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The dam on Rauchtown Run in Ravensburg State Park

The dam on Rauchtown Run in Ravensburg State Park. Photo: Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite only being 78 acres in size, Ravensburg State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s more spectacular public recreational spaces.

Residing in a jagged steep-walled gorge that has been carved beside the Nippenose Mountain over millions of years by the Rauchtown Run, this PA state park features incredible geological formations. They include the Castle Rocks, which are tall spires of erosional sandstone that silhouette the sky, like the towers of a medieval castle.

Its landscape also features an impressive forest of northern hardwoods that carpets the bottomland which flanks the spring-fed stream.

Surrounded by the 215,000-acre Tiadaghton State Forest, the pet-friendly park provides excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking, hunting and picnicking.

As it is approximately a three hour drive from both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it has become a popular weekend nature getaway for those who want a break from city life.

Activities

Ravensburg State Park is a splendid place to enjoy a wide selection of recreational outdoor pursuits.

Presented below is a quick summary of some of the most popular activities you can do during your visit there.

Fishing at Ravensburg State Park

It is worth bringing your rods and reels with you to the park as the Rauchtown Run and its tributaries provide terrific opportunities for coldwater fishing.

Depending on where you fish you should be able to snare plenty of native brook and wild brown trout.

Additionally, within straight forward driving distance of the park you will also find warmwater fishing at various spots including the Blanchard Lake, Bald Eagle Creek, west branch of the Susquehanna River.

To fish at any of these places you will need a valid state license. You will also need to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Hiking at Ravensburg State Park

Hiking is a popular activity at the park with several trails winding their way through its pristine landscape.

Overall, they range in terms of length as well as degrees of difficulty, with some being rated easy and others most difficult. All of them convey the park’s varied terrain in unique ways.

One of its most favored trails is the Raven Trail. At just half a mile long it is an easy out-and-back trail that takes you to the heart of the day-use park.

Another short, but well tackled course is the trailhead that leads you on to the Mid State Trail. A 0.35 mile point-to-point trail, it leads you on to a longer 361 mile trail that stretches across central Pennsylvania from Tioga County in the north to Bedford County in the south.

The isolated and remote wilderness footpath is excellent for backpacking. Predominantly covering public lands that pass through various state parks, start forests and game lands.

When attempting any of the trails in or around the park it pays to be prepared. Always wear a good pair of hiking boots and a hat and have a cell phone with good coverage with you. Be sure to take plenty of snacks, water and your camping equipment as well (if you plan to sleep on the trail). Also apply lots of sunscreen and mosquito spray.

Picnicking at Ravensburg State Park

Picnicking is a popular pastime at Ravensburg State Park.

Overall, there are three main areas where you can enjoy an outdoor meal. All of them include picnic tables – most of which are shaded – and two picnic pavilions. Charcoal grills are also available for you to prepare food.

Around the picnic areas you will also find a playground, playfield and horseshoe pits. You can also reserve the picnic pavilions for private use up to 11 months in advance.

While enjoying a picnic, guests are not permitted to consume alcohol. They also should respect the park by packing away all their trash and disposing of it responsibly and appropriately.

Hunting at Ravensburg State Park

For those who want to go hunting, the park provides entry into the nearby Tiadaghton State Forest.

Both archery equipment and firearms can be uncased and primed for use in authorized areas during the hunting season.

However, visitors are reminded to exercise extreme caution if using either.

During the designated seasons, you can hunt for wild turkey, white-tailed deer, black bear and ruffed grouse.

Pets

The park is pet friendly, although you will have to abide by certain restrictions that are imposed on their presence.

They include that all dogs must be kept on a handheld leash of at least six feet during the entirety of their stay.

They must also be well behaved and owners should not leave them unattended for more than half an hour.

Owners should also not take them to specific areas of the park where they are not permitted and clean up after they have made a mess.

For a comprehensive overview of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the staff at the main office.

Camping

For those who want to stay overnight, the campground at Ravensburg State Park operates on a first-come, first served basis only. So it does not accept reservations.

Overall, the forested campground runs from the beginning of May until the end of September. It presents 21 tent-only sites that all come with individual fire rings and picnic tables.

Amenities at this campground include warm showers and flush toilets. Pets are welcome to stay there with you, although you must ensure they do not disturb other guests or wildlife.

If you would prefer to have the certainty of a reservation, or if this campground is full, there are several camping options available at the adjacent Tiadaghton State Forest.

Park Location

Ravensburg State Park
2388 Rauchtown Rd
Jersey Shore, PA 17740
Phone: 570.966.1455

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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