About Raccoon Creek State Park



History

In the 1930s, in an effort to add recreation lands by metropolitan regions, the National Park Service (NPS) purchased submarginal farmland to become park lands. Under NPS direction, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Raccoon Creek Recreation Demonstration Area. The federal government transferred this outstanding area to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1945. The Commonwealth continued to develop facilities at the park, including construction of Raccoon Lake in 1948, a swimming area and picnic area in 1950, and the tent and trailer campground in 1956. Later, in the 1960s and 1970s Frankfort Mineral Spring and the Wildflower Reserve were added to the park's amenities. During the 1980s, major rehabilitation and modification of many existing facilities were completed through Capital Improvement Projects, and the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps constructed the cabin colony. Today, Raccoon Creek State Park is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Pennsylvania. In addition to recreational areas, there are large tracts of forested land for visitors to explore within 7,572-acre park and beautiful 101-acre Raccoon Lake.



Location

Raccoon Creek State Park is located in southern Beaver County, 20 miles west of Pittsburgh and minutes north of Allegheny and Washington Counties. Access to the park can be gained by using U.S. Route 30 (Eastern Section), State Route 18 (Central Section), and State Route 168 (Western Section). 

Recreational Opportunities 

Picnicking: About 400 picnic tables are available throughout the park. All picnic areas have grills, drinking water, and restrooms.

Fishing: The 101-acre Raccoon Lake has bluegill, sunfish, bullhead catfish, yellow perch, walleye, muskellunge, crappie, sauger, largemouth, and smallmouth bass. Cold-water fish like brook and rainbow trout are stocked and found both in the lake and in feeder streams. There is an ADA accessible fishing pier on Raccoon Lake. The 12-acre Upper Lake provides catch and release fishing year-round. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. For complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania,visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Swimming:  The 500-foot, ADA accessible sand/turf beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. Swim at your own risk. A bathhouse and a food refreshment stand are nearby.    

Boating:  Electric motors only
The 101-acre Raccoon Lake has two boat launches and 48 mooring spaces. The boat rental has canoes, hydrobikes,rowboats, and kayaks.  Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web siteMotorboats must display a current boat registration. 

Hiking Trails: 44 miles
The park offers a wide variety of hiking options to meet the needs of the casual day hiker as well as the overnight backpacker looking for a challenge within a wilderness setting. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.

Backpacking: 19.5 miles
There are five Adirondack shelters and tenting sites in each of the Pioneer and Sioux backpacking areas. These shelter and tent sites are for backpacking only and can be reserved through the park office or online. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.

Horseback Riding: 16 miles of equestrian trails
Multi-use trails and roads provide horseback riders with an extensive bridle trail system. The equestrian trailhead parking lot is along PA 168 on the western border of the park. Access to the trail system is from the parking lot via the Appaloosa Spur Trail. All equestrian trails are blazed in yellow. There are no horse rentals. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.

Mountain Biking: 17 miles
Multi-use trails and roads are for trail biking. A variety of terrain features offer everything from steep and rolling hills to level service roads. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.

Cross-country Skiing: Most trails are open to cross-country skiing; however, it is recommended to avoid trails rated ‘difficult.’ A designated 2.2-mile cross-country skiing trail can be accessed from its trailhead in the old Main Picnic Area. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions. 

Hunting and Firearms: Over 6,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, rabbit, grouse, pheasant, and squirrel. Early and late goose hunting may occur. 
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. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer, or leased campsite. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are within the park. For complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

Recreation Hall: The large, ADA accessible Recreation Hall in the Modern Cabin Area can be rented for group meetings or family reunions. The facility is a large hall with modern bathrooms, kitchen and fireplace. It is ADA accessible with parking and recreational facilities. Reservations for the hall can be made, for a fee, at park office.

Winter Activities: The park is open year-round. Ice fishing and ice skating are permitted on the lake. Sledding is also permitted. There are various wintertime special events. Spectacular ice formations may be seen at the Frankfort Mineral Springs in the winter. Designated roads and trails are open for cross-country skiing. 


Park Programming & Events

The park offers a wide variety of environmental education, interpretive programs, and outdoor recreation events. Park programming includes hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs. Participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and historical resources within Raccoon Creek State Park.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center. The Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center has exhibits and brochures on natural history and historic areas of the park.  Programs are offered year-round. For more detailed information, contact the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center at 724-899-3611. For information on upcoming programs and events,visit Park Events.
Overnight Accommodations
   
Camping: modern sites, some with electric
The 172 modern tent and trailer campsites are open from the second Friday in April to mid-October. The wooded campground offers a selection of secluded or adjoining sites, a playground, five central washhouses with hot showers and a sanitary dump station. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Campsites B, 1, 2, 3 and F21 are ADA accessible. All sites in C and F loops are designated for pet camping. Explore the campground map.

Camping: rustic sites
Sioux Rustic campground is open year-round, water and pit-latrines are available. Access is not guaranteed during severe winter storms.  

Backpacking (Raccoon Creek Loop): 19.5 miles
There are five Adirondack shelters and tenting sites in each of the Pioneer and Sioux backpacking areas. These shelter and tent sites are for backpacking only and can be reserved through the park office or online. Explore trails for complete trail descriptions.

Cabins: The ten modern cabins contain a furnished living area, kitchen/dining area, toilet/shower room and two or three-bedrooms. The cabins have electric heat and are available for rent year-round. Cabin 10 is ADA accessible. Cabin users must bring their own utensils for cooking and eating and linens for beds and bathroom. Pets are prohibited in the cabins.  Explore the cabin map.

Lakeside Lodge: This three-bedroom cottage that sleeps ten people. The lodge can be rented by the week during the summer season and with a two-night minimum during the off-season. The lodge has a full kitchen, dining room, one and one-half bathrooms, living room with a fireplace, laundry facilities, and central heat and air conditioning. It also has a large patio area with an outdoor gas grill.  Pets are prohibited in the lodge. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the park. Explore items renters need to bring.

Organized Group Tenting: There are two main group tenting areas in the western side of the park. The Sioux group tenting area is divided into two sites: area A holds 20 people and area B holds 60 people. The more remote Pioneer group tenting area is divided into four sites: Apache holds 60 people, Blackfeet holds 20 people, Cherokee holds 60 people, and Mohawk holds 40 people.

Organized Group Cabin Camps: These three camps are rented from mid-April to mid-October at a nominal fee to nonprofit, organized adult and youth groups like scout, YMCA, school, church or other organizations. The camps contain rustic lodges, dining halls, cabins and utility buildings. Camp #1 holds 30 campers. Camp #2 holds 130 campers. Camp #3 holds 80 campers. Reservations are made at the park office for long or short rental periods.


Interesting Places within & nearby the Park

Frankfort Mineral Springs & Vernal Waterfall:
South of the park office is the once famous Frankfort Mineral Springs Resort Complex that attracted visitors during the late 1800s, who believed in the healing qualities of the mineral water. The springs and vernal waterfall can be viewed by hiking the short Mineral Springs Trail from the parking lot on State Route 18.

Kings Creek Cemetery:
The final resting-place of many of the first settlers of the area is located in the southwestern section of the park by State Route 168. 

Doak Meadow:
Within the western section of Raccoon Creek State Park along Nichol Road, a large 50-acre meadow is hidden among the trees. The meadow's name comes from the historic Doak Homestead that once stood on the site.  The meadow has a network of trails that meander through it that allow visitors to see butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.    

Wildflower Reserve: 
The 314-acre Wildflower Reserve contains one of the most diverse stands of wildflowers in western Pennsylvania. Over 700 species of plants have been identified in the Reserve.  Trails lead through a variety of habitats like oak-hickory forest, pine plantations, woodland meadows, and flood plain forest along Raccoon Creek. Wildflowers can be observed throughout the growing season with peak wildflower blooms occuring in late April and August.  Because of its uniqueness and to preserve the many wildflower species, the Reserve is closed to all activities other than hiking on designated trails. Pets are prohibited in the Reserve. Explore the Wildflower Reserve trails.

Hillman State Park:
South of Raccoon Creek State Park along the Old Steubenville Pike is Hillman State Park. The park provides hunting and a radio-controlled model airplane field for members of AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics). Explore Hillman State Park trails.

Nearby Attractions
For information on nearby attractions, Explore Beaver CountyAllegheny County, and Washington County Tourism Departments.  

 **For questions, please call the Park's Main Office at (724) 899-2200 from 8am-4pm (Monday-Friday).**

Maps of Park Areas
Park Brochures and Forms