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Laurel Hill State Park

Park Guide Pictures

Park Guide

Source: Pennsylvania DCNR

The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake is a focal point of the park. Laurel Hill is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine state park and state forest lands. A trail system invites you to hike and explore the park and observe a diversity of plants and wildlife. A beautiful stand of old growth hemlocks lies along the Hemlock Trail. Directions Weather Recreation Access History Wildlife Calendar Contacts Folks relax on lakeside picnic tables, shaded by a tree.

Laurel Hill State Park consists of 3,935 acres of mountainous terrain in Somerset County. The topography of the park is typical of the Allegheny Plateau province. The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake is a prime attraction of the park.


From the Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 110 (Somerset), drive west on PA Route 31 from Somerset for 10 miles, turn left on an unnumbered route and follow the directional sign to Laurel Hill State Park. The park may also be reached from Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 91 (Donegal) by turning left on PA Route 31 and heading east to PA Routes 381/711. Turn right on PA Routes 381/711 and go south to Champion. Turn left and follow the sign to Seven Springs and Laurel Hill State Park.

Click here for door-to-door MapQuest driving directions.

Recreational Opportunities

Boating: electric motors permitted Non-powered boats must have one of the following: state park launching permit or state park mooring permit which are available at most state park offices; or current Pennsylvania boat registration. Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Motorboats registered in other states must display a Pennsylvania state park launch permit or mooring permit in addition to their current registration.

Fifteen mooring sites and two boat launch areas are available. A boat rental concession is at the beach and offers paddleboats, canoes and rowboats.

For complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Fishing: Anglers may test their abilities against bass, trout, catfish, suckers, bluegill, perch, crappies and sunfish in the lake 24 hours a day.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. A fishing license, not available at the park office, is required for persons ages 16 and older.

Fishing is also permitted in Laurel Hill Creek and Jones Mill Run which are excellent trout streams.

For complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Organized Group Camps: Large, cabin camps are available for non-profit organized youth and adult groups from mid-April to mid-October. Facilities include flush toilets, central shower house, large dining hall and kitchen, plus, small cabins for campers. Applications are only available at the park office.

Go to organized group camps for more information.

Hiking: A 12-mile trail system invites the hiker to explore the park.

Remains of a logging railroad, like a wooden cross-tie or a rusty rail spike, can be seen along the Tramroad Trail. This railroad hauled logs from the mountains to a sawmill located at Humbert near Confluence, Pennsylvania.

A beautiful stand of old growth timber may be seen along the very popular Hemlock Trail.

Reservations: To reserve a campsite, organized group tenting area or picnic pavilion, call 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. - Sat. Group tenting areas and pavilions can be reserved from 11 months to 2 days in advance. Campsites can be reserved from 11 months up to noon of the day of arrival.

Camping: modern sites, some with electricity
The camping area consists of 264 tent or trailer sites (149 with electric) with flush toilets, hot water showers, sanitary dumping stations and drinking water.

The campground is open from the second Friday in April until mid October.

Site occupancy is limited to one family unit (persons living under one household) or one non-family unit limited to five persons, including one responsible individual 18 years of age or older. The maximum camping period is 14 consecutive nights.

Pets are not permitted.

One walled tent is available for rent. The tent sleeps six people and has a refrigerator, bunk beds with mattresses and electricity. Campers must bring bedding, camping stove, and cooking and eating utensils.

Camping Cottages: Three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets.

Go to camping for more information.

Campground Map: You must have Adobe Acrobat to view this map. Go download a copy of Acrobat Reader. Go to the campground map. (51 kb)

Organized Group Tenting: Qualified, organized adult and youth groups may use the 125-person capacity area. This area is open year-round and has limited facilities with pit toilets, drinking water, fire rings and picnic tables. Reservations are required. Youth groups must have one adult leader for each 10 youths. Area regulations require that 1) A roster be submitted, 2) Fires are built only in designated locations, 3) Standing timber must not be cut, and 4) Trailers are not permitted in this area.

