The 968-acre Parker Dam State Park near Penfield offers old-fashioned charm and plenty outdoor fun! The park encompasses miles of trails used for hiking, biking, and more; a scenic lake and beach area; as well as cabins and a campground, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing vacation. Situated in Moshannon State Forest, the remote park is almost entirely wooded. On a hike, one might come across an elusive elk, or a patch of tornado-ravaged woods.
Things to do
Parker Dam State Parks offers 16 miles of hiking trails for adventurers to choose from. Many of the trails pass through the state park, continuing into the Moshannon State Forest. Hikers can choose to hike through tornado-struck sections of the park, to nearby streams, or through hardwood forests.
Mountain bikers can find excitement on Beaver Dam Trail, Skunk Trail, and Fairview Road. These multi-use trails lead to many more miles of mountain biking trails in the surrounding Moshannon State Forest.
The sand beach at Parker Dam State Park is open from late-May to mid-September until sunset. The water depth reaches five feet at the buoy line. Rules are posted at the beach. Memorial Day through Labor Day, a food and refreshment concession and camp store are open daily, weather permitting.
Cast a line
The 20-acre Parker Lake and trout streams are popular with anglers throughout the year. Brook trout are stocked during the spring, fall, and winter. Common species include trout, largemouth bass, bluegill and brown bullhead catfish. Ice fishing is permitted in the winter (when trout are most often caught!).
During established hunting seasons, about 807 acres of land at Parker Dam State Park are open to hunting, trapping and dog training. Common game species are deer, turkey, grouse, bear, rabbit and squirrel.
Parker Dam State Park offers a variety of lodging options for travelers and overnight guests, including 16 rustic cabins with running water that are ADA accessible and can be rented year-round; the "Tyler Cabin," an octagonal
log cabin that features electric heat, a stone fireplace, and ceiling fans; and camping.
In addition to ice fishing, Parker Dam State Park provides plenty of outdoor fun in the wintertime. Families can spend the day sledding on the toboggan run near the boat rental area or on the larger sledding hill on Mud Run Road. An ice skating area is often maintained at the swimming area. Bring your registered snowmobile to the park to gain access to the trail system on adjacent state forest land (after deer season December until April 1). Ski trails are maintained on Beaver Dam, Souders, CCC, and Skunk trails; and snowshoes can be used throughout the park.