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USA Parks
Pennsylvania
Southwest Region
Laurel Hill State Park
LAUREL HILL STATE PARK
LAUREL HILL STATE PARK
1454 Laurel Hill Park Road
Somerset, Pennsylvania   15501

Phone: 814-445-7725
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email:
Laurel Hill State Park
© Copyright 2010 The Baumann Almanac

website

Laurel Hill State Park
© Copyright 2010 The Baumann Almanac

website

Laurel Hill State Park
© Copyright 2010 The Baumann Almanac

website

This major 70-mile hiking and backpacking trail from Ohiopyle to near Johnstown is the main feature of the park. The trail traverses state parks, state forests, state game lands, other public lands and private lands.

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is open year round and is blazed approximately every 100 feet with 2" and 5" yellow blazes. Side trails are marked with blue blazes. Mileage monuments are every mile.

Large wooden signs mark trail access points at every major highway crossing. Six 30-car parking areas provide starting points. In addition, voluntary day use registration booths are located at each of the parking areas and the trail user is encouraged to fill out information cards for vital park attendance data and for use in the event of an emergency. For overnight use of the trail see Special Regulation 15. Overnight reservations are mandatory. A fee is required for overnight camping.

There are eight overnight shelter areas along the trail. Each area contains 5 adirondack-type shelters with fireplaces, 2 non-flush toilets, a water supply and spaces for 30 tents.
History of the Area
The Laurel Hill Valley escaped the unbridled logging that swept through Pennsylvania-for longer than many areas of the state. The steep stream valleys and rugged hills made logging difficult until technology laid the tracks to enable the trees to be hauled to mills. Powerful, slow locomotives climbed the switchbacked tracks through Laurel Hill and hauled the logs to mills. From 1886 to 1940, logging companies clearcut the trees of the park, leaving behind a wasteland of brambles prone to forest fires and flooding. Only the area now called Hemlock Natural Area escaped the loggers' reach.

Beginning in 1935, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration began purchasing submarginal agricultural and forest land so that it could be converted to better use. In 1936, the National Park Service was given the responsibility of the Recreational Demonstration Areas. Laurel Hill was one of five areas in Pennsylvania and targeted for restoration and reforestation, and organized group camping and day picnicking.

Beginning in 1935, with cooperation of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, men of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began building roads, trails, bridges and recreational facilities.

Two CCC camps, SP-8 and SP-15 arrived in July 1, 1935 and began building camps for themselves (currently Group Camp 8 and Group Camp 5). The 200 young men in each camp worked year-round building park facilities like group camps, picnic areas, waterlines, roads, the beach house and Laurel Hill Lake. World War II ended the CCC.

In October of 1945, the Department of the Interior transferred the project to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and it became Laurel Hill State Park.

The Laurel Hill Recreational Demonstration Area Historic District includes all CCC-constructed buildings and structures that retain a significant degree of integrity. The district contains 202 buildings on 1,352 acres of land, which is the largest collection of CCC architecture in Pennsylvania State Parks.
Cabins
Organized Group Camps: Large cabin camps are available for nonprofit 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.
Camping
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.

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.

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.

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 vault toilets, drinking water, fire rings and picnic tables. 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.
Cottages
Camping Cottages: Eight cottages near the campground 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.
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 snack bar is a short distance from the beach.
Boating
Boating: electric motors only

The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake has 30 mooring sites and two boat launch areas. A boat rental at the beach has paddleboats, canoes and rowboats.

Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.


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Picnicking
Three picnic areas have over 500 picnic tables. Picnic Area No. 1 has horseshoe pits, large ball field and playground equipment. Picnic Area No. 3 is by the beach and has playground equipment. Picnic Area No. 4 is at the head of the lake and is by the boat mooring and launching area. Four 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. There are two picnic pavilions in Picnic Area 1 and two picnic pavilions in Picnic Area 3.
Trails
Snowmobiling: The ten-mile trail system in the park connects with an over 60-mile trail system in Forbes State Forest. The trail system is open daily for registered snowmobiles after the end of deer season in late December. Trail maps are available at the park office.

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.
Nature Programs
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation and understanding of the park's natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Programs are offered year-round. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs.

