Blue Knob State Park
Blue Knob State Park is year-round wilderness adventure consisting of 5,614 acres of woodland. The park is located in the northwestern tip of Bedford County, west of US Route 220/I-99. The elevation of the park will cause air temperatures to be several degrees cooler than the surrounding cities. The annual snowfall averages about 12 feet. One of the unique features of the park is the solitude it provides the visitor. There are many opportunities to enjoy the quiet and refreshing serenity of the mountains and streams.
The park attracts people who enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities during all seasons of the year. Some facilities close at the end of the summer season, but other areas are open for use year-round.
Swimming: A guarded swimming pool is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. Pool depth ranges from 3-5 feet. Week day and evening use is recommended. No diving is permitted at the pool for visitor safety.
Picnicking: Almost 200 tables are available for use in three areas. Six picnic shelters are located in the day-use areas and may be reserved in advance by contacting the park office.
Hiking: An extensive system of trails with a variety of topography and scenic vistas make hiking quite popular. There are 17 miles of trails in the park, leading through changing timber types, across cool, shade-hidden mountain streams and occasionally passing by pioneer homestead sites which are slowly yielding to the forces of nature. This park contains many acres of rugged, forested land. Please come prepared by wearing adequate foot protection and clothing to meet terrain conditions and sudden weather changes. When the temperature drops, wind chill factors can prove deadly to those not wearing appropriate clothing.
strongOrganized Group Camp: One camp, with a 100-person capacity, is available for overnight use from May to September. The group camp offers sleeping quarters, bathroom and shower facilities and a large dining hall/kitchen complex. Rental periods may be as short as one night. A reservation system is based on priority for youth, length of stay and number of people.
Fishing: Trout fishing enthusiasts find excitement in fishing Bob's Creek and its tributaries. Streams within the park contain native brook trout along with stocked trout placed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and a cooperative nursery program operated by the Pavia Sportsmen Association and the park. Fishing is good April through June and in early fall. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.
Hunting: Over 5,000 acres are open to hunting during established Pennsylvania Game Commission hunting seasons. With the exception of: 1) hunting of woodchucks also known as groundhogs is prohibited and 2) dog training is only permitted form the day following Labor day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. Hunting is not permitted in the park during the summer season. Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations are in effect for all activities in the park. Wild turkey, deer, squirrel and grouse are major species.
The park is adjacent to the 12,000-acre State Game Lands No. 26. A combination of public lands provide many recreational opportunities for the hunting enthusiast and offer both easily accessible areas along with several walk-in areas. All "No Hunting" areas are posted. A topographic map of park land is available from the park office. No permanent tree stands are permitted on public lands!
Backpacking: Lost Turkey Trail, constructed in 1977 by the Youth Conservation Corps, is a 17-mile trail traversing state park, state forest and game lands and private lands. Distance markers have been installed at one kilometer intervals to assist the hiker in knowing their exact location. Hikers are advised to secure maps and information on parking areas, trail conditions and regulations. Many people use sections of this trail for day hikes.
Family Campground: Forty-two (42) tent and trailer sites are found in the Family Camping Area, which is open from the second Friday in April to the third Sunday in October. Water, a sanitary dump station and rustic toilet facilities are available. Five sites are available with electrical hook-ups. Sites are located in open field and wooded areas. Playground equipment is available for children. A campground host is usually in attendance during peak activity days.
Horseback Riding: Equestrian trails are available for horseback riding. Unloading areas are across from the campground entrance at Chappels Field. Horseback riding is permitted along the right hand side of park roads. Caution must be noted as horseback riding trails traverse through park lands open to hunting during the hunting season. All groups conducting trail rides through park lands must secure a special use agreement.
Mountain Bikes: Several of the parks multi-use trails have been designated for mountain bike use. For the beginner biker, Chappels Field Trail is a good challenge. For the more experienced, Three Springs Trail is an intermediate ride. Note: Three Springs Trail is also open to horseback riding. Please be considerate of other trail users. For the more experienced and expert mountain biker, Crist Ridge Trail, Rock`N'Ridge Trail and portions of Mountain View Trail are available. Note: Mountain View Trail from the Willow Springs Day-Use Area to its juncture with Three Springs Trail is closed to mountain biking.
Ski Blue Knob: The park leases the downhill skiing area to Blue Knob Recreation, Inc., which operates one of the most challenging ski resorts in Pennsylvania. The area offers the highest vertical drop, 1,050 feet, in Pennsylvania. The ski area provides day and night skiing, with extensive snowmaking, and a total of four chair lifts ensure a fast return to the top of the mountain.
Cross-Country Skiing: The park has 17 miles of cross-country ski trails. A looped cross-country ski trail is available in the park for expert skiers.
For beginner skiers, Chappel's Fields Trail and the closed campground are recommended. For the beginning skier the use of service roads, closed roadways, and open areas is recommended. Weather conditions on the trails are usually ideal but skiers should use expert or mountain ski equipment.
The park is named after the majestic quartzite peak, Blue Knob. Blue Knob is the second highest point of land in the state at 3,146 feet above sea level, 67 feet less than Pennsylvania's tallest mountain, Mount Davis, in Somerset County. The views from Blue Knob are spectacular, since Blue Knob is situated on a spur of the Allegheny Front overlooking the scenic Ridge and Valley Province to the east. Unique photo opportunities are available during low humidity weather and with changes of season.
From East or West: Take Pennsylvania Turnpike to Bedford, Exit 11. North on Rt. 220/I-99 to 869 West (at Osterburg). Follow 869 to Pavia, then follow signs through Pavia to park. From North: Take Rt. 220/I-99 South to Newry. Turn right and go straight through to northern entrance sign to park.
From South: Take I-70 West to Breezewood, then 30 West to Bedford. Then North on Rt. 220/I-99 to 869 West (at Osterburg). Follow 869 West to Pavia and then follow signs through Pavia to park.
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