Hiking in the USA
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Raymond B. Winter State Park

Raymond B. Winter State Park | Hiking in the USA | Scoop.it

Picnicking: About 150 picnic tables are dispersed throughout the park. Charcoal grills, drinking water fountains, restrooms, horseshoe pits, play areas, and other park facilities are within easy access from picnic areas. Three separate picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Make a reservation.

Swimming: The swimming beach features 300 feet of white sand and is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. The beach area includes restrooms, dressing facilities, a beach volleyball court and a children’s play area.

A seasonal food and refreshment concession is at the beach house. The limited menu includes hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cold drinks and ice cream.

Fishing: The park is a coldwater fishery, stocked with brown, rainbow and brook trout. With the exception of the swimming area, the lake and its tributary streams are open to public fishing. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks the lake and Rapid Run regularly during the season. Many anglers gather near the sandstone dam or the fishing pier.

Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Hunting and Firearms: About 487 acres of R.B. Winter State Park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, bear, wild turkey, woodcock, squirrel and grouse.

Bald Eagle State Forest are also available for hunting and trapping.

Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer or leased campsite. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are within the park.

Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

Hiking: 6.3 miles of trails
The hiking trails pass through a variety of terrains with only short stretches of steep inclines. Trails within the park are marked and maintained, but a map and proper attire are recommended for personal comfort and safety. Many of the park’s trails connect with trails in the surrounding Bald Eagle State Forest, making R.B. Winter an ideal starting point for backpacking trips. Map and trail information for R.B. Winter and Bald Eagle State Forest are available at the park office.

Bake Oven Trail: 0.96 miles, most difficult hiking
This trail runs in conjunction with the Mid State Trail and takes hikers along the ridge top and through areas of mountain laurel and chestnut oak.

Boiling Spring Trail:1.41 miles, easiest hiking
This trail follows the waterline originally installed by the CCC. Hikers can enjoy dense mountain laurel and ferns en route to the original CCC springhouse.

Brush Hollow Trail: 0.73 mile, more difficult hiking
This trail runs in conjunction with the Mid State Trail on the park’s southern border.

Old Boundary Trail: 0.77 mile, easiest hiking
This trail connects Bake Oven Trail and Sand Mountain Road. Hikers cross scenic Halfway Run and its nearby wetland area.

Overlook Trail: 0.33 mile, more difficult hiking
This short, steep trail starts on Sand Mountain Road and climbs through an oak and maple forest to an overlook 300 feet above the park, then continues onto state forest property.

Rapid Run Nature Trail: 1.09 miles, easiest hiking
This scenic trail loops through the Rapid Run Natural Area. The old growth hemlock and white pine trees shade wetlands, springs and sphagnum bogs.

West Boundary Trail: 0.64 mile, most difficult hiking
Stretches of steep, rocky terrain make a rugged, yet scenic hike.

Mid State Trail: 250 miles, most difficult hiking
The park is a middle trailhead for central Pennsylvania’s Mid State Trail. Stretching from Bedford County in the south to Tioga County in the north, this wilderness footpath mostly covers public lands as it passes through state forests, state parks and game lands. The remote and isolated trail is excellent for backpacking trips.

Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is permitted on designated trails. R.B. Winter State Park provides access to 25 off-road mountain bike trails located in Bald Eagle State Forest. Riders will find over 48 miles of trails with nearly 100 miles of connecting forestry roads. The Central Mountains Shared-Use Trail System brochure provides general information about a number of the trails. The brochure also contains a map showing trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Maps are available at the park office and the mountain bike trailhead in the main parking lot.

Stay the Night

Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
The 58-site campground accommodates tents, trailers and motor homes. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, lantern holder and a fire ring. Most campsites have electric hook-ups. The campground provides showers, hand washing facilities, a sanitary dump station, drinking water and a playground. All campsites are completely shaded, close to a playfield, and within easy walking distance to all other park facilities. Open from the second Friday in April until mid-December, the sites differ slightly in elevation and scenery. Pets are permitted on designated sites.

Explore the campground map.

Explore camping for more information.

Make a reservation.

Free Camping for Campground Hosts: one host position
The campground host site has amenities that include 50-amp electric service and water hookup. The host is required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week with a two-week minimum stay. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

Camping Cottages: The three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, skylights, porch, picnic table, fire ring, electric lights and outlets, and a small baseboard heater. The cottages require a two-night minimum stay with advance reservations. A one-night stay is accepted for walk-ins.

Make a reservation.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing: Five miles of park trails provide easy skiing and snowshoeing with connecting trails and roads on surrounding state forest land.

Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles are permitted on designated park roads which lead to over 300 miles of roads and trails in the Bald Eagle State Forest. Trailhead facilities at the park include restrooms, garbage cans, parking and unloading areas. Conditions permitting, daily snowmobiling begins after deer season in December until April 1. Maps and information are available at the park office.

Ice Fishing: The ice on Halfway Lake is not monitored so be sure the ice is four inches thick and carry safety equipment.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

R.B. Winter State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs on a year-round basis. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward the natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools, youth organizations and homeschool associations. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the park office. Popular topics for students include adaptations, bird life, amphibians, reptiles, geology, wetland or forest ecosystems, watersheds and aquatic studies.

Teacher workshops are available on the Bureau of State Parks curriculum Watershed Education. Other educator workshop topics include schoolyard habitat, songbird education, and environmental education and children’s literature.

Several special events including a history day and the winter Snowfest are conducted each year. The “Halfway Herald” includes a schedule of upcoming programs and activities and is available from the park office or learning center.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.

Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.

Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center/Sheary-Linn Amphitheater: Equipped with many educational tools, the center is a classroom and base for educational programs. It features a hands-on science area, a computer center with environmental software, a library of field guides, classic environmental works and children’s books, and displays of native wildlife. Visitors can test their knowledge of lumber on the Wall of Woods display. Others can enjoy sitting at the center’s observation window listening to birds gathered at the microphone-equipped feeding station. Large porches provide opportunities to relax and enjoy the surrounding forest scenery. Near the center is the Sheary-Linn Amphitheater where outdoor interpretive programs are presented.

Access for People with Disabilities

If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

 

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