Exploring Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County

Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County Pennsylvania.

Kettle Creek State Park is a remarkable 1,793 acre oasis situated in the Kettle Creek Valley and surrounded by the Sproul State Forest in Clinton County.

Looking north at Kettle Creek Reservoir.
View to the north at Kettle Creek Reservoir.

At the heart of the park lies Kettle Creek Reservoir, a 167 acre / 2.2 mile-long lake formed by the construction of the Alvin Bush Dam as a flood control project and completed in 1962.

View of Kettle Creek Reservoir from Kettle CReek Vista in the Sproul State Forest.
View of Kettle Creek Reservoir from Kettle Creek Vista in the Sproul State Forest.

How to Find Kettle Creek State Park

Kettle Creek State Park is located approximately 12 miles northwest of Renovo in Clinton County.

Map to Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County Pennsylvania.
Map to Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County.

From Route 120 west of Renovo, turn onto Kettle Creek Road and follow it 7 miles to the park.

Kettle Creek State Park entrance sign.
Kettle Creek State Park entrance sign.

History of Kettle Creek State Park

The original portions of the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s near the present-day lower campground, which backs to Kettle Creek.

The lower camping area backing to Kettle Creek at Kettle Creek State Park.
The lower camping area backing to Kettle Creek at Kettle Creek State Park.

In 1962 the US Army Corps of Engineers completed the Alvin Bush Dam as part of a flood control project, and the area above the dam was subsequently developed for recreation.

Alvin Bush Dam sign at Kettle Creek State Park.
Alvin Bush Dam sign at Kettle Creek State Park.

Alvin Bush Dam at Kettle Creek State Park

The Alvin Bush Dam stands at a maximum height of 165 feet above the Kettle Creek stream bed and is 1,350 feet across.

The Alvin Bush Dam on Kettle Creek in Clinton County Pennsylvania.
The Alvin Bush Dam on Kettle Creek in Clinton County

A roadside observation area near the dam provides a panoramic view of the structure, and is also the site of a memorial to the first settlers of European descent to build on this site in 1813.

Memorial to the Pfoutz family who settled on land near present-day Kettle Creek State Park in 1813.
Memorial to the Pfoutz family who settled on land near present-day Kettle Creek State Park in 1813.

The Best Things to Do at Kettle Creek State Park

Not surprisingly, boating and fishing are two of the most popular pastimes at Kettle Creek State Park.

Boating is a popular pastime at Kettle Creek State Park.
Boating is a popular pastime at Kettle Creek State Park.

There are also playgrounds, picnic areas, and some terrific vantage points to watch the resident bald eagles fish for their next meal.

Kettle Creek State Park near Renovo.
Kettle Creek State Park near Renovo.

Scenic Vistas near Kettle Creek State Park

While technically part of the adjacent Sproul State Forest, Kettle Creek Vista is a popular destination for park visitors.

Springtime view of Kettle Creek State Park from Kettle Creek Vista.
Springtime view of Kettle Creek State Park from Kettle Creek Vista.

Turning off of Kettle Creek Road (the main road through the park) near the upper campground will take you on a short drive to Kettle Creek Vista, as well as two other roadside scenic overlooks along the way.

Kettle Creek Vista directional sign at Kettle Creek State Park.
Kettle Creek Vista directional sign at Kettle Creek State Park.

The first roadside overlook you’ll pass is Sugar Camp Vista, an eastern view.

Sugar Camp Vista in the Sproul State Forest.
Sugar Camp Vista in the Sproul State Forest.

This will be followed by Cooks Run Vista, a western view.

Cooks Run Vista along Crawley Road in the Sproul State Forest.
Cooks Run Vista along Crawley Road in the Sproul State Forest.

Finally, you’ll reach the turn-off for Kettle Creek Vista.

Sign for Kettle CReek Vista in the Sproul State Forest.
Sign for Kettle Creek Vista in the Sproul State Forest.

Follow this road for a quarter-mile and the road dead-ends at the overlook.

The truly-roadside Kettle Creek Vista in the Sproul State Forest
The truly-roadside Kettle Creek Vista in the Sproul State Forest.

The view from Kettle Creek Vista is particularly exceptional in the fall.

Early October at Kettle Creek Vista in Clinton County.
Early October at Kettle Creek Vista in Clinton County.

Kettle Creek Vista also allows for a panoramic view of the Alvin Bush Dam and the Kettle Creek Reservoir behind it.

View of the Alvin Bush Dam from Kettle Creek Vista in Clinton County.
View of the Alvin Bush Dam from Kettle Creek Vista in Clinton County.

Nearby Attractions

The 20 Best Scenic Overlooks in PA Elk Country will introduce you to plenty of additional scenic overlooks in the vicinity of Kettle Creek State Park.

Sinnemahoning Vista in the Clinton County portion of the Sproul State Forest.
Sinnemahoning Vista in the Clinton County portion of the Sproul State Forest.

Hyner View State Park, a mere 17 miles to the east in Clinton County, offers up some of the most famous views in central Pennsylvania.

Fall foliage views for miles at Hyner View State Park.
Fall foliage views for miles at Hyner View State Park.

Sinnemahoning State Park is located just west of Kettle Creek State Park, in Cameron and Potter counties.

Stevenson Dam Overlook at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County.
Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron and Potter counties.

Yost Run Falls in the Sproul State Forest is a picturesque spot in neighboring Centre County.

The author at Yost Run Falls on a spring day.
The author at Yost Run Falls on a spring day.

Ridge Road in neighboring Cameron County is home to six scenic roadside vistas within a three mile stretch of road!

Square Timber Vista along Ridge Road in Cameron County Pennsylvania.
Square Timber Vista along Ridge Road in Cameron County.

Austin Dam Memorial Park in neighboring Potter County is the site of the second-deadliest flood in Pennsylvania history.

Freeman Run passing through the ruins of Austin Dam in Potter County PA.
Freeman Run passing through the ruins of Austin Dam in Potter County.

The Fred Woods Trail in Cameron County is one of the most famous hikes in the PA Wilds for a reason – two outstanding vistas and a boulder maze that has to be seen to be believed!

The author in one of the canyons formed by massive rock formations along the Fred Woods Trail.
The author in one of the canyons formed by massive rock formations along the Fred Woods Trail in Cameron County.

Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups about the best things to see and do in Pennsylvania.

Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media!


Pennsylvania’s Best Travel Blog!

Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for these elegant photographs. It is so good to see the Kettle Creek area in the different seasons from different perspectives. Simeon and Susannah Pfoutz, the first white settlers on Kettle Creek in the early 1800’s, were my 3rd great grandparents. At present, I’m writing a novel based on their story. I am not physically able to return to PA to explore, in person, that beautiful area of the state, where they had the courage to carve out a home, so long ago. Your photos are very helpful. Thank you for seeing the value of that area. Blessings, Sandra Peasley Bush

    • That’s a fascinating historic family link you have there to the area, and if the photos in any way help inspire your writing, then I am truly grateful for that. The first settlers in areas like the Kettle Creek Gorge were truly tenacious folks!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here