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Pennsylvania State Parks

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USA Parks
North-Central Region
Hills Creek State Park
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Hills Creek State Park A hummingbird Moth and Phlox © Bernadette Chiaramonte
Hills Creek State Park After the Storm at Hills Creek State Park © Bernadette Chiaramonte
After a day of storming, the skies settled in for the evenings glow
Hills Creek State Park © Donna Davis
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111 Spillway Road
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania   16901

Phone: 570-724-4246
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email: park email button icon
Located in scenic Tioga County, the 407-acre Hills Creek State Park abounds in wildlife. Osprey, loon and waterfowl visit the lake that boasts a variety of warm-water fish species. Camping, cabins, swimming beach and picnicking make this an ideal spot for a family vacation.
Nature of the Area
Wildlife abounds in and around Hills Creek State Park. Along with an active beaver colony, there are other water-loving creatures including muskrat, wood duck, great blue heron, and osprey. Bald eagles are frequent visitors to the park.

Visitors may see a transient black bear, a flock of wild turkey, or a deer. Hills Creek is also a perfect habitat for rabbits, grouse, pileated woodpeckers and woodchucks.

In the spring, Hills Creek Lake becomes home to migrating waterfowl like loon, bufflehead, and common merganser.
History of the Area
The land, originally known as Kelly?s Swamp, was purchased in 1950. Within this swamp, at the present location of the swimming beach, was a small mine from which pigment for the paint industry was extracted. The park opened in 1953 and is named for the creek that runs through it. The stream was named after Captain William Hill who settled in the area around 1820.

Ten modern cabins can be rented year-round. Cabins are furnished and have a living area, kitchen/dining area, shower and two bedrooms. Cabin seven is accessible. Cabin renters should bring their own linens and kitchen utensils. Weekly reservations are required during the summer.
Three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets.
Camping: modern sites, some with electricityThe 102-site camping area is at the north end of the park and is reached by the main park road. The campsites range from grassy open areas to sites dominated by immense hemlock trees. The campground opens the second Friday in April and closes the third weekend in October.

Modern washhouses with warm showers, restrooms, and water fountains are in central locations throughout the camping area. A sanitary dump station is just outside the camping area. Six sites are accessible.

Camping Cottages: Three cottages sleep five people in single bunks and double/single bunks, and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets.

Organized Group Tenting:

Qualified adult and youth groups may use this 40-person capacity area equipped with picnic tables, pavilion, fire rings, water and flush toilets. Campers may shower in the campground. This wooded peninsula is open from the second Friday in April to the third Sunday in October, weather permitting. Advance reservations are recommended. This area is rustic in nature and as a result, no vehicles are permitted in the camping area. Some of the larger hemlock, beech, maple and ash trees in the park are found on this very picturesque peninsula.
A sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. The sandy lake bottom and grass beach are quite popular. The modern bathhouse, and snackbar/boat rental are nearby and open seasonally.
Boating: electric motors only

The 137-acre Hills Creek Lake has three boat mooring areas with a total capacity of 30 boats. Two of these areas also double as boat launching areas with concrete launching ramps. Sailboating is quite popular. Rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes may be rented from the boat rental, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.

Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Hills Creek State Park is located near Wellsboro

There are two picnic areas and three reservable picnic pavilions. Picnic Area No. 1 is at the south end of the lake near the breast of the dam. Picnic Area No. 2 is just north of the swimming beach along a large cove of the lake.

The picnic areas have picnic tables, charcoal grills or fireplaces, picnic pavilion, charcoal disposal units, centrally located drinking fountains and modern comfort stations. The picnic areas are open year-round, but all other day use facilities are closed. Picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hiking: 5 miles of trails

Lake Side Trail - 1.5-mile - This trail begins at the entrance to the camping area and follows the lakeshore in a westerly direction for about one mile, finally arriving at the Beaver Hut Boating Area. A beaver house plus many signs of beaver activity may be seen in this area. From the boating area the trail generally follows the lakeshore in a southerly direction for about one mile, ending at the dam breast of Hills Creek Lake. This section of the trail offers an excellent variety of bird life attracted by seeds from white spruce, red-osier dogwood and viburnums that dominate this moist area. The trail then follows the park road past Picnic Area No. 1 and the park office. It ends at a parking lot beyond the gate on the main entrance road, a distance of about 0.5-mile.

Tauschers Trail - 1.5-mile - This trail circles the northeast section of the park from the cabin area. It winds through pine plantations, dense stands of alder and fields containing numerous wildflowers. Wildlife abounds in this section of the park and it is not uncommon to startle deer or grouse along the trail.

Yellow Birch Trail - 1-mile - This trail starts at the entrance to the camping area but travels in an easterly direction for about one mile. Although short in length, this trail leads through a diversity of forest habitats from stands of hardwoods to hemlock swamps and marsh areas. The observant hiker may see a variety of wildlife and animal signs along with interesting tree development.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
October 13 Camp Here Often by falcon20driver
park review stars; one to five Love this state park for its beauty and natural setting. The only negative comment I have is drivers go way to fast in the camp grounds. My girlfriend was almost run over by a speeding New York driver and his trailer.
September 7 Our second home by Mary Wise
park review stars; one to five Hills Creek State Park has been a part of my life for the past 39 years. I camped as a teen, through my adult life. I was a camp host there in 1990-96. My children grew up there every summer. They became a part of an extended family. Everyone watches out for each other, even to this day. When my parents were living, it was the place we all gathered for those family events. And as they passed on, it was the place we went for comfort. We played together, we cried together, we fell in love there, we made everlasting friendships there...Hills Creek is one of the best kept secrets in the state of Pennsylvania....and oh yes, the men love the fishing......
January 9 Nice campground by Calaman
park review stars; one to five Nice comfortable campground. Mix of shaded and open sites. Numerous sites that can handle long camping rigs. We will be visiting there again.
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Area Campgrounds
Tanglewood Camping
787 Tanglewood Road
Covington, PA
Bucktail Camping Resort
130 Bucktail Road
Mansfield, PA
Area Cabins and Lodges
Penn Wells Lodge
4 Main St
Wellsboro, PA
(570) 724-3463
Nearby Hotels

Hills Creek State Park, in northcentral Tioga County, is just north of US 6 and midway between Wellsboro and Mansfield. The park is also reached from PA 287 between Tioga and Wellsboro.

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Pennsylvania State Parks