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old oil rig at Oil Creek State Park

Located about an hour and 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh, Oil Creek State Park is a historic destination that is famous for being the site of the first ever commercial oil well in the world.

However, while it has played a major role in the development of the global oil industry, the park is arguably better known now as a major place to visit for outdoor recreation.

Boasting over 52 miles of trails for hiking and almost a 10 mile paved trail for cycling, it is also a popular place to visit for boating and kayaking, fishing and picnicking. In the winter, many people also visit here to enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding in its picture perfect landscape.

Due to its remote and spectacular scenic location, this Pennsylvania state park receives a lot of visitors who want to escape into nature. While the only camping available onsite is backpacking or organized group tent sites, it does offer a tranquil and serene overnight experience for those who really want to reconnect with nature.

an old bridge at Oil Creek State Park

Activities

For those who want to go to Oil Creek State Park, there are plenty of things to see and do while you are there.

Outlined below is a brief summary of some of the main recreational outdoor activities you can engage in during your time at the park.

Fishing at Oil Creek State Park

You should definitely remember to bring your fishing equipment with you to the park as there are three terrific streams available for brook trout fishing. They are the Toy Run, Boughton Run and Jones Run.

To fish at either of them you will need to have a valid state license. However, should you procure one, you should have no problem catching a decent haul, as the trout are found in abundance at the streams.

a swamp with algae on top at Oil Creek State Park

Hiking at Oil Creek State Park

Hiking is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Oil Creek State park. Overall, the park boasts 52 miles of hiking trails that not only showcases its varied terrain but also educates you about the history of the park.

One of the most popular trails is the Gerard Hiking Trail, a moderate 36-mile trail that winds through the park’s forested areas and along the creek. While few people complete the entire length of it, many people tackle some parts of it. Depending on which section you traverse you may get to see streams, woodlands, waterfalls and more rugged scenery.

Another well worn trail is the Blood Farm Interpretive Trail. Family friendly and self-guided, it conveys the life and times of the Blood Family who owned much of the land, as well as their lease of oil. Throughout the trail there are several historical points of interest that still remain.

For those interested in how they drilled for oil, the one mile long Wetland trail will take you around a wetland that is fed by the Wildcat Run. There you will see a lightweight, portable Wolfe Rig drilling machine that was used by oil workers back in the day.

an old building at Oil Creek State Park

Picnicking at Oil Creek State Park

One of the best ways to enjoy the park’s beautiful landscape is with a picnic.

Located on its southern side, both the Egbert Farm and Blood Farm Day Use Areas provide idyllic settings for outside dining.

These day use areas are equipped with several picnic tables and charcoal grills which enable you to cook your favorite foods. You will also find restroom areas there as well as playgrounds and playfields.

There is even an EV, 2-plug, charging station at the Egbert Farm Day Use Area, which will enable you to top up the range of your electric vehicle whilst you enjoy your al fresco meal.

Winter Activities at Oil Creek State Park

When the snow hits the park in the colder months, the area is transformed into a fantastic playground for winter based recreational activities.

Visitors can enjoy sledding down the hill near the Petroleum Centre, which is not far from Egbert Day Use Area.

park path running through a meadow at Oil Creek State Park

Alternatively they can choose to explore over 11.5 miles of cross-country skiing trails that offer both seasoned practitioners and novices a good selection of paths to traverse.

Snowshoeing and winter hiking are other activities you can do along its spectacular landscape at this time of year.

Pets

Oil Creek State Park prides itself on being a pet friendly public recreational space. However, it does impose some restrictions on the presence of your furry friends.

For instance, all dogs need to be kept on a leash during their time in the park. They must also be well behaved too and not be left unattended for more than half an hour.

Additionally, while your pooch can join you on some of the trails, they are not allowed in other parts of the park.

Owners will also have to clean up after them if they make a mess and ensure they do not disturb other visitors or the park’s wildlife.

abandoned railroad at Oil Creek State Park

Camping

The only camping options available at the park are a couple of hike-in, overnight shelter areas which are on the Gerard Hiking Trail and organized group tenting.

These overnight shelter areas have several tent sites and 6 Adirondack-style shelters that come with fireplaces.

Each of the organized group tenting areas can accommodate 25 people and have picnic tables, composting toilets, Adirondack shelters, a fire circle, seasonal water and nearby parking.

For those who want to pitch a tent or stay in their RV there are several campgrounds in the surrounding area you can stay at. They include Cow Run Shelters in Pleasantville, the President Campground in Oil City and the Oil City Marina campsite.

Park Location

Oil Creek State Park
305 State Park Rd
Oil City, PA 16301
Phone: 814.676.5915

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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