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Pennsylvania
Central Region
Reeds Gap State Park
REEDS GAP STATE PARK
REEDS GAP STATE PARK
1405 New Lancaster Valley Road
Milroy, Pennsylvania   17063

Phone: 717-667-3622
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
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Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park is 220 acres of wilderness in the New Lancaster Valley of Mifflin County. Large Hemlocks and white pines cast cool shadows over Honey Creek, which flows through the park.
History of the Area
Reeds Gap is a natural water gap in Hightop, also called Thick Mountain. American Indians from the village of Ohesson, today's Lewistown, used this valley as hunting grounds. When European settlers arrived, they homesteaded and named the area the New Lancaster Valley.

During the late 1700s, Reeds Gap became a bush meeting ground. The settlers packed lunches and traveled in their horse-drawn wagons to hear a circuit preacher and enjoy neighborhood fellowship. These bush meetings, also known as homecomings, were held through the 1920s.

In the mid-1800s, the park's namesakes, Edward and Nancy Reed, set up a water-powered sawmill along Honey Creek just inside of the western boundary of the present park. Part of the historic water-storage dam is still visible along the red-blazed Honey Creek Trail Loop downstream from the swimming pools. Edward Reed's son, George Wilbur Reed, was a sawyer at the mill. Another son, John, later moved the watermill to Virginia by horses.

Around 1900, a steam-powered sawmill was by the park's maintenance building. After decades of logging, the forests were gone. On January 15, 1905, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased this depleted land from the William Witmer and Sons Lumber Company. Eventually parts of this land became Reeds Gap and Poe Valley state parks.

Around 1930, people sold five-cent bottles of soda pop cooled in Reeds Gap Run to attract picnickers and to improve the local economy.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a national work program established in 1933 during the Great Depression. A residential camp for over 200 young men was built five miles east of Reeds Gap in the upper end of New Lancaster Valley. Camp S-113 was run by the U. S. Army and the former Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. One of their projects was to change the "jungle" around Reeds Gap to an attractive recreation facility. By the late 1930s, the park offered stone fireplaces, tables, picnic pavilions, play equipment, pit toilets and running water. Local bands entertained on summer Sunday afternoons from a bandstand and swimmers enjoyed a small lake formed by a CCC-built dam in Honey Creek. Reeds Gap State Park officially opened in 1938.

The CCC program ended early in World War II. Most of the wooden CCC structures were removed as they deteriorated, but part of the old CCC camp is now a state forestry field office. Electrical power came to the valley in mid-1940s.

In 1965, a major developmental phase started when the swimming pools replaced the old dam. Shortly thereafter, a new water system, flush toilets, a modern bathhouse, snack bar, maintenance building and parking lots were constructed. Voter approved Project 500 monies were used to further improve the park.
Swimming
Two, free, guarded swimming pools offer about 4,000 square feet of water for swimming. The small children's pool is shallow. The larger pool is shallow at both ends and five feet deep in the middle. No diving is permitted. All children ten years of age or younger must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age. The pools are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. The pools are normally closed weekdays until mid-June. A modern bathhouse with flush toilets and hot showers is beside the pool. A snack bar is open in the summer season. The pool has an ADA lift.


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Picnicking
Four mostly wooded picnic areas are available year-round. There is ample parking, tables and one small, non-reservable shelter. Modern flush toilets and running water are available during the warmer months. Three 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. Picnic Pavilion Two has electric hook-ups.
Trails
Hiking: 3.6 miles of trails

A walk on the 1.8-mile, red-blazed Honey Creek Trail Loop often reveals wildlife signs or sightings.

The 1.3-mile, blue-blazed Blue Jay Trail Loop goes along Honey Creek through the main activity areas of the park. It offers a variety of scenery.

The 0.5-mile, yellow-blazed Flicker Path leaves the Blue Jay Trail by the swimming pool and rejoins it by Reeds Gap Run.

The Self-guiding Interpretive Trail is a 1.1-mile trail following the scenic banks of Honey Creek. Interpretive waysides focus on the various ecological communities. This green-blazed trail starts at the kiosk beside the snack bar and follows parts of Blue Jay and Honey Creek trails between the swimming pool complex and Picnic Pavilion #3.

Reeds Gap Spur Trail starts at the park office and climbs through Reeds Gap along scenic Reeds Gap Run to Knob Ridge Road and continues to Poe Valley State Park-a distance of 18 miles. This very beautiful and rugged trail has interesting large rocks along the upper section. Once many logs were brought down the trail to a sawmill that stood by the park office.
Area Attractions
Many fine attractions are in Mifflin County. Many Amish live to the south, especially near Belleville. For more information on nearby attractions, contact the Juniata River and Valley Visitors Bureau, 877-568-9939, www.juniatarivervalley.org.

The 200,000-acre Bald Eagle State Forest, adjacent to the park, is managed for timber, water, wildlife and recreation. The gravel Locust Ridge Road at the east end of New Lancaster Valley features a scenic view of the valley. You can take this road on your way to see the large old growth timber at Snyder-Middleswarth State Forest Picnic Area. The Big Valley Vista on the gravel Siglerville-Millheim Pike is also spectacular. 570-922-3344

The Siglerville-Millheim Pike takes you to Poe Valley and Poe Paddy state parks. Poe Valley offers camping and a 25-acre lake. Poe Paddy has popular campsites along Penns Creek. 717-667-3622
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 30
A very nice park. Secluded yet within reasonable distance to town. Sad to see that the pool was closed and removed. Spent many happy hours there. Grounds are beautiful and the restrooms very clean and well-maintained.
July 20 Great place to tent by Mary L. Hartzler
Beautiful well kept facility, so disappointing they may not keep the park open, our legislators need to take another look at the parks in this area and rethink Poe Valley and Reeds Gap and find the money in the budget for finishing Poe and a new pool for the Gap!!
May 12
fun place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 9
May 1 A fine park..! by mike gobs
Very well run park. Neat,clean, well maintained. BIG enough to have a pool and concession stand but still small and intimate. Always been treated well by the helpful staff. Nicely laid out campsites along a gorgeous creek. Great showers and restrooms. My favorite campground in the area. In the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of the state. Wonderful.


Area Campgrounds

Locust Campground
475 Locust Road
Lewistown, PA
717-248-3974


Buttonwood Campground
PO Box 223
Mexico, PA
717-436-8334


Highland Campground
Highland Drive
Mill City, PA
570-586-0145


Seven Mountains Campgrounds
101 Seven Mountains Campground Road
Spring Mills, PA


Area Fishing Related Businesses
Custom Tide & Flies
15 Mill Rd
Lewistown, PA
(717) 543-6077


Lewistown Fishing & Hunting
224 N Logan Blvd
Burnham, PA
(717) 248-8889


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Weiler Mansion Bed Breakfast - Belleville, PABBs / Inns
Join us for a refreshing stay in an atmosphere of peace and relaxation. Step back in time as you explore our rural heritage among one of Pennsylvania's Amish communities. If your life is complex, get back to the simple basics with a visit to our bed and breakfast.
Web Site: weilermansionbnb.com/
18.1 miles from park*
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Pennsylvania
Central Region
Reeds Gap State Park
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