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Keystone Lake in Keystone State Park in West Moreland County in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania in the fall right before sunset with the fall foliage and trees reflecting in the water

Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Pittsburgh or a longer stay for a nature getaway, Keystone State Park is a terrific destination to come to.

Spread across 1,200 acres, the park is surrounded by the lush green forests and the verdant rolling hills of the Laurel Highlands. This provides the perfect environment in which to escape the pressures of work and city life and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

A popular destination for families, couples, and outdoor enthusiasts, this Pennsylvania state park is a hotspot for boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife watching. In the winter, it also turns into a wonderful snowy playground for activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

As well as these recreational activities, Keystone State Park is home to several historic sites, including the remains of a 19th-century canal system and a reconstructed pioneer homestead. It also has a large campground with over 100 tent and RV sites, as well as cabins and cottages for those who want to stay the night.

Activities

Visitors to Keystone State Park are spoilt for choice when it comes to recreational activities.

Here is a short overview of some of the more popular leisurely pursuits you can engage in during your time there.

Boating at Keystone State Park

The park has a 78-acre lake which makes it a noted destination for boating. It offers two boat launches to make it easy to launch kayaks, canoes, and motorboats.

Whilst on the water, boaters can explore the lake’s tranquil waters while admiring the surrounding picturesque scenery of the park.

If you didn’t bring a vessel with you, visitors can rent rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards from the park office or bring their own boats. There are also boat racks and a dock available for public use.

Fishing at Keystone State Park

Keystone State Park is a haven for anglers looking to reel in their next catch. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, catfish, and trout.

If you have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license you will be able to fish from the shore or a boat out on the water.
In addition to the lake, the park also has several streams and creeks that are popular for trout fishing. There is also a fish cleaning station to prepare your catch for cooking.

Hiking at Keystone State Park

Like most state parks in Pennsylvania, hiking is a well practiced activity at Keystone State Park.

Boasting over 20 miles of trails that showcase the natural beauty of the area, visitors can engage in easy walks or more strenuous hikes that offer stunning views of the surrounding forest and lake.

One of the most popular trails is the Lakeside Trail, which meanders through the forest and along the shoreline of the park’s 78-acre lake. The trail is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the water and the surrounding woodland.

For those seeking a more challenging hike, the Fire Tower Trail leads hikers to the top of the park’s historic fire tower, providing panoramic views of the entire park and beyond.

Other trails, such as the Deer Trail and the White Oak Trail, offer a chance to spot local wildlife such as deer, wild turkey, and a variety of bird species.

Before heading out onto any of the trails you should put on plenty of sunscreen and mosquito spray. It is also advisable to wear a hat and proper walking boots and take lots of water and snacks with you.

Winter Activities at Keystone State Park

During the colder months, Keystone State Park transforms into a winter wonderland, with a thick blanket of snow covering the forest and lake.

At this time, the park has designated trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ranging from easy to difficult.

Ice fishing is also a popular activity at the park, with many visitors coming to catch a variety of fish such as trout, bass, and panfish. Likewise, when the lake freezes over, ice skating is often possible too. Though for both of these activities you should check the ice to see if it is at least six inches thick before heading onto it.

Pets

With over 1,200 acres of forest and 78-acre lake to explore, Keystone State Park provides a great opportunity for pet owners to enjoy nature and spend time with their beloved pets.

If they want to do this, they will have to abide by the park’s rules and regulations with regards to its pet policy.

This includes, but is not limited to, your pet being kept restrained on a hand held leash for the entire time they are at the park. It also requires them to not be taken into certain areas.

Should you want to bring your furry friend to the park, it is worth contacting the main office for a full rundown of its pet policy.

Camping

Blessed with scenic beauty and endless outdoor opportunities, Keystone State Park is the perfect destination for a family camping trip or a weekend getaway with friends.

Overall, it offers a variety of camping options for visitors looking to immerse themselves in nature. This includes over 100 campsites that cater to both tent and RV campers. Some of which even offer electrical hookups for RVs.

These campsites are spacious and well-maintained and provide a comfortable camping experience. However, if you would prefer something that is a little more akin to what you enjoy at home, there are also several well equipped cabins and cottages available. Reservations are recommended for these as they do fill up fast.

Park Location

Keystone State Park
1150 Keystone Park Rd,
Derry, PA 15627
Phone: 724.668.2939

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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