The gently rolling hills, lush forests, and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction.
Each year, more than one million boaters, hikers, bikers, and swimmers visit the 16,725-acre park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices.
Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement.
Hiking at Moraine State Park
29.2 miles of trails
The hiking trails of Moraine State Park wander through forests and grassy areas, along lake edges, and past wetlands.
For your safety and to protect the resource, please stay on the trails.
For the safety of all park visitors, please keep dogs leashed and under physical control at all times.
Sunken Garden Trail
1.9 or 2.4 or 3.6 miles, easiest hiking, blue blazes
For an enjoyable and scenic hike that is close to the park office, Sunken Garden Trail offers views of the lake shoreline and travels through a variety of habitats and terrains. Hikers can choose either a 1.9-mile short loop, a 2.4-mile middle loop, or a 3.6-mile long loop. The loops include moderate inclines. The longer section offers slightly more rugged terrain.
When conditions permit, the trail is groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter. Access the trail near the Pleasant Valley Non-powered Boat Launch parking lot. From the park office travel toward the Pleasant Valley Marina and take the first right turn.
1.1 or 3 miles, more difficult hiking, yellow blazes
This trail passes through different stages of forest regeneration, by cavity-nesting bird boxes, and near the remains of a spring house. Hikers can choose a 1.1-mile short loop or a 3-mile long loop. The trail includes flat grassy areas and gradual inclines that lead to fields high above the highway and lake.
Access to this trail is adjacent to the entrance of Bear Run Boat Launch.
Pleasant Valley Trail
1.9 miles, easiest hiking, blue blazes
This lovely trail offers an easy hike through the hills and valleys of the South Shore, passing through wooded and open grassy areas. The trail passes near the Windy Knob and Bear Run picnic areas, crosses Hilltop Trail, and then intersects Sunken Garden Trail.
Making a left on the Sunken Garden Trail will return hikers to the trailhead.
When conditions permit, the trail is groomed for cross-country skiing in winter.
Access to this trail is directly across Pleasant Valley Road from the Pleasant Valley Picnic Area.
Five Points Trail
1.3 miles, easiest hiking, yellow blazes
This loop trail meanders through forests and by a small pond. Access to the trail is near Lakeview Beach and the organized group tenting area.
Glacier Ridge Trail
14.8 miles, most difficult hiking, blue blazes
Designated as part of the North Country National Scenic Trai, this trail extends 14 miles from the western end of Moraine State Park to Jennings Environmental Education Center. The trail winds through forests, crosses streams, and offers scenic views of Lake Arthur.
Glacier Ridge Trail can be accessed at PA 528, Mount Union Road (TR 10050), the bike rental building, and McDanels Launch Area.
The Link Road Overnight Shelter is available to backpackers by reservation only. Contact the park office for backpacking information.
1.5 to 4.6 miles, most difficult hiking, yellow and white blazes
For the more adventurous, this trail has rougher, rockier terrain and is a more challenging hike than the other trails on the South Shore. The extra effort is well worth it because the trail takes you into a remote, undeveloped section of the park with diverse natural plant communities, and by an old house foundation, stone fences, and a historic oil central powerhouse.
The trail can be hiked either as a 1.5-mile loop, or a three-mile or 4.6-mile excursion. The trail can be accessed at the northern end from Christley Road just west of PA 528, and at the southern end from Park Road.
Picnicking at Moraine State Park
Picnic tables, charcoal grills, and restrooms are located throughout the day use areas.
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
All picnic areas are open from sunrise to sunset.
Seven picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Swimming at Moraine State Park
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
Swimming is permitted at two beaches along the shore of Lake Arthur:
Lakeview Beach on the North Shore is a 550-foot sand beach
The Pleasant Valley Beach on the South Shore is a 400-foot turf and sand beach and has a paved path into the water -- a sand volleyball court and playground are on the west side of the beach.
Showers, changing facilities, and snack bars are available at both beaches.
The beaches are open daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day unless otherwise posted. The regular hours are 8:00 A.M. to sunset.
Swim at your own risk.
