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View from the overlook on the Castle Vista Trail at Ole Bull State Park

Situated in the town of Cross Fork, which lies within Potter County, the park is right next to Susquehannock State Forest.

Spread over 132-acres within the Kettle Creek Valley, the area is known as the Black Forest, due to it once being covered with a thick wilderness of trees and mountain terrain. It is home to a diverse range of native wildlife and is also a popular spot for those who want to reconnect with nature.

Offering a variety of recreational activities like hiking, fishing, swimming, hunting and mountain biking, as well as winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling for those who like to be active.

Given its remote location, visitors to this PA state park will want to stay overnight. Thankfully there is a very good modern campground onsite which has campsites with electric hookups, as well as a cabin that provides some of the comforts of home.

Activities

Those who visit the park are able to enjoy its tranquil, remote and serene landscape in several different ways.

Presented below is an overview of some of the main recreational activities you can take part in during your time there.

Swimming at Ole Bull State Park

During the summer months the beach at Ole Bull State Park is a very popular spot to relax. Extending for 150 feet it provides a lovely place to sunbathe and swim.

You will find this area in Camping Area #1, which is not far from the main picnic area.

As the area is not lifeguarded, anyone who swims will do so at their own risk. Additionally, all children aged ten years or younger should be with someone who is at least 14 years old.

Fishing at Ole Bull State Park

Be sure to bring your fishing tackle with you to Ole Bull State Park as the Kettle Creek and Old Bull Run are terrific places to cast a line.

Within both you will find an abundance of brook, brown and rainbow trout. To catch them you will need a valid license, which you can pick up from a number of issuing agents within the towns that surround the park.

Anglers should be mindful that fishing is not allowed at the swimming area and in certain areas of the dam basin.

For children and those with disabilities, a special regulation area has been set up for them to fish at.

Hiking at Ole Bull State Park

One of the best ways to appreciate the true beauty of the park is to hike through it.

Overall, it has 5-miles of trails that wind through its beautiful landscape of forested mountains, offering scenic views of valleys, ridges and picturesque streams.

One of the easiest and most popular trails to traverse is the Hemlock Swamp Trail. It is only a mile long but it does take you through the park’s northern section which showcases many fine examples of the Eastern Hemlock, which is the state tree.

The Beaver Haven Nature Trail is another path many visitors take, guiding you past riparian wetlands, a CCC pine plantation and a scenic beaver pond.

Similarly, the Castle Vista Trail is worth checking out too. A fairly difficult one mile hike that starts near Campground 1, the steep trail takes you to an overlook that presents fabulous views of the park’s southern portion.

Winter Activities at Ole Bull State Park

When the snow hits, Ole Bull State Park turns into a fantastic destination for winter based recreational activities.

The likes of cross-country skiing trail and snowshoeing are particularly popular throughout the park’s trails. While snowmobiling can take place on specific, marked trails only.

Pets

You are welcome to bring your four legged friend with you to Ole Bull State Park, although you should be aware that there are several restrictions in place that relate to their presence.

One of these is that all dogs must be leashed for the entire time they are at the park. They must also be well behaved and cleaned up after they have made a mess.

Additionally, your pooch is not allowed in certain parts of the park and should not be left unattended for more than half an hour.

Most importantly, they should not disturb the wildlife of other guests.

Camping

For those who want to stay a night or two whilst at Ole Bull State Park there are both campsites and cabins available.

Overall there are 43 sites that come with electric hookups split between two campgrounds. All of these sites come with their own level gravel pads, picnic tables and fire rings. These sites are located along Kettle Creek and are open all year round.

Providing both sunny and shaded sites to suit both preferences, amenities here include warm showers, flush toilets, water hydrants and a dump station.

In addition to these sites, the campground also offers a 1.5-story log cabin which you can rent all year round.

Enabling you to enjoy some of the comforts of home, it can sleep up to 12 people in three different bedrooms. It also has a contemporary and accessible kitchen, as well as two baths, one of which is also accessible.

To stay at either the campsites or cabin, it is advisable you make a reservation in advance of your visit.

Park Location

Ole Bull State Park
31 Valhalla Lane
Cross Fork, PA 17729
Phone: 814.435.5000

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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