Exploring Moraine State Park in Butler County

Crescent Bay Overlook on the South Shore of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.

Moraine State Park is a 16,725-acre recreational area located about an hour north of Pittsburgh in Butler County.

One of many boat docks on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
One of many boat docks on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.

Moraine State Park is named for its hilly deposits of gravel, sand and clay (moraines) that were deposited at the end of the last glacial period (about 12,500 years ago).

Moraine State Park sign near the South Shore park office.
Sign near the South Shore park office.

The centerpiece of Moraine State Park is 3,225 acre Lake Arthur, a man-made version of an even larger glacial lake that once existed in this same area thousands of years ago.

Lake Arthur Memorial Plaque at the Moraine State Park Office.
Edmund Watts Arthur Recognition Plaque outside the park office.

Lake Arthur features 42 miles of shoreline, as well as numerous boat launches, fishing jetties, and swimming areas.

Sailboats docked on shore at Lake Arthur.
Sailboats docked on shore at Lake Arthur.

Swimming at Moraine State Park

There are two “swim at your own risk” (no lifeguards) beaches along the shore of Lake Arthur – Lakeview Beach on the North Shore and Pleasant Valley Beach on the South Shore. 

Lakeview Beach on the North Shore of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
Overlooking Lakeview Beach on the North Shore of Lake Arthur.

Fishing at Moraine State Park

Lake Arthur is a warmwater fishery, stocked with muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish, and hybrid striped bass, in addition to northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, and crappies.

Fishing jetty on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
Fishing jetty on Lake Arthur.

Boating at Moraine State Park

Lake Arthur has nine public boat launches, and up to 20 horsepower motors are permitted.

Boat launch on the South Shore of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park in Butler County, PA.
Boat launch on the South Shore of Lake Arthur.

There is also a privately-owned/operated boat rental operation on the South Shore, featuring everything from kayaks to motorized pontoon boats.

 

Boat rental on the South Shore of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
Boat rental on the South Shore of Lake Arthur.

Hiking at Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park features 71 miles of hiking trails.

Sunken Garden Trail at Moraine State Park in Butler County, PA.
Sunken Garden Trail at Moraine State Park.

The Glacier Ridge Trail is one of my favorite trails at Moraine State Park.

The Glacier Ridge Trail at Moraine State Park in Butler County Pennsylvania.
The Glacier Ridge Trail.

If you choose to hike this trail, you’ll be following in the footsteps of a young George Washington, who passed through present day Moraine State Park in December 1753.

History of George Washington traversing what is now the Glacier Ridge Trail at Moraine State Park.
History of George Washington traversing what is now the Glacier Ridge Trail.

The Glacier Ridge Trail is even believed to have been a pathway for mastodons that inhabited Pennsylvania thousands of years ago!

Information about mastodons that once inhabited western Pennsylvania around present-day Moraine State Park.
Information about travel habits of mastodons that once inhabited western Pennsylvania around present-day Moraine State Park.

Picnicking at Moraine State Park

There are 7 picnic pavilions and 705 picnic tables located throughout Moraine State Park.

Picnic pavilion at Moraine State Park.
Picnic pavilion at Moraine State Park.

Directions to Moraine State Park

The Moraine State Park office is located on the South Shore of Lake Arthur, at 225 Pleasant Valley Road Portersville, PA 16051.

Park Office on the South Shore of Moraine State Park.
Park Office on the South Shore of Moraine State Park.

If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 40.939483, -80.097155 to find the park office.

A pier along the South Shore of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
A pier along the South Shore of Lake Arthur.

Nearby Attractions

McConnells Mill State Park, in neighboring Lawrence County, encompasses 2,546 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, which is a National Natural Landmark.

Rusty Glessner at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
The author at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

The park is home to a historic gristmill and covered bridge built in the 1800s.

McConnells Mill and Covered Bridge at McConnells Mill State Park.
McConnells Mill and Covered Bridge at McConnells Mill State Park.

Quaker Falls is a 50 foot-tall waterfall in the newly-created Quaker Falls Recreation Area in Lawrence County.

Downstream view of Quaker Falls, also known as Quakertown Falls in Lawrence County PA
Downstream view of Quaker Falls in Lawrence County.

Playthings Etc. is a stealth bomber-shaped toy store along Route 8 in Butler County, billed by the owners as “The World’s Coolest Toy Store”!

Exploring the Stealth Bomber Toy Store in Butler County Pennsylvania

Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County is one of a handful of Pennsylvania waterfalls that you can stand BEHIND!

The author behind Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County PA.
The author standing behind Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County PA.

The Fountain of Youth really does exist, and you can find it in a public park just north of Pittsburgh!

The Fountain of Youth at Allegheny County's North Park, just outside Pittsburgh.
The Fountain of Youth at Allegheny County’s North Park,

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.