To keep these areas clean and safe, pets are prohibited in the beach areas.
Smoking is prohibited on the beaches and in the swimming areas.
For visitors who smoke and still want to use the beaches, designated areas adjacent to the beaches are provided. The restriction includes:
Other handheld, lighted smoking devices
Lake Arthur provides more than 42 miles of scenic shoreline. Its tributaries include:
More than 75 intermittent streams
Ranging from an average depth of 11 feet to about 36 feet deep near the dam, the shallow waters of Lake Arthur are home to a variety of warmwater fish. Frogs, newts, turtles, and water snakes prowl the edges of the lake.
Great blue herons, green herons, and belted kingfishers prey on minnows and fish fry. During the early spring, common loons stop at the lake on their migration north.
Osprey may be seen flying over Lake Arthur. Once extirpated from Western Pennsylvania, these “fish hawks” have been reintroduced to Moraine through a hacking program begun during 1993.
The first osprey pair to nest along Lake Arthur as a result of this effort raised three young during 1996. Due to a successful reintroduction program statewide, the osprey population has recovered and is continuing to expand. Bald eagles also are actively nesting in the park.
A waterfowl observation deck is along Park Road.
Boating at Moraine State Park
Up to 20 hp motors permitted
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
The 3,225-acre Lake Arthur has nine public boat launches.
Sailing conditions are ideal, and races, regattas, and sailing instruction classes are held throughout the summer.
Boating is prohibited in the Game Propagation area and near the dam.
Barber Point, near Lakeview Beach, is popular for windsurfing due to stronger winds and sparse boat traffic.
A state park launching permit is required for wind surfboards. All boating regulations apply to wind surfboards.
Fishing at Moraine State Park
The 3,225-acre Lake Arthur is a warmwater fishery.
Common species are:
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks:
Hybrid striped bass
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. McDanels Boat Launch has an ADA accessible fishing pier.
Fishing peninsulas, which also are great spots for children to fish, are at:
Bear Run Boat Launch
Park Road Boat Launch
Fishing is prohibited in these areas:
From boat docks, launching or mooring areas, or within 100 feet of these areas
Anywhere in the marina cove at Davis Hollow and the Crescent Bay Marina docks
In the Game Propagation Area
Off of the bridges
Within 100 feet of the beaches
Where posted no fishing
Ice fishing is permitted on the natural ice of the lake.
Ice thickness is not monitored.
Common species caught through the ice are:
Conditions permitting, ice fishing is permitted in the Game Propagation Area from January 1 through March 15. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Hunting at Moraine State Park
During established seasons, about 13,600 acres are open to:
Training of dogs
Common game species are:
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
A map is available at the park office showing portions of the park open to hunting. No hunting areas are posted.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas.
Biking at Moraine State Park
7 miles of trails
The paved multi-use trail winds near the shoreline between Davis Hollow and the Bike Rental Building in the northwest corner of the park.
The trail can be accessed at many places in the Lakeview Beach and Watts Bay Marina areas.
Mountain Biking at Moraine State Park
6 miles of trails
A loop trail for mountain bikes is on the North Shore.
Trailheads are located off of Mt. Union Road and Alexander Ridge Road.
Horseback Riding at Moraine State Park
20 miles of trails
Equestrian trails are in the southwest and east sides of the park.
Riding is limited to designated trails and roadsides throughout the park.
Disc Golfing at Moraine State Park
An 18-hole disc golf course is in the Lakeview Day Use Area.
Sledding at Moraine State Park
A popular sledding area is near the Pleasant View Picnic Area on the South Shore.
Cross-Country Skiing at Moraine State Park
Pleasant Valley and Sunken Garden trails are groomed when snow conditions permit.
The trails are blazed blue and are suitable for all skill levels.
Snowmobiling at Moraine State Park
Conditions permitting, 26 miles of trails in the north and west portions of the park can be snowmobiled.
There must be at least six inches of snow on the paved bike trail. Studded track snowmobiles are prohibited on the paved bike trail.
Please refer to bulletin boards for additional rules and regulations for snowmobiling.