elk state park

Elk State Park: Explore PA

Welcome to Elk State Park, a stunning nature reserve located in the heart of Pennsylvania. With its abundant wildlife, scenic beauty, and a wide range of outdoor activities, Elk State Park is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and families alike. Whether you’re looking to hike through serene trails, observe majestic elk in their natural habitat, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings, this park has something for everyone.

As a Pennsylvania nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary, Elk State Park offers a truly immersive experience into the wonders of the great outdoors. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you explore the park’s vast hiking trails, offering breathtaking views and opportunities to spot diverse wildlife along the way. From the soaring bald eagles to the graceful deer, there’s always a chance for an unforgettable encounter.

Camping facilities within the park provide the perfect opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level. Spend your nights under the starry sky, surrounded by the peaceful sounds of the wilderness. Wake up to the sight of elk grazing in the distance and embark on a day filled with outdoor adventures and unforgettable memories.

Elk sightings are one of the most popular attractions in the park. These magnificent creatures roam freely, allowing visitors to witness their grace and power up close. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply a nature lover, capturing the beauty of these majestic animals in their natural habitat is an experience that will stay with you forever.

With its scenic beauty and family-friendly atmosphere, Elk State Park is an ideal destination for a getaway with your loved ones. Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, bond with your family over outdoor activities, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elk State Park is a picturesque nature reserve located in Pennsylvania.
  • The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife spotting, and camping facilities.
  • Visitors have the opportunity to witness elk in their natural habitat, providing a truly memorable experience.
  • The park’s scenic beauty and family-friendly atmosphere make it a perfect destination for all nature enthusiasts.
  • Mak sure to explore the hiking trails, capture stunning photographs, and create lifelong memories at Elk State Park.

Essential Information

Elk State Park

When planning a visit to Elk State Park, there are a few essential details to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. From directions to swimming regulations, accessibility, and emergency contacts, here’s everything you need to know:


Elk State Park is conveniently located and easily accessible by car. If you’re coming from Wilcox, you can take SR 1006 to reach the park. Alternatively, if you’re coming from Clermont, you can take SR 1001. Both routes provide scenic drives and bring you to the heart of Elk State Park.

Swimming Regulations

While Elk State Park offers a magnificent lake, swimming is not permitted for safety reasons. However, if you’re looking to cool off on a hot day, Bendigo State Park, located about 13 miles away, provides a swimming pool for visitors to enjoy.


Elk State Park strives to be accessible to all visitors. The park is ADA accessible, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can navigate and enjoy the park’s facilities. If you require any specific accommodations, please reach out to park staff who will be more than happy to assist you.

Emergency Contacts

While we hope your visit to Elk State Park goes smoothly, it’s always important to be prepared for emergencies. In case of any urgent situations, you can contact park employees who are trained to handle various situations. Additionally, if the situation requires immediate medical attention, please dial 911. The nearest hospital, Penn Highlands Elk, is located in Johnsonburg.

As you plan your trip to Elk State Park, ensure you have the necessary directions, understand the swimming regulations, are aware of the park’s accessibility features, and have the emergency contacts handy. By having this essential information at your disposal, you can make the most of your visit to this beautiful nature reserve.

Park Highlights

scenic beauty

One of the main highlights of Elk State Park is the 1,160-acre East Branch Lake, which offers a multitude of recreational opportunities. This stunning lake is perfect for fishing and boating, providing enthusiasts with a tranquil setting to enjoy their favorite water activities. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice looking to cast a line, East Branch Lake is stocked with warmwater and coldwater fish, ensuring a rewarding fishing experience.

Beyond fishing and boating, Elk State Park is a haven for wildlife watching. With its diverse ecosystem, visitors have the chance to spot elk and other fascinating animals in their natural habitat. The park’s commitment to preserving wildlife makes it a prime location for nature enthusiasts and photographers to capture captivating moments.

Aside from its abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities, Elk State Park also boasts unparalleled scenic beauty. Surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests, the park offers picturesque views that are a treat for the eyes and a source of inspiration for visitors.


Hiking at Elk State Park

When visiting Elk State Park, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained and immersed in nature. Whether you prefer hiking, wildlife photography, bird-watching, or simply enjoying a picnic, this park has something for everyone.

For hiking enthusiasts, the park features several well-marked trails that wind through its breathtaking landscapes. Explore the diverse flora and fauna while immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are trails suitable for all levels of experience.

If you have an interest in wildlife photography, Elk State Park offers excellent opportunities to capture stunning images of the park’s diverse wildlife. From majestic elk to colorful birds, the park’s rich biodiversity provides endless possibilities for capturing nature’s beauty through the lens of your camera.

Bird-watchers will also be delighted by the variety of bird species that call Elk State Park home. Grab your binoculars and spot unique avian species in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for elusive birds and appreciate the tranquility of the park as you immerse yourself in the world of bird-watching.

For a more relaxed outdoor activity, take advantage of the park’s designated picnic areas. Settle down with your picnic basket, surrounded by the peaceful ambiance of nature. Enjoy a leisurely meal with loved ones as you take in the scenic beauty that Elk State Park has to offer.

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Elk State Park invites you to partake in a variety of activities that cater to different interests and preferences. Discover the wonders of this Pennsylvania nature reserve, where hiking, wildlife photography, bird-watching, and picnicking create unforgettable moments in the heart of nature.


Accommodations in Elk State Park

When it comes to accommodations, Elk State Park offers a range of options to suit every visitor’s needs. Whether you prefer camping, RVing, or a cozy cabin stay, you’ll find it all right here.

