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A photograph of the lake at Moraine State Park

Situated just a 40 minute drive from Pittsburgh, Moraine State Park, is a popular day trip destination in western Pennsylvania, for those who want to reconnect with nature.

Created in the 1970s as part of a flood control project on the nearby Lake Arthur, the park boasts over 16,000 acres of pristine natural beauty.

While its centerpiece 3,225-acre Lake Arthur is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming, the park is not just for water lovers. It also offers miles of hiking and biking trails, including the popular 11-mile paved North Country Trail, which in the winter months you can even traverse via cross-country skiing or snowmobiling.

While camping is not permitted at this Pennsylvania state park there are several cabins available for visitors to rent. There are also a number of other campgrounds in the area you can choose to base yourself at if you want to take a few days to explore it.

Activities

Guests at Moraine State Park are able to enjoy its picturesque natural beauty in several different ways.

Outlined below are some of the most popular activities you can take part in while you are there.

Boating at Moraine State Park

Boating on Lake Arthur is a great way to take in the beauty of the park from a different perspective, as visitors can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding forests and rolling hills from the water.

Possessing multiple boat launches and marinas, the park makes it easy for visitors to access the water.

In addition, kayak, canoe, paddleboat, and motorboat rentals are readily available within the park, providing a variety of vessels in which you can explore the lake.

Swimming at Moraine State Park

For those who want to swim, you can do this at two beaches which reside along the Lake Arthur shoreline.

They include the 656-foot Lakeview Beach, which is situated on the northern shoreline and the 400 foot turf and sand Pleasant Valley Beach on its south shore.

These beaches remain open every day from the Memorial Day Weekend all the way to Labor Day. However, as there are no lifeguards you will be swimming at your own risk.

Both of these areas also feature changing facilities, showers and snack bars, while there is a sand volleyball court and a children’s playground located on the west side of the beach.

Fishing at Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, which attracts anglers from all over Pennsylvania and even from across the border in Ohio.

The lake features an abundant population of bass, catfish, walleye and muskellunge and its various coves and bays provide plenty of scenic locations in which to cast a line. Alternatively you can also do this on a boat in the middle of the water or on its ADA accessible fishing pier.

Fishing is allowed all year-round, but there are certain restrictions and regulations that must be followed, such as catch limits and size limits for particular species.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission also requires all anglers to have a valid fishing license, and a trout stamp is required to fish for trout in Lake Arthur.

A black and white photo of a trail at Moraine State Park

Hiking at Moraine State Park

Hiking is an excellent way to discover many of the charms of Moraine State Park.

Offering a variety of trails that are suitable for visitors of all skill and fitness levels, visitors can discover the park’s natural beauty and spot local wildlife like deer, birds, and other small fauna.

One of the most popular trails is the North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes through the park and presents tremendous views of Lake Arthur. Extending for 4.5 miles, it is marked with blue blazes.

For a shorter hike, visitors can try the 1.5-mile Pleasant Valley Trail, which takes hikers through a wooded area and offers views of a small, yet beautiful waterfall.

Alternatively, the Glacier Ridge Trail is a 6-mile loop that presents a more challenging hike involving steep inclines and rocky terrain. Hikers can also explore the 10-mile multi-use trail that circles the lake and conveys scenic views of the water and surrounding forest.

Irrespective of which trail you decide to tackle, it is worth wearing proper hiking boots and a hat. Make sure you take plenty of water with you as well.

Pets

For those who want to bring their four legged friends with them, the park has strict rules that relate to their presence.

One of them is that while pets are allowed in many areas of the park they have to be kept on a leash at all times.

Additionally, they should not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes and owners are responsible for cleaning up after them if they make a mess.

If you intend to bring your pooch with you to the park you might want to contact the main office for further clarification about its policy.

Camping

Unfortunately camping is not allowed at the park. However, it does offer 11 contemporary cabins for those who want to stay overnight.

These cabins are available throughout the year and can sleep up to six people. They all come with two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom with shower and electric heating. Please note, if you want to stay here, you will have to bring your own towels, linen, cookware and tableware.

In addition to the cabins, there are also two tent camping areas specifically for large size organized groups.

For those wanting a place to pitch a tent or park their RVs, there are several private campgrounds in the nearby area that offer camping. The park office will be able to provide you with more information about them.

Park Location

Moraine State Park
225 Pleasant Valley Rd
Portersville, PA 16051
Phone: 724.368.8811

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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