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USA Parks
Southwest Region
Yellow Creek State Park
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Yellow Creek State Park © Melanie Wallace
Yellow Creek State Park © Melanie Wallace
Yellow Creek State Park © Barbara Lackner
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170 Route 259 Highway
Penn Run, Pennsylvania   15765

Phone: 724-357-7913
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email: park email button icon
Yellow Creek State Park is in Indiana County along one of the first ?highways? in the state, the Kittanning Path. This trail was used by the Delaware and Shawnee nations and by early settlers. Today, US 422 roughly follows the old Kittanning Path, and provides the main access to the park from Indiana and Ebensburg. The park is named for Yellow and Little Yellow creeks, which create the lake. The creeks have lots of yellow clay in the banks and bottoms.
History of the Area
Beginning in 1963, the 2,981 acres of park land were purchased by the General State Authority and by the Department of Forests and Waters through the Project 70 park expansion program. An earth and rock dam, creating a 720-acre lake was completed in 1969. Day use areas were dedicated to public use in 1976. An additional 159 acres of developed land were purchased in 1982.
Five 13? by 15? cottages are along the lakeshore near McFeather?s Cove. Each cottage sleeps five people in single bunks and double/single bunks. The cottages have wooden floors, windows, porch, picnic table, fire ring, and electric lights and outlets. Restrooms are nearby.
The 800-foot beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming when lifeguards are off-duty. A large, modern bathhouse, lifeguard/first aid building and a snack bar are in the beach area. Pets are not permitted on the beach.
Boating: up to 20 hp motors permitted

The 720-acre Yellow Creek Lake has boat launching ramps at the north shore, the south shore, at the beach/day-use area and a small launch in Grampap?s Cove. A boat rental in the beach/day use area offers motorboats, canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, pontoon boats and small sailboats.

Overnight mooring of boats is permitted in the park by special permit only. For your safety, please be certain that required U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices are on board for all passengers.

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.
Enjoy fishing in a 720-acre lake, home to warm-water species like largemouth bass and northern pike. Other fish include walleye, yellow perch, sunfish and catfish. Ice fishing is also popular during winter months when conditions allow it. Boat rentals are available for those who prefer deeper water angling.

Yellow Creek State Park is located near Blairsville, Indiana and Johnstown

Picnic tables and parking for over 4,000 people are available near the beach. Three 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. A limited number of charcoal grills are installed and visitors are urged to provide their own grills. Open ground fires are not permitted in the park. Three modern restrooms are provided in the picnic area. Pets are permitted in the day use area and must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash or otherwise safely restrained.

There are two smaller picnic areas. One is on the north shore near the North Boat Launch and the other is near the park office.
Hiking: 5 miles of trails

Laurel Run Trail is a 0.5-mile loop which starts at the park office. This easy hike is especially beautiful in the spring when wildflowers abound. Ridgetop Trail is a challenging 2-mile trail. It begins in the beach/day-use area and winds through a variety of habitats. Damsite Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that offers a view of the Yellow Creek dam. To get to this trail, follow PA 259 south from the park office. After taking a right turn at the stop sign, turn onto Hoffman Road, the second road to your right. This road ends at a small parking area where the Damsite Trail begins.

Sledding and Tobogganing:

An area is maintained opposite the south boat launch for sledding and tobogganing. If you decide that another hill looks more inviting or challenging, please be alert for old fences that may still be in the area.


Registered snowmobiles are allowed in one area that is about 350 acres in size. This designated area consists of forests and open fields. The access to this trail area is from the beach/day use area.

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing:

While no special area or trail system has been developed for these winter sports, the park does contain abandoned roads, trails and open fields and forested areas which are suitable for both the novice and experienced cross-country skier or snowshoer. We welcome those who wish to explore the park on either skis or snowshoes.
In this park, you'll find 5 miles of trails suitable for biking. Be aware that these paths are shared-use.

The James Mayer Riverswalk Trail is a popular option among cyclists but can be crowded at times.

Mountain bikers should note the terrain varies from flat to hilly and may require some technical skills.

Bicycles must yield to pedestrians on all trails; safety precautions such as helmets and lights are highly recommended.

Riding off designated bike routes or after dark isn't permitted - always respect posted signs and regulations.

Remember: cycling in winter months could pose additional challenges due to icy conditions or snow cover.
Nature Programs
Educational programs are offered to the public from April 1st to October 31st. A schedule of activities is available at the park office. The Environmental Learning Classroom is near Dragonfly Pond.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance.
The park offers birdwatching opportunities with over 200 species spotted, including waterfowl and birds of prey. Bird-watching programs are available for beginners to experts. The Audubon Society conducts annual Christmas Bird Counts in the area.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 4 Best Place for Family Fun by mama bear
park review stars; one to five We take our family here every year. We stay in one of the six cabins located right on the waters edge. Kayaking is wonderful and so is cooking over our campfire. The kids go fishing off the dock and are never disappointed. They always catch fish there. This is a peaceful park that we highly recommend.
June 8 Hidden Treasure
park review stars; one to five Yellow Creek is a beautiful park that is hidden away. The trails are nice to walk with you family but are not to long for kids. The beach is kept clean so you never have to worry if you take your family swimming. Picnic areas are nice and the play ground is always fun for the kids. Fishing is up and down but it is like that at most places.
April 19 one of our favorite parks by woodrat721
park review stars; one to five only thing is that the picnic tables are falling apart and there are picnic tables in the water other then that we love to picnic and boat there
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Area Campgrounds
Mirror Lake Camping
112 Trout Run Drive
New Florence, PA
L & M Campground
2743 Campground Road
Penn Run, PA
Yellow Creek Campground
9681 U.S. 422
Penn Run, PA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Mock's Sporting Goods
8501 Route 56 Hwy E
Homer City, PA
(724) 479-3243
Indiana Angler
218 Grandview Ave
Indiana, PA
(724) 463-2011
Keystone Precision Lures
6221 Tanoma Rd
Indiana, PA
(724) 349-4911
Renosky Lure Co
90 Christy Park Dr
Indiana, PA
(724) 463-2122
Nearby Hotels

Yellow Creek State Park is along PA 422 between the towns of Ebensburg and Indiana.

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Pennsylvania State Parks