(Last Updated On: October 17, 2022)
Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area, Centre County

Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area. Photo: Nicholas, Wikimedia

Located in Philipsburg, right in the center of Pennsylvania, Black Moshannon State Park is undoubtedly one of the Keystone State’s most geologically and geographically diverse public recreational spaces.

Spanning some 3,000 acres high upon the gorgeous Allegheny Front, the park is blessed with a landscape that incorporates everything from thick forest and woodland, to lush marshes and wetlands.

A great spot for hiking, this PA state park is also a popular destination for fishing, boating, swimming and picnicking too. Much of which takes place on the sparkling waters of the 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake.

Hunting and wildlife watching are also well practiced activities. While those who want to take their time to explore the park over the course of a few days, will find a plethora of accommodation options available onsite.


Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities while in the park.

Here is just a small selection of some of the pursuits you can do there.

Boating at Black Moshannon State Park

Covering 250-acres, the shimmering water of Black Moshannon Lake is well set up for boating.

All up it has four different launching areas for boats, one of which is ADA accessible. In addition, it also has 87 mooring spaces, as well as boat rentals during the summer months too.

Perfect for canoes, kayaks and SUPs, electric motors are the only type of boats allowed. Please note, all vessels that take to the water, must display a valid boat registration.

Swimming at Black Moshannon State Park

For those who want to swim, the northeast section of the lake has a stunning swimming beach they can take advantage of.

Isolated from the rest of the lake, you’ll be able to swim in a roped-off area, safe in the knowledge that you are protected from the boats.

You’ll find picnic tables, a playground and restroom facilities here too.

Fishing at Black Moshannon State Park

Providing a natural habitat for warm water fish like pike, crappie, bluegill and largemouth bass, the lake offers terrific opportunities for fishing all year round.

You’ll need a valid Pennsylvania state fishing licence to do so, but if you have one, you can choose to cast a line on the shore, on a boat in the water or on the fishing pier which can be found on the lake’s west side.

Hiking at Black Moshannon State Park

For those who love hiking there are over 20 miles of trails throughout the park.

These trails vary in degrees of difficulty and length, but all of them showcase some aspects of the park’s outstanding natural beauty.

If you are up to it, try and tackle the ADA-accessible Bog Trail. One of the park’s most popular routes, it will take you along a wooden boardwalk, as well as exploring the park’s particularly scenic wetland bog area.

Picnicking at Black Moshannon State Park

Due in large part to its beautiful landscape, the park is a popular spot for picnicking.

Overall there are more than 200 tables dotted around it, within four main picnicking areas. So you are unlikely to have any trouble finding a spot to enjoy an al fresco dining experience.

For those in a larger group, there are also eight pavilions you can hire out up to 11 months in advance.

Some of these are equipped with electricity, and if they remain unreserved, they become available to use on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nature & Wildlife

As the park resides at a high elevation, and contains a unique landscape of forests, woodlands, bogs, swamps and marshes, it is home to many different species of wildlife.

At any given time, visitors to the park can see everything from bears, salamanders, great blue herons and porcupines, to fox, deer, flying squirrels and water snakes.

So be sure to have your camera ready as you’ll no doubt want to take lots of snaps of them.

Hunting at Black Moshannon State Park

If you are into hunting, you’ll be pleased to read that the park sets aside over 3,000 acres of land during the regular seasons for hunting, trapping and dog training.

In addition, the adjacent Black Moshannon State Forest also provides further opportunities to partake in this practice too.

To hunt at both, you will need to have a valid licence, and abide by the rules and regulations of both The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

If you do, then some of the common game species you could catch include bear, deer, grouse, wild turkey and squirrel.

Winter Sports at Black Moshannon State Park

When the snow comes, the park transforms itself into a winter wonderland, offering some of the best seasonal recreation you can get in Pennsylvania.

This includes the likes of cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating and ice fishing, which enables you to enjoy the park in ways you can’t do during the warmer months.

Pets at Black Moshannon State Park

The park is considered pet friendly, so feel free to bring your dog here.

However, some restrictions may apply. So it is worth contacting the main office to ascertain what exactly they are.

Camping at Black Moshannon State Park

For those looking for overnight accommodation, the park offers plenty of options for the visitor.

All up there are 63 sites for trailers and RVs available. Of these, 11 sites provide full hookups for electric, water and sewer, whilst 45 offer electric hookups. The other seven sites are basic.

These sites can accommodate vehicles of between 25 to 70 feet and are a mix of both back-in and pull through.

All sites come with fire rings and picnic tables. While amenities at this campground include comfort stations with flush toilets and hot showers, a dump station and coin-operated laundry facilities.

As well as these RV and trailer sites, there are five ADA-accessible and nine tent-only sites available. You can also choose to stay in modern and rustic cabins, deluxe camping cottages and organized group tenting as well.

Park Location

Black Moshannon State Park
4216 Beaver Rd
Philipsburg, PA 16866
Phone: 814.342.5960




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Black Moshannon State Park: