Moraine State Park in Lawrence County


Resting amid the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, Moraine State Park offers an idyllic blend of nature, recreation, and conservation. With its 16,725 acres featuring a glacial landscape, the park provides an array of activities all year round. Its centerpiece, Lake Arthur, adds a sparkling beauty to the park and serves as a hub for water-based recreational activities.

Natural Splendor and Unique Landscape

The park owes its name and unique landscape to the glacial formations or “moraines” left behind from the last Ice Age. The park’s diverse habitats – including forests, wetlands, and grasslands – host an abundant array of wildlife, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

Moraine State Park History

Moraine State Park’s history is steeped in engineering marvels and natural wonders. The park’s centerpiece, Lake Arthur, was formed in the 1940s with the construction of the Muddy Creek Dam, a New Deal project aimed at providing water supply and flood control for Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas. In the 1960s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the land and established the park in 1970.

The park’s name pays homage to the glacial moraines left behind by ancient ice sheets, creating a unique and diverse landscape. Over the years, the park has become a beloved destination, offering a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife opportunities, while preserving the region’s natural beauty and environmental heritage.

Water-Based Activities at Lake Arthur

Lake Arthur, a 3,225-acre man-made lake, is the heart of Moraine State Park. During the summer, the lake welcomes swimmers at two sandy beaches, Pleasant Valley Beach and Lakeview Beach. The lake is also a popular spot for boating, with several launch areas available for motorboats, sailboats, canoes, and kayaks.

For fishing enthusiasts, Lake Arthur is home to various species of fish, including bass, walleye, and northern pike, offering ample opportunities for a great catch.

Image via Flickr

Hiking and Biking Trails

Moraine State Park features an extensive network of trails, accommodating hikers and bikers of all skill levels. The trails wind through various natural habitats, offering scenic views and opportunities for wildlife spotting. One of the notable trails is the 6-mile paved bicycle trail that winds along the north shore of Lake Arthur.

Winter Activities

Winter transforms the park into a snowy playground, with activities such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. The park’s varied landscape provides an excellent backdrop for these winter sports.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

The park also features an environmental education program. The park offers guided walks, interpretive tours, and environmental education programs to school groups, scouts, and other interested groups. Through these programs, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the park’s natural and cultural history.

Moraine State Park North Country Trail
Image via Facebook

Moraine State Park stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of Pennsylvania’s natural landscape. Its wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, coupled with its dedication to conservation and environmental education, makes it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and families alike. Whether you’re taking a leisurely boat ride on Lake Arthur, hiking through lush forest trails, or learning about the region’s glacial past, Moraine State Park offers an outdoor experience that is both enriching and engaging.

Moraine State Park Swimming

The park surrounds Lake Arthur, a 3,225-acre man-made lake that serves as the focal point for various recreational activities, including swimming. However, swimming is only permitted at two beaches along the shore:

  • Lakeview Beach
  • The Pleasant Valley Beach

The park authorities place great importance on preserving the natural environment around Lake Arthur. Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, respecting the beauty of the area and minimizing their impact on the ecosystem.

Moraine State Park Boating

Moraine State Park has nine public boat launches, offering a delightful boating experience amidst the picturesque scenery of western Pennsylvania. Nestled around the serene waters of Lake Arthur, the park provides ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts of all kinds.

The park’s marinas offer boat rentals and amenities to ensure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

The Davis Hollow Marina offers motorboat fuel, a boat sanitary disposal facility, and seasonal mooring for about 700 vessels, while the Watts Bay Marina exclusively offers dry mooring for sailboats and catamarans.

Map of Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park Map
Image via the official website

Bike Rental at Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park offered bike rentals for visitors to enjoy cycling on the park’s trails and scenic roads. The bike rental service was available in the Lakeview Beach area, making it convenient for visitors to access the rental facilities and start their biking adventures.

Here are the bike services you can rent:

  • Single and multi-speed/geared bikes
  • Tag-a-longs
  • Children’s and tandem (two-person) bikes
  • Child seats
  • Helmets

Moraine State Park Hours

The park is open daily throughout the year from sunrise to sunset.

The park office is open from Monday through Friday only, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm, and on weekends during the summer.

Where is Moraine State Park?

Places to Stay Near Moraine State Park

Charming Cottage Retreat in Portersville – LaZy Oaks Cottage

Experience comfort at LaZy Oaks Cottage LLC, a snug retreat nestled near two scenic state parks, Moraine and McConnells Mill. Immerse yourself in outdoor adventures like hiking and more. Our…

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Unique and Personalized Cottage on a Hill – Portersville

Secluded Residence Just Moments Away from Moraine State Park and McConnell’s Mill State Park, offering a plethora of outdoor pursuits for nature enthusiasts. Serene flower garden, rear deck, and fireplace…

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Relaxing and Peaceful Home for a Getaway – The Mary Virginia

Unwind with your entire family at this serene abode, situated within a mile of Moraine State Park and mere minutes from McConnells Mill State Park. The Mary Virginia offers an…

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Tranquil Retreat Amidst the Woods – The Country House

Nestled within the woods, this apartment finds its place at the secluded end of a sprawling 15-acre gentleman equestrian farm. Just minutes away from Moraine State Park and McConnells Mills,…

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Slippery Rock Cabin – Near the Renowned McConnell’s Mill

Established in 1976 by James Hensel, Slippery Rock Cabin once served as the sales office and model for Western Penn Log Homes, a dealer for New England Log Homes. These…

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