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Pennsylvania State Parks

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USA Parks
Southwest Region
Cowans Gap State Park
Cowans Gap State Park © Timothy Inman
Ruffed Grouse ©
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6235 Aughwick Rd
Fort Loudon, Pennsylvania   17224
(lat:39.9906 lon:-77.9295) map location

Phone: (717) 485-3948
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email: park email button icon
Cowans Gap State Park is a 1,085-acre park in the beautiful Allens Valley of Fulton County. The state forest land surrounding the park furnishes visitors with an abundance of natural beauty during all seasons of the year.
The park has ten rustic cabins that are available during the spring, summer and fall. The three-room cabins have a four-person overnight capacity. They contain a refrigerator, stove, inside fireplace and two bunk beds. There is no indoor plumbing in the cabins. A water faucet is outside. A central comfort station has showers and flush toilets.
Camping: modern sites, some with electric

Cowans Gap has 224 campsites in two areas. The camping area has a sanitary dump station and modern comfort stations with flush toilets and hot showers. The campsites can accommodate campers from a small tent to a large motor home. Seven walk-in tent sites are adjacent to Camping Area B. An overnight courtesy boat mooring area is provided for registered campers during their stay at the park.

The camping area is open from the second Friday of April until the day following deer season in December.

Organized Group Tenting:

This camping area holds organized groups of up to forty people. The area has a modern restroom with flush toilets and is open from the second Friday of April to the third Sunday in October.
The 500-foot sand 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.
Boating: electric motors only

There are two boat launches and 68 mooring spaces on 42-acre Cowans Gap Lake. The boating concession is in the day use area and rents rowboats and paddle boats. The boating concession is open daily in the summer.

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.
Enjoy fishing in a 42-acre lake, home to trout, bass and catfish. Ice-fishing is also available during winter months.

Cowans Gap State Park is located near Chambersburg, Greencastle and Hagerstown

Several picnic areas are near the lake. Most of the picnic areas are wooded with many picnic tables available. There are a limited number of fireplaces in the picnic areas, and three of the four picnic pavilions have fireplaces. 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.
For biking enthusiasts, the area offers a 1.5-mile bike trail around the lake with moderate difficulty level.

The terrain is varied and can be challenging at times; helmets are strongly recommended for safety reasons.

Mountain bikes are suitable due to some rough patches along this path which may not suit road bicycles well.

Biking isn't allowed on hiking trails or roads within campgrounds, so stick to designated paths only.

During winter months, cycling might become difficult because of snowfall - plan your visit accordingly.

Remember that all cyclists under age 12 must wear a helmet as per Pennsylvania law.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting various species such as warblers, thrushes and vireos. The park offers birding programs for enthusiasts. There are also trails ideal for bird watching like the Tuscarora Trail or Lakeside 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, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office. Programs are offered April to November. Contact the park office for more detailed information.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 11 Vacationed here for 40 years by Michelle
park review stars; one to five My family and I have come here for more than 40 years as an extended family vacation. We absolutely love it. The beach is clean, its quiet and relaxing. Im looking forward to coming back again this year.
July 25 by Ken and Amelia
park review stars; one to five We been camping here twice a year for about 40 years we love camping at state parks and this is one of our favorites.
May 23 Fun, Relaxing, Quiet & Safe by Donna Martin 5-23-2011
park review stars; one to five We traveled from Germantown, MD for several days trips and camped at the resort 4 times over the summer. Enjoyed ourselves very much, staff was very polite, beach was clean, campgrounds were quiet, relaxing and accomadating in every way. We will see you again this year for another great time.
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Nearby Hotels

The park is between Chambersburg and McConnellsburg. To reach the park from the west; take Exit 180, Fort Littleton, of I-76, then US 522 north to Burnt Cabins and follow signs to the park. From the east; take Exit 189, Willow Hill, of I-76, then PA 75 south to Richmond Furnace and follow signs. From US 30; take PA 75 north at Fort Loudon to Richmond Furnace and follow signs.

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Pennsylvania State Parks