Go to organized group tenting for more information.

Laurel Hill Lodge: Tucked away in a secluded area of Laurel Hill State Park, Laurel Hill Lodge is modern yet has much rustic charm. The large fireplace, cathedral ceiling, and large, private deck overlooking the park and the Laurel Mountains make the lodge cozy and spectacular.

Besides easy access to the park’s hiking, swimming, hunting, fishing and other recreational opportunities, the lodge is centrally located between Hidden Valley and Seven Springs resorts and offers easy access to year-round leisure activities. The Laurel Ridge State Park Cross-country Ski Touring Center is twelve miles to the southwest.

The lodge is especially equipped for the winter recreation season, including ski and snowboard racks, and glove and boot dyers. The two-story lodge has five bedrooms, which sleep 14 guests in five double beds (including two futons) and six twin beds (bunk beds). The lodge has three bathrooms (two full, one ¾), one and one-half kitchens, recreation room and laundry. The hot water heating system will keep you warm and cozy.

Picnicking: Four picnic areas with a total of 564 tables are provided for your pleasure. Picnic Area No. 1 includes horseshoe pits, large ball field and playground equipment. Picnic Area No. 2 is in a wooded area. Picnic Area No. 3 is by the beach and includes playground equipment. Picnic Area No. 4 is at the head of the lake and is by the boat mooring and launching area. Three picnic pavilions are available for rent. There are two pavilions in Picnic Area 1 and one pavilion in Picnic Area 3.

Environmental Education:A park environmental education specialist offers campfire programs and guided walks year-round. A self-guiding trail is along Hemlock Trail. A visitor center is in the beige farmhouse at the entrance to the campground. Contact the park office for a schedule of activities.

Go to environmental education and interpretation for more information.

Hunting and Firearms: Approximately 2,100 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are rabbit, squirrel, grouse, turkey, deer, ring-necked pheasant and raccoon. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. The park is used by other visitors during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment 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 must be kept in the owner&%39;s car, trailer or camp.

For complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

Snowmobiling: The 10-mile trail system in the park connects with a 60 plus mile trail system on the Forbes State Forest. The trail system is open daily for registered snowmobiles after the end of antlerless deer season in late December. Trail maps are available at the park office.

Ice Sports: Ice skating is enjoyed by many on a maintained area of Laurel Hill Lake. The rest of the lake is open to ice fishing and iceboating. Iceboats must display a current state park launching permit.

Swimming: A 1,200-foot sandy beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming when lifeguards are off-duty. Maximum depth is five feet.

A food and refreshment concession is a short distance from the beach.

Cross-country Skiing: There is a 20-mile cross-country ski touring concession adjacent to the PA 653 parking area of nearby Laurel Ridge State Park. Fee required on this trail.

Natural History

As you drive or walk through the park, you will see mountain laurel, rhododendron, sugar maple, white and red oak, birch, cherry, tulip poplar and hemlock trees. There is a small stand of old growth hemlock on the Hemlock Trail. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer, raccoon, woodchuck, red, gray and fox squirrels, skunk, mink, muskrat, opossum, rabbit, turkey, ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and a variety of other birds and animals.


An old country road passed through the park area. At what is now Group Camp No. 8, stood an inn for wayfarers. Below the inn stood a grist mill for grinding local wheat and rye. At the head of the lake there once stood a pottery factory and an iron forge.

George Washington's troops camped within the park boundaries during the "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794.

The first recreational facilities at the park were built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) under the supervision of the National Park Service. The area was named the Laurel Hill Recreation Demonstration Area and work began in 1935. By 1938, Laurel Hill Lake was completed. By 1942, four organized group camps and two former CCC Camps were being used for camping.

The federal government gave this outstanding recreation area to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on October 25, 1945.


Laurel Hill State Park
1454 Laurel Hill Park Road
Somerset, PA 15501-850
e-mail: laurelhillsp@state.pa.us

Park Guide Pictures
Somerset County, PA Somerset County, Pennsylvania
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