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Black Moshannon State Park

Black Moshannon State Park  - BEST Places to Picnic

4216 Beaver Road
Philipsburg, PA 16866-9519

Explore Black Moshannon State Park!

Perched on the top of the Allegheny Plateau, Black Moshannon State Park features the Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area. Trails and a boardwalk help people explore the birds and plants of the bog and surrounding forests. Stay overnight to extend your stay so you can explore the beautiful forests on the hiking trails.

Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. The park conserves unique, natural environments and is in Centre County on PA Route 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting.

Black Moshannon State Park is in Centre County on PA 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg.

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking - Biking - Picnicking - Swimming - Boating - Fishing - Hunting - Wildlife Watching - Cross-country Skiing - Snowmobiling - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Organized Group Tenting - Cabins - Camping

Places to Picnic

There are 250 picnic tables provided in four picnic areas. Eight picnic pavilions may be reserved for a fee, or when unreserved, may be used on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.


Since its establishment in 1937, Black Moshannon State Park has undergone several changes. In 1941, Governor Arthur James announced plans to expand the park to 1,000 acres (400 ha) by annexing surrounding state forest land. "Black Moshannon Airport" was built on land taken from the state park and Moshannon State Forest just prior to the Second World War, was operational by 1942, and re-named "Mid-State Airport" in 1962. 

As of 2008, it is officially known as "Mid-State Regional Airport" and covers 500 acres. While the airport has been designated a Keystone Opportunity Zone to encourage business growth, there are limitations in state law that prohibit any further development on park or forest lands.

The CCC-built dam forming Black Moshannon Lake was replaced in the 1950s by the current structure. On November 11, 1954, the park was officially named "Black Moshannon State Park" by the Pennsylvania Geographic Board. The park experienced major developments between 1971 and 1980. 

As of 2008, post-war facilities include the ranger's station, six modern cabins, boat launches, showerhouses, and modern restroom facilities. The CCC-built Museum is now the Environmental Learning Center. There is a wastewater treatment plant near the dam for effluent from the park, airport, and some private homes. ]

The current dam forming the lake on Black Moshannon Creek was built in the 1950s.

Black Moshannon State Park was the site of a ski resort from the 1960s until 1982. The state legislature authorized "construction of ski facilities" at the park in 1961, which were operational by 1965. Although managed by the state, a commercial operator was sought as early as 1969, and in 1980 it was leased to a private contractor, before being closed in 1982. 

The ski area was primitive by modern standards: skiers were lifted to the top of the slope by one of two tow ropes or Poma lifts, and the slopes had about 250 feet of vertical drop. As of 2008, the ski lodge remains and is rented out to park visitors, while the Ski Slope Trail is a 1.4-mile hiking trail that follows the former ski slope. It begins at the parking area near the dam, climbs Rattlesnake Mountain, and crosses Pennsylvania Route 504 near a historical marker for the Philadelphia�Erie Turnpike.

By the 1980s, the park started to receive official recognition for its unique resources. The three Historic Districts were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 in recognition of their CCC-built structures. That same year the state celebrated Black Moshannon State Park's "50th Anniversary". 

In 1994, the DCNR established the "Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area" as part of a program to recognize areas of "unique scenic, geologic or ecological value." By 2001 yearly attendance at Black Moshannon State Park was over 350,000. 

As of 2008, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Parks, which administers all 120 Pennsylvania state parks, had chosen Black Moshannon as one of twenty-one parks for its "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list, citing its location atop the Allegheny Plateau and within the state forest, its many trails and rare plants, and its status as a state park natural area and the " largest reconstituted bog/wetland complex in Pennsylvania".

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