11 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Black Moshannon

Black Moshannon State Park is situated in Centre County, approximately 9 miles east of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. It covers an area of more than 3,000 acres in the Moshannon State Forest. The lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and birdwatching. We love the swimming and beach area there. The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, swimming, camping and wildlife watching. Black Moshannon State Park is known for its serene natural setting, with the lake and surrounding forest providing a peaceful backdrop for outdoor recreation and wildlife observation. Whether you’re interested in water activities, hiking, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature. The park is known for its unique ecosystem, including a sphagnum moss bog, which is a rare type of wetland.

  1. Outdoor Activities: Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, bird-watching, picnicking, and camping. We went camping in a cabin for two nights. You can book 2 nights or more (up to two weeks) after the busy season is over.
  2.  Hiking Trails: The park offers several hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The Moss-Hanne Trail is a popular choice that takes you through diverse habitats. There is a board walk section that is short and easy to get to by car.
  3.  Fishing: Black Moshannon Lake is stocked with trout and provides excellent fishing opportunities. A fishing pier is available for anglers. We have not tried fishing but there is kids finishing rods to borrow as well as other items from the main area.
  4.  Boating: Non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake, making it perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. You can rent boat there for around $20 an hour.
  5.  Swimming: There’s a sand beach at the lake where you can swim during the summer months. There is a playground on the beach too but no life guard.
  6.  Camping: The park offers both tent and RV camping options. Campsites are available year-round, but it’s a good idea to make reservations during peak seasons.
  7.  Winter Activities: In the winter, the park offers cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
  8.  Wildlife Viewing: Black Moshannon is home to various wildlife species, including deer, turkey, and a variety of bird species. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera for wildlife watching. We even saw some blue herons. We were told the lake has 5 and we saw two on a boat trip led by the education center. I love the Lilly pad on the black water. The view is amazing. 
  9.  Environmental Education: The park hosts environmental education programs and events, making it an excellent destination for learning about the natural world. We did a UV walk at night which was amazing. We then saw the stars which was not part of the program but was one of my favorite parts. We also saw solar flares during a program.
  10.  Picnicking: Numerous picnic areas throughout the park feature tables and charcoal grills, making it a great spot for family picnics and outdoor meals.
  11.  Pets: Pets are welcome in most areas of the park but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. There are designated pet-friendly areas, so check the park’s rules for specifics. We brought our dog and was allowed to keep her in a cabin!

A few days away to this beautiful place so close to home. Solar flare viewing. Pontoon boat. UV light walk in the dark. Uno. Beach. Bog water swimming. Our first canoe ride (We didn’t tip but it wasn’t very long).

We saw some blue herons on the boat ride and the park only has 5. Olivia helped drive us back. 

There is no internet or phone signal at this park. The elevation of this park is 1,900 and it just feels different there. 

“Bogs are freshwater wetlands with sphagnum moss that create the conditions necessary for rare plants, including various species of orchids, to thrive.”

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