Exploring Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron and Potter Counties

Stevenson Dam Overlook at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County.

Sinnemahoning State Park is a long, narrow park that includes lands on both sides of First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek – a major tributary to the Sinnemahoning Creek. 

First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek passing through Sinnemahoning State Park.
First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek passing through Sinnemahoning State Park.

Sinnemahoning State Park encompasses 1,910 acres of magnificent scenery and outstanding wildlife habitat, and spans from Cameron County in the south to Potter County in the north.

Potter County Gods Country sign along Route 872 near Sinnemahoning State Park.
“Potter County God’s Country” sign along Route 872 near Sinnemahoning State Park.

Access Sinnemahoning State Park from Route 872 at various entrances along this north-south highway, with the closest small towns being Sinnemahoning to the south and Austin to the north.

A map to Sinnemahoning State Park and surrounding attractions.
A map to Sinnemahoning State Park and surrounding attractions.

The Best Things to See and Do at Sinnemahoning State Park

1. Fishing at Sinnemahoning State Park

The 145-acre George B. Stevenson Reservoir has fishing for cold water and warm water species, including trout, bass, bluegills, pickerel, perch, crappies, and catfish.

Boating at Sinnemahoning State Park.
Fishing at Sinnemahoning State Park.

2. Boating at Sinnemahoning State Park

Boating is another popular activity at Sinnemahoning State Park, with the typical boat registration/launch permit rules in place here as with any other state park in PA.

Stevenson Reservoir at Sinnemahoning State Park.
Boating on Stevenson Reservoir at Sinnemahoning State Park.

3. Picnicking at Sinnemahoning State Park

The 40 Maples Day Use Area includes two ADA-accessible pavilions, along with numerous individual picnic tables scattered throughout the area and along the First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek.

40 Maples Day Use Area at Sinnemahoning State Park.
40 Maples Day Use Area at Sinnemahoning State Park.

A playground and restrooms are located here as well.

Playground at Sinnemahoning State Park.
Playground at Sinnemahoning State Park.

4. Wildlife Viewing at Sinnemahoning State Park

Elk, whitetail deer, and eagles can all be spotted at Sinnemahoning State Park and the surrounding State Forests.

Elk at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County.
Elk at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County.

5. Stevenson Dam Overlook at Sinnemahoning State Park

The view to the north from the breast of Stevenson Dam at Sinnemahoning State Park is outstanding.

Stevenson Dam Overlook at Sinnemahoning State Park.
Stevenson Dam Overlook at Sinnemahoning State Park.

The view to the south from the same vantage point isn’t too bad either!

Stevenson Dam spillway area at Sinnemahoning State Park.
Stevenson Dam spillway area at Sinnemahoning State Park.

6. The Arch Tree

The Arch Tree at Sinnemahoning State Park is an interesting natural phenomena, located just south of the park office.

The Arch Tree at Sinnemahoning State Park.
The Arch Tree at Sinnemahoning State Park.

7. The Park Office and Wildlife Center

The Sinnemahoning State Park office is a palatial structure reminiscent of a wilderness lodge.

The Sinnemahoning State Park office in Cameron County.
The Sinnemahoning State Park office in Cameron County.

Unfortunately (and almost inexplicably) it is not open on weekends, but if you are lucky enough to visit during the work week, you’ll find numerous educational exhibits inside, detailing the history and wildlife of the area.

Interpretive exhibits at the Sinnemahoning State Park office.
Interpretive exhibits at the Sinnemahoning State Park office.

There is a wealth of information about the logging era in this region of PA, which ultimately lead to these hills and valleys being clearcut and then purchased by the state at fire sale prices with taxpayer dollars, so that they could be replanted and repurposed for the recreational uses we enjoy today.

Lumberjack tool display at Sinnemahoning State Park office.
Lumberjack tool display at Sinnemahoning State Park office.

Nearby Attractions

Kettle Creek State Park

Kettle Creek State Park is a remarkable 1,793 acre oasis situated in the Kettle Creek Valley, to the east of Sinnemahoning State Park in Clinton County.

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

Austin Dam Memorial Park

Austin Dam Memorial Park is a beautiful but sobering destination to explore just north of Sinnemahoning State Park, with trails through the towering ruins of the dam providing an up-close look at what caused 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.

Ridge Road Vistas in the Elk State Forest

I liken Ridge Road in the Elk State Forest to a shorter version of Skyline Drive in Virginia – mile after mile of gorgeous roadside vistas.

Square Timber Vista along Ridge Road in the Elk State Forest.
Square Timber Vista along Ridge Road in the Elk State Forest.

Bucktail Overlook

Bucktail Overlook, AKA “The Top of the World”, is one of many PA Elk Country scenic overlooks located close to Sinnemahoning State Park.

Bucktail Overlook Elk Viewing Area in Cameron County Pennsylvania.
Bucktail Overlook in Cameron County, Pennsylvania.

Fred Woods Trail

The Fred Woods Trail in the Elk State Forest is a 4.57 mile-long hike that takes you past two fantastic vistas, as well as one of Pennsylvania’s finest rock formations.

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.

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

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