach. Three picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of charcoal grills are installed and visitors are urged to provide their own grills. 

Open ground fires are not permitted in the park. Three modern restrooms are provided in the picnic area. Pets are permitted in the day use area and must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash or otherwise safely restrained.

There are two smaller picnic areas. One is on the north shore near the North Boat Launch and the other is near the park office.

Hiking: 5 miles of trails

  • Laurel Run Trail is a 0.5-mile loop which starts at the park office. This easy hike is especially beautiful in the spring when wildflowers abound.
  • Ridgetop Trail is a challenging 2-mile trail. It begins in the beach/day-use area and winds through a variety of habitats.
  • Damsite Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that offers a view of the Yellow Creek dam. To get to this trail, follow PA 259 south from the park office. After taking a right turn at the stop sign, turn onto Hoffman Road, the second road to your right. This road ends at a small parking area where the Damsite Trail begins.

Camping Cottages:
Six 13� by 15� cottages are along the lakeshore near McFeather�s Cove. Each cottage sleeps five people in single bunks and double/single bunks. The cottages have wooden floors, windows, porch, picnic table, fire ring, and electric lights and outlets. Restrooms are nearby.

Boating: up to 20 hp motors permitted
The 720-acre Yellow Creek Lake has boat launching ramps at the north shore, the south shore, at the beach/day-use area and a small launch in Grampap�s Cove. A boat rental in the beach/day use area offers motorboats, canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, pontoon boats and small sailboats.

Overnight mooring of boats is permitted in the park by special permit only. For your safety, please be certain that required U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices are on board for all passengers.

Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The 800-foot beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. A large, modern bathhouse, lifeguard/first aid building and a snack bar are in the beach area. Pets are not permitted on the beach.


Beginning in 1963, the 2,981 acres of park land were purchased by the General State Authority and by the Department of Forests and Waters through the Project 70 park expansion program. An earth and rock dam, creating a 720-acre lake was completed in 1969. Day use areas were dedicated to public use in 1976. An additional 159 acres of developed land were purchased in 1982.

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