Whipple Dam State Park is a 256 acre recreational area in Huntingdon County, 12 miles south of State College.
At the heart of the park is 22 acre Whipple Lake, constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, now a popular spot for boating, swimming, and fishing.
History of Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Dam State Park is named after Osgood M. Whipple, a Vermont businessman who moved to central Pennsylvania following the Civil War.
In 1868, Whipple purchased a large block of land and constructed a dam and sawmill near the current site of the Whipple Lake.
In 1904, with the timber supply exhausted, the State purchased and rehabilitated this land, which eventually evolved into Whipple Dam State Park in 1962.
Swimming at Whipple Dam State Park
The 300-foot sand beach at Whipple Dam State Park is open from late-May to mid-September, from 8:00 A.M. until sunset.
A dressing room, beach volleyball court, and boat rental are also located at the beach area.
Fishing at Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Lake and its tributary Laurel Run are stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Boating at Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Lake is open to canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats, and electric motor boats.
Hiking at Whipple Dam State Park
The Whipple Lake Trail is a 3 mile loop hike around Whipple Lake and Laurel Run.
This trail is a great hike to do with kids, as it’s relatively flat.
The Whipple Lake Trail closely follows the banks of the the lake and Laurel Run.
Picnicking at Whipple Dam State Park
There are several picnic pavilions and many picnic tables close to the beach and around the lake at Whipple Dam State Park.
Bands on the Beach at Whipple Dam State Park
During the summer, monthly concerts are held right on the beach at Whipple Dam State Park.
The Summer Concert Series is sponsored by the Friends of Greenwood Furnace, Whipple Dam, and Penn-Roosevelt State Parks.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted, with proceeds going to the Friends group projects at the parks.
Changing Seasons at Whipple Dam State Park
One of the things I enjoy doing most at Whipple Dam State Park is simply photographing the same vantage point through the changing seasons.
While it may sound cliche, the view truly is “never the same twice”.
I’m not sure that I have a favorite season – they’re all equally outstanding in their own ways.
The spillway view on Whipple Lake can change drastically through the seasons.
Or even within the same season, depending on rainfall.
Directions to Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Dam State Park is located a mile east of Route 26, at 3746 Laurel Run Rd, Petersburg, PA 16669.
Whipple Dam State Park is a wonderful place to relax and spend time in nature.
Despite the fact that is only 12 miles outside of State College, it feels like visiting a different world and time period.
No matter the season, it’s always a great time to visit Whipple Dam State Park in Huntingdon County!
Greenwood Furnace State Park is a 423 acre recreational paradise in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, a mere 10 miles from Whipple Dam State Park.
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is a Penn State owned and operated wildlife center and aviary, located just 4 miles from Whipple Dam State Park.
The Stone Mountain Hawk Watch is a scenic overlook in the Rothrock State Forest used to monitor the fall hawk migration.
Sausser’s Stone Pile is a massive rock formation in the Rothrock State Forest that also happens to be one of the finest scenic overlooks in Huntingdon County!
The Alan Seeger Trail is a short but beautiful loop hike through the Alan Seeger Natural Area in the Rothrock State Forest, 10 miles from Whipple Dam State Park.
Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest is a nearby scenic overlook.
Indian Wells Overlook is an exceptional scenic vista located right along the Mid State Trail near the Centre-Huntingdon county line.
The 6 Best State Parks Near State College is your guide to some of the best state parks in Happy Valley.
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