Camping Facilities

For those who enjoy the rustic charm of camping, the park provides well-maintained tent sites that allow you to fully immerse yourself in nature’s embrace. Each site offers a serene setting, allowing you to relax and rejuvenate amidst the beautiful surroundings.

If you’re traveling in an RV, Elk State Park has got you covered. You’ll find spacious RV sites with electric hookups, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay. So kick back, unwind, and enjoy all the comforts of home while reveling in the natural beauty of the park.


If you’re seeking a more cozy and luxurious experience, Elk State Park features charming cabins that offer a perfect blend of comfort and tranquility. These cabins are available for reservation and provide a home away from home, allowing you to relax and unwind in a peaceful setting.


During your stay, Elk State Park ensures that all necessary amenities are provided to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. The park offers clean and well-maintained restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, ensuring that you have all the conveniences you need to feel comfortable throughout your stay.

Accommodation Description
Camping Facilities – Tent sites
RV sites with electric hookups
Cabins – Cozy and charming
– Available for reservation
Amenities – Restrooms
– Showers
– Laundry facilities

Whether you prefer camping under the stars, enjoying the convenience of an RV, or indulging in a cabin stay, Elk State Park has the perfect accommodations for your getaway. Rest assured, your stay will be comfortable, enjoyable, and surrounded by the stunning beauty of Pennsylvania’s natural landscape.

Exploring the Area

Nearby Attractions

Elk State Park is situated near the charming community of Wilcox, providing visitors with easy access to a variety of attractions in the surrounding area. One of the notable landmarks nearby is the beautiful Clarion River, which offers scenic views and recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts.

A short distance away from Elk State Park, you’ll find Bendigo State Park. This neighboring state park is a hidden gem, featuring a serene lake and picturesque hiking trails. It’s an ideal destination for outdoor recreation, whether you want to go fishing, paddleboarding, or simply take in the breathtaking views.

Another nearby attraction worth visiting is Kinzua Bridge State Park. Known for its fascinating history, this park is home to the remains of the Kinzua Viaduct, once one of the world’s tallest railroad bridges. Today, visitors can walk across the stunning Skywalk, offering panoramic views of the Kinzua Gorge.

Exploring the area surrounding Elk State Park provides a unique opportunity to delve into the region’s rich history and witness the natural beauty that Pennsylvania has to offer. From the tranquil waters of Clarion River to the hidden gems of Bendigo State Park and the historical marvels at Kinzua Bridge State Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Services and Facilities

Elk State Park offers a range of services and facilities to ensure visitors have a memorable and enjoyable experience. At the park’s visitor center, you can find all the information you need to plan your visit. Knowledgeable staff members are available to provide details about the park’s attractions, activities, and amenities. They can also provide maps that will guide you through the park’s scenic trails and points of interest.

In addition to the visitor center, Elk State Park partners with local tourism organizations to enhance your stay. These tourism partners offer valuable tips, itineraries, and recommendations to help you make the most of your time at the park. Whether you’re interested in hiking, wildlife photography, or exploring nearby attractions, these partners can provide insider knowledge and expert advice to enhance your experience.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, Elk State Park’s visitor center and tourism partners are here to assist you. Stop by the visitor center to gather information, grab a map, and receive personalized recommendations from friendly staff members. With their help, you’ll be able to create an itinerary that suits your interests and make the most of your visit to Elk State Park.


How large is Elk State Park?

Elk State Park spans 3,192 acres of rugged mountains in northern Pennsylvania.

What can I expect to see at Elk State Park?

Elk State Park is a wildlife sanctuary, making it an ideal place to spot elk and other animals in their natural habitat. The park is also known for its scenic beauty, offering picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

What outdoor activities are available at Elk State Park?

Elk State Park offers a range of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, boating, wildlife watching, and picnicking. There are also camping facilities available for overnight stays.

How do I get to Elk State Park?

To reach Elk State Park, you can take SR 1006 from Wilcox or SR 1001 from Clermont.

Is swimming allowed in the lake at Elk State Park?

No, swimming is not permitted in the lake at Elk State Park. However, Bendigo State Park, located about 13 miles away, offers a swimming pool for visitors.

Is Elk State Park accessible for visitors with disabilities?

Yes, Elk State Park is ADA accessible, and accommodations can be made for visitors with disabilities.

What should I do in case of an emergency at Elk State Park?

In case of an emergency, visitors can contact park employees or dial 911. The nearest hospital, Penn Highlands Elk, is located in Johnsonburg.

Can I fish or boat at East Branch Lake in Elk State Park?

Yes, East Branch Lake at Elk State Park is a popular spot for fishing and boating. The lake is stocked with warmwater and coldwater fish, providing ample opportunities for anglers.

What activities can I enjoy at Elk State Park besides hiking?

Besides hiking, visitors to Elk State Park can also engage in activities such as wildlife photography, bird-watching, and picnicking.

What types of accommodations are available at Elk State Park?

Elk State Park offers camping facilities with tent sites and RV sites with electric hookups. For a more comfortable stay, cabins are also available for reservation. Restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities are provided for the convenience of visitors.

What attractions are there to explore near Elk State Park?

Near Elk State Park, you can explore the charming community of Wilcox and the beautiful Clarion River. There are also nearby state parks, such as Bendigo State Park and Kinzua Bridge State Park, that offer additional opportunities for outdoor recreation and sightseeing.

What services and facilities are available at Elk State Park?

Elk State Park provides a visitor center where visitors can gather information about the park, obtain maps, and learn about the local area. Tourism partners in the region also offer on-the-ground tips, itineraries, and more to help visitors plan their trip and make the most of their time at Elk State Park.

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