A self-guiding trail is along Hemlock Trail. A visitor center is in the beige farmhouse at the entrance to the campground.
Things To Do in the Area
Savage River Outfitters - Swanton, MDFishing
For those who like to fish for wild trout...this is the place to be Savage River Outfitters is a full line Orvis Dealer and Fly Shop with vacation rentals located on the Savage River in Western Maryland. Call ahead to book a half or full day wade trip or fly fishing instructions.
Web Site: savageriveroutfitters.com
34.6 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 6 by Janice a friend of Laurel Hill
This is a wonderful place to get close to nature and spend quality time with your children and grandchildren.We are so lucky to have this park so close to home.
April 18 as of 2010 we are friends of laurel hill by Allen family
we love the park, lake, streams, and campground. everything about this park is wonderful. our family plans on spending alot more time there in 2011. thanks to all who make it what it is.
January 29 Our Favorite Park! by Jim Blackburn
Laurel Hill State Park is Excellent! Something for Everyone.


Area Campgrounds

Mountain Pines Camping Resort
1662 Indian Creek Valley Road
Champion, PA
724-455-3300


Roaring Run Resort
194 Tannery Road
Champion, PA
724-593-7837


Hickory Hollow Campground
176 Big Hickory Road
Rockwood, PA
814-926-4636


Scottyland Resort
1618 Barron Church Road
Rockwood, PA
814-926-3200


Pioneer Park Campground
273 Trent Road
Somerset, PA
814-445-6348


Woodland Campsites Incorporated
291 Gilmour Road
Somerset, PA
814-445-8860


Area Fishing Related Businesses
B & G Bait & Sport Shop
118 Indian Creek Valley Rd
Normalville, PA
(724) 455-7282


Laurel Hill Trout Fishing Pond
4360 Route 31
Somerset, PA
(724) 593-7101


Area Cabins and Lodges
Hidden Valley Resort & Comm
1 Craighead Dr
Hidden Valley, PA
(814) 443-8000


Seven Springs Mountain Resort
777 Water Wheel Dr
Champion, PA
(814) 352-7782


Laurel Highlands Lodge
212 Snyder Rd
Donegal, PA
(724) 593-7223


Roaring Run Resort PS
RR 1 Box 531
Champion, PA
(724) 593-8847


Laurel Hill Trout Lodge
4360 Route 31
Somerset, PA
(724) 593-7101


Barron's at the Springs
843 Blue Hole Rd
Champion, PA
(814) 352-7884


Roaring Run Resort
194 Tannery Rd
Champion, PA
(724) 593-7837


Kettler Forlines Resort Homes
9068 Woodridge
Champion, PA
(814) 352-7771


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
The Country Willow House - Bedford, PACottages and Cabins
We invite you to be our guests for a relaxing stay where the atmosphere is homey, romantic, and welcoming. We hope you will feel at home at The Country Willow House Situated on a peaceful and secluded property just minutes from historic downtown Bedford, Pennsylvania.
Web Site: countrywillowhouse.com
20.3 miles from park*
Pennsylvania Vacation Home with Views - New Paris, PACottages and Cabins
This beautiful 3 year new vacation home in Bedford County, with 3 Bedrooms and 2 Full Baths, rests on 8.4 acres and is part of a gated rural community that backs up to Gallitzin State Forest.
Web Site: pennsylvaniaviews.com
35.8 miles from park*
Savage River Outfitters - Swanton, MDCottages and Cabins
For those who like to fish for wild trout...this is the place to be Savage River Outfitters is a full line Orvis Dealer and Fly Shop with vacation rentals located on the Savage River in Western Maryland. Call ahead to book a half or full day wade trip or fly fishing instructions.
Web Site: savageriveroutfitters.com
34.6 miles from park*
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Directions
From I-76 Exit 110 (Somerset), drive west on PA 31 from Somerset for eight miles, turn left onto Trent Road and follow the directional signs to Laurel Hill State Park. The park may also be reached from I-76 Exit 91 (Donegal) by turning left on PA 31 east and traveling 14 miles. Follow the directional signs to the right turn onto Trent Road then follow directional signs to the park.

USA Parks
Pennsylvania
Southwest Region
Laurel Hill State Park
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