You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Pennsylvania State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Southwest Region
Laurel Hill State Park
start slideshow
Laurel Hill State Park © Coreen Cunningham
Laurel Hill State Park © Coreen Cunningham
Laurel Hill State Park © Coreen Cunningham
Availability Search
1454 Laurel Hill Park Road
Somerset, Pennsylvania   15501

Phone: 814-445-7725
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email: park email button icon
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.
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 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.
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.
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.

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 ?), one and one-half kitchens, recreation room and laundry. The hot water heating system will keep you warm and cozy.
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: 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.

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.
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.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 6 by Janice a friend of Laurel Hill
park review stars; one to five 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
park review stars; one to five 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
park review stars; one to five Laurel Hill State Park is Excellent! Something for Everyone.
write a review
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Pioneer Park Campground
273 Trent Road
Somerset, PA
Woodland Campsites Incorporated
291 Gilmour Road
Somerset, PA
Hickory Hollow Campground
176 Big Hickory Road
Rockwood, PA
Scottyland Resort
1618 Barron Church Road
Rockwood, PA
Mountain Pines Camping Resort
1662 Indian Creek Valley Road
Champion, PA
Roaring Run Resort
194 Tannery Road
Champion, PA
Yogi Bear's Jellystone ParkT
839 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA
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
Barron's at the Springs
843 Blue Hole Rd
Champion, PA
(814) 352-7884
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
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 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
Cottages 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.
34.6 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

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.

state route ranger badge

Pennsylvania State Parks