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Lake Wilhelm in Maurice K. Goddard State Park

Lake Wilhelm in Maurice K. Goddard State Park. Photo: The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in Pennsylvania’s spectacular Great Lakes Region, Maurice K. Goddard State Park is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Situated between Pittsburgh and Erie, the park is named after Maurice K. Goddard. A former Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Resources, he was highly regarded for championing environmental conservation and working tirelessly to create and expand Pennsylvania’s state park system.

At Maurice K. Goddard State Park, visitors can explore over 2,800 acres of beautiful forests, wetlands, and meadows.

The park’s centerpiece is Lake Wilhelm, a 1,740-acre lake that provides excellent opportunities for fishing and boating.

It also accommodates over 12 miles of scenic trails for hikers that wind through its natural areas. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse habitats, from wetlands to hardwood forests, and take in stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

Unfortunately there are no camping facilities available at the park. However, there are plenty of campgrounds in the surrounding area you can stay at. This is just as well, because the park offers a fabulous escape into nature for those who need it.

Activities

Visitors to the park can make the most of its spectacular surroundings in several different ways.

Outline below is just a handful of some of the more popular recreational activities you can partake in during your time at Maurice K. Goddard State Park.

Water Activities at Maurice K. Goddard State Park

Water activities are a popular drawcard at Maurice K. Goddard State Park thanks to its beautiful lake.

A terrific spot for boating, the park offers several boat launches and marinas. They provide easy access to the lake, where visitors can enjoy water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding. Paddleboards and kayaks are also available for rent from the park office.

Fishing is another popular activity on the lake as it is stocked with a variety of fish species, including musky, bass, and walleye. Anglers can cast a line from the lake’s shore or rent a boat for a day of fishing on the lake. The park also offers a fishing pier for visitors with disabilities.

During the warmer months of summer, swimming is permitted in designated areas of the lake, which are monitored by lifeguards. The park’s beach offers a refreshing retreat from the intense heat.

Hiking at Maurice K. Goddard State Park

For those who enjoy hiking, the park accommodates several miles of trails that wind through its beautiful forests and meadows.

Whether you’re seeking a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the park’s trails provide a great opportunity to experience its natural beauty and wildlife.

Arguably its most popular trail is the two-mile-long Ridge Trail, which provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding countryside.

For a more challenging hike, the park’s Blue Trail offers a five-mile loop that takes hikers through the park’s diverse ecosystems, including mature forests and wetlands. The trail is marked with blue blazes and offers a unique opportunity to see the park’s wildlife, including deer and turkey.

If you would prefer a more leisurely hike, the park’s ADA-accessible Wetland Trail extends over an easy half-mile loop that guides you along a beautiful wetland habitat. The trail also features interpretive signs that provide information about the park’s natural history and wetland ecology.

Picnicking at Maurice K. Goddard State Park

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot for a family picnic or a large area for a group gathering, Maurice K. Goddard State Park’s picnic areas offer a perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends and loved ones.

The park’s picnic areas are equipped with tables and grills, making it easy for visitors to cook up their favorite foods while enjoying the park’s natural beauty.

These areas are located throughout the park, with some offering scenic views of Lake Wilhelm or the park’s forests and meadows.

Winter Activities at Maurice K. Goddard State Park

Maurice K. Goddard State Park is just as good a place to visit in the winter as it is in the summer. When the snow falls, it transforms into a wonderful snowy landscape that can be explored in several ways.

The park’s trails provide excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with over 12 miles of scenic trails to explore. Visitors can rent equipment from the park office or bring their own and hit the trails to experience the peacefulness of the park’s winter landscape.

In addition to skiing and snowshoeing, visitors can also enjoy ice fishing on Lake Wilhelm, which is stocked with a variety of fish species, including trout and walleye. The park offers ice fishing access points and regularly plows the lake for safe access.

Pets

If you are planning on bringing your four legged friend with you to Maurice K. Goddard State Park, you should be aware of the park’s pet policy.

One of its rules is that pets must be well behaved at all times. They should also be restrained on a hand held leash no longer than six feet in length.

Additionally, there are certain parts of the park where your dog is prohibited from entering and they must not be left unsupervised for more than half an hour.

To fully averse yourself with its pet policy you should contact the main office.

Camping

Unfortunately, there are no campground facilities available at Maurice K. Goddard State Park. However, don’t let that put you off visiting the place as there are several other campgrounds within easy driving distance of it where you can stay.

Some of the nearby campgrounds include Goddard Park VacationLand Campground, Camp Wilhelm Campground and Woodcock Lake Park. Overall, they offer a range of camping options including everything from full hookup to primitive sites.

They also present a range of cabins and may even have lodges and yurts too.

Depending on where you choose to stay, their amenities might include swimming pools, playgrounds, dump stations and camp stores.

Park Location

Maurice K. Goddard State Park
684 Lake Wilhelm Rd
Sandy Lake, PA 16145
Phone: 724.253.4833

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Maurice K. Goddard State Park: