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.


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).

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 the DCNR Calendar of Events.

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. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. For complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.

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 Raccoon Creek Boat Rental has canoes, hydrobikes, rowboats, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and a mini pontoon boat. 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 website. Motorboats 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. Visit Hiking on the DCNR website for 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. Visit Hiking on the DCNR website for 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. Visit Horseback Riding on the DCNR website 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. Visit Mountain Biking on the DCNR website for complete trail descriptions.

Cross-Country Skiing: Most trails are open to cross-country skiing; however, it is recommended to avoid trails rated ‘most difficult.’ A designated 2.1-mile cross-country ski trail can be accessed from its trailhead in the old Main Picnic Area. Visit Cross-Country Skiing on the DCNR website for complete trail descriptions.

Hunting and Firearms: Over 7,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, rabbit, pheasant, squirrel, and waterfowl. Early and late goose hunting is permitted.

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.

DCNR and 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 vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.

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 the 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.

Overnight Accommodations

Raccoon Creek State Park offers a variety of overnight accommodations, including:

  • Camping – Modern and Rustic Sites
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Lodging – Modern Cabins and Lakeside Lodge
  • Organized Group Tenting
  • Organized Group Cabin Camps

Visit Stay the Night on the DCNR website for more information on overnight accommodations.

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 Map.

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 Map.

Nearby Attractions:
For information on nearby attractions, visit Beaver County, Allegheny County, and Washington County tourism websites.