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General Information

Penn Roosevelt State Park
Copyright: Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Penn Roosevelt State Park
Description - Penn Roosevelt State Park did not exist until June 5, 1933 when members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived to set up a work camp during the height of the Great Depression. The camp at Penn Roosevelt was first known as Camp Number S-62 Stone Creek Kettle. The CCC of the 1930's was segregated and the camp at Stone Creek Kettle was one of only 12 African American camps in Pennsylvania. Corps members lived at the camp and constructed recreational facilities in the area including a 195 foot log-crib dam which has since been stone-faced. They also built many of the surrounding forestry roads and trails. Ruins of the camp can still be found.

For many years, Penn Roosevelt was a State Forest Picnic Area and in 1983, it was officially designated as Penn Roosevelt State Park; a beautiful park located in the scenic Seven Mountains area of Pennsylvania.

The Mid State Trail bisects the park and provides backpacking opportunities in the Ridge and Valley Province. Extensive state forest trails provide hikers with a variety of habitats, wildlife and many scenic vistas. Horseback riders will enjoy the Thickhead Mountain Road, leading west from the park. It is closed to motor vehicles and along with the connecting Detweiler Road, makes an excellent trail ride. These trails are available for cross-country skiing during the snowy winter months.

The small lake at the confluence of Sassafras Run and Standing Stone Creek offer lakeside picnicking and nearby camping.

Attractions - At the turn of the century, large railroad logging operations were in progress in the Seven Mountains area with the hillsides and hollows receiving a "lumberman's shave" typical of the day. During the summer, Reichley Brothers, a logging company, ran a 39-mile holiday excursion train carrying up to 210 passengers, mostly from Lewistown. The trip began at Milroy, traveled to Poe Mills, to Thickhead Mountain, through the Stone Creek Kettle and back to Milroy by way of Laurel Creek. One of the hardest climbs was at Stone Gap, just south of the main park area. These logging company properties were later sold to the Commonwealth in large tracts, forming the bulk of the Rothrock State Forest. Many of the railroad grades were later used as a base for the state forest roads and observant visitors can still find some of the grades.

Penn Roosevelt State Park did not exist until June 5, 1933 when members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived to set up a work camp during the height of the Great Depression. The camp at Penn Roosevelt was first known as Camp Number S-62 Stone Creek Kettle. The CCC of the 1930's was segregated and the camp at Stone Creek Kettle was one of only 12 African American camps in Pennsylvania. Corps members lived at the camp and constructed recreational facilities in the area including a 195 foot log-crib dam which has since been stone-faced. They also built many of the surrounding forestry roads and trails. Ruins of the camp can still be found.

For many years, Penn Roosevelt was a State Forest Picnic Area and in 1983, it was officially designated as Penn Roosevelt State Park.

Recreation - Penn Roosevelt State Park is a beautiful park located in the scenic Seven Mountains area of Pennsylvania.

The Mid State Trail bisects the park and provides backpacking opportunities in the Ridge and Valley Province. Extensive state forest trails provide hikers with a variety of habitats, wildlife and many scenic vistas. Horseback riders will enjoy the Thickhead Mountain Road, leading west from the park. It is closed to motor vehicles and along with the connecting Detweiler Road, makes an excellent trail ride. These trails are available for cross-country skiing during the snowy winter months.

The small lake at the confluence of Sassafras Run and Standing Stone Creek offer lakeside picnicking and nearby camping.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Penn Roosevelt State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 22 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -4 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - Penn Roosevelt State Park is located in the center of Pennsylvania. The park can be reached easily from U.S. Route 322 just .5 mile east of Potters Mills (where 322 changes from 2 to 4 lanes) turn south onto Crowfield Road (six miles to park) or further east, turn south, (near the runaway truck ramp) onto Stone Creek Road (also six miles to park). Penn Roosevelt can also be reached from Greenwood Furnace State Park. Turn onto Black Lick Road at the park office. Follow the Penn Roosevelt signs (12 miles to the park). To make finding the park easier and your visit more enjoyable, obtain a copy of the Rothrock State Forest Public Use Map from Greenwood Furnace State Park or the Bureau of Forestry office in Huntingdon.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: William Ames (State College, PA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I've hiked the Mid State Trail for about 3 miles, in and out, in both directions from Penn Roosevelt, and I'll describe the eastern hike first. This hike takes you from PRSP to Route 322 and the Seven Mountains Roadside Rest. While this trail is *very* rocky, it does offer some nice views of Nittany Ridge, and it is one of the few hikes I've taken in this region when I did not encounter anybody other than my hiking partner. This section of trail is rather rugged, rivalling the most rocky section of the AT, so bring trekking poles and some trusted boots. I tore my achilles tendon while hiking it, and that wasn't fun. The trail has excellent signage and is moderately well maintained. One of the features of the hike is the 'TriCo' USGS triangualtion marker where Centre, Mifflin and Huntingdon Counties intersect. Another interesting point is the remaining section of the Bellefonte Lewistown Pike, a 19th century thoroughfare that you encounter after passing through a tunnel underneath route 322.,which is a very cool experience. The western route is quite different from the eastern side of the MST. This section enters the Thickhead Natural Area, and towering poplars and giant rhododendrons mark some of the flora you'll see. The Reichley Brothers Tram Road is an ankle-busting remnatnt of the railroad that stripped the area of trees during the hey-day of coke fired furnaces, and while it is easy to follow, it is very hard on the feet. Make sure you have thick soles so you feet don't turn into hamburger. The natural area is almost surreal, rivaling the more popular Alan Seeger Natural Area in quasi-medieval beauty. If you are a bit more daring than I, you can hike all the way to Bear Meadows, but I think that's pushing a day hike to the extreme, and you could drive right up to it if you want to see it. I ran into a bunch of people on thsi section, so if it's solitude you're looking for, maybe you'd like to try the other side :-) For a trail guide and map, either use the Mid State Trail guide, or check the online maps at hikepa.com.


Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing The roads to the park are not plowed in the winter. Cross-country skiing is permitted and snowmobiling commences the day after the close of antlerless deer season. Many miles of surrounding state forest roads are open for joint use by the snowmobiles and licensed motor vehicles.
Yes
ICON Snowmobiling The roads to the park are not plowed in the winter. Cross-country skiing is permitted and snowmobiling commences the day after the close of antlerless deer season. Many miles of surrounding state forest roads are open for joint use by the snowmobiles and licensed motor vehicles.
Yes


More Information

Contact Information:
Penn Roosevelt State Park, c/o Greenwood Furnace State Park, R.R. 2, Box 118 , Huntingdon, PA, 16652-9006, Phone: 814-667-1800
, greenwood@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.
Valleys of the Susquehanna Area - The beautiful Susquehanna River winds through fertile valleys surrounded by forest covered ridges. Anglers can explore the world-class smallmouth bass fishing in the river or Penns Creek which is known as one of the best trout streams in America.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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