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fall foliage reflecting off of the lake at Raccoon Creek State Park

Situated just a 40 minute drive from Pittsburgh, Raccoon Creek State Park is one of the largest state parks in Pennsylvania. It is also one of the most visited too, with millions of people coming to it every year.

Encompassing 7,572 acres, the park’s main attraction is the sparkling 101-acre Raccoon Lake. It provides the main source of recreational activities with the likes of boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, picnicking and hunting taking place on or fairly close to it.

During the colder months of winter, the park becomes a popular spot for snow related activities like ice skating and fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Given that it is only about 30 miles from Steel City, the park is a popular day trip destination for many of its residents. However, for those who want to take their time appreciating the park’s picturesque landscape, there is an excellent range of camping and accommodation options available within the park.

Activities

For those who visit it, Raccoon Creek State Park provides guests with several opportunities to engage in recreational outdoor pursuits within its spectacular landscape.

Presented below is a quick overview of some of the more popular activities you can partake in while you are there.

Boating at Raccoon Creek State Park

For those who want to take to the water, Raccoon Lake boasts a couple of boat launches, as well as 48 mooring spaces.

The only boats allowed are electric motors, however you can also enjoy cruising around the lake in canoes, kayaks and rowboats. All of which are available at a private boat concession located near it.

the dam at Raccoon Creek State Park during fall

Fishing at Raccoon Creek State Park

For those into fishing, Raccoon Lake provides the opportunity to catch many different species of fish.

They include the likes of bluegill, Bullhead and channel catfish, crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, Muskellunge, Sauger, Sunfish, Yellow perch and Walleye.

Additionally, both rainbow and brown trout can be caught in abundance. You will need a valid state fishing licence to do so, but once you have one, you can fish all year round.

Hiking at Raccoon Creek State Park

With more than 44 miles of trails available to explore, hiking is a big drawcard at the park.

Throughout the park there are several trails that showcase its stunning natural beauty. Taking you to a range of landscapes that include forest, lakes, woodland and various green spaces, which all offer a different perspective of it.

Here are some of the trails at Raccoon Creek State Park:

  • Palomino Trail – Length: 1.1 miles. Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Appaloosa Trail – Length: 3 miles. Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Forest Trail – Length: 6.2 miles. Degree of Difficulty: challenging

hiking trail through the woods at Raccoon Creek State Park

While on the trails you should spot several different species of wildlife including deer, raccoon, beavers, muskrats, mink, red fox, skunk and opossum.

Picnicking at Raccoon Creek State Park

During the warmer months of the year, many people choose to enjoy a picnic at the park.

Overall, there are around 200 picnic tables available to visitors who fancy an outdoor feed.

All of its picnic areas have grills enabling you to cook up a feast and there is also drinking water and modern restrooms available too.

Whilst picnicking it is important to note that the consumption of alcohol is not allowed. Visitors are also expected to dispose of their trash responsibly and considerately too.

Winter Activities at Raccoon Creek State Park

During the winter the park receives a lot of snow, which in turn attracts a number of visitors keen to enjoy cross-country skiing. While most of the trails are open to this past-time, it is not recommended that you attempt any trail designated as most difficult.

If you don’t have your skis with you, showshoeing is another popular activity you might want to engage in at this time of year. Alternatively, there are four miles of camp roads open to snowmobiling, weather permitting.

Ice skating and fishing is also an option at Raccoon Lake, but only if conditions allow.

Pets

The park is considered to be pet friendly, so you are more than welcome to bring your furry friends with you.

However, once at the park you will need to ensure you adhere to its pet policy or risk being asked to take them home.

One of the many rules of their policy is that pets must be leashed at all times during their visit. Additionally, they must also be cleaned up after if they make a mess and not be taken into specific parts of the park.

For a full rundown of the pet policy you should get in touch with staff at the main office.

Camping

Those who want to stay at the park for a few nights are presented with a good range of camping options. They include 172 modern tent and trailer campsites, many of which have electrical hookups, while others are more rustic.

The wooded campground also counts warm showers, flush toilets, individual picnic tables and a fire ring among its amenities. Additionally, there are five central wash-houses a sanitary dump station and a playground for children to enjoy.

As well as these sites, the park makes 10 modern cabins available to those who want some of the comforts of home.

These cabins come with either two or three bedrooms, a full bathroom and a kitchen, dining and furnished living area.

If you want to stay at any of these cabins you will need to bring your own food and kitchen utensils as well as bath towels and bedroom linen.

Should you happen to be visiting as part of a group of up to ten people, you can also choose to stay at the Lakeside Lodge. In it you’ll find a full kitchen with table and cookware, 1.5 bathrooms, laundry facilities, air conditioning and central heating, and a big patio area with an outdoor gas grill.

Park Location

Raccoon Creek State Park
3000 PA-18
Hookstown, PA 15050
Phone: 724.899.2200

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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