The Great Outdoors: Sizerville State Park

| April 19, 2017

sizerville poolSIZERVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — Are you looking for a good starting point to enjoy elk viewing, excellent trout fishing, and numerous hiking trails?  Then it’s time to make a trip to Sizerville State Park.

Surrounded by the Elk State Forest, the 386-acre park is tucked away in Cameron County, north of Emporium.

I believe it is somewhat overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.

The nearby state forest is nearly 200,000 acres in size which means there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out and enjoy their favorite nature activity in relative solitude.

I have spent many enjoyable times on these forest lands and I have never been left disappointed. Some of the scenic outlooks may make an observer feel as if they are looking upon heaven itself.

Seeing elk, black bear, wild turkeys, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, bobcats and coyotes is routine in this region.

Camping Options

One of the features that makes Sizerville State Park a must-stay destination for camping is the 105-foot in-ground pool.

The pool is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. The maximum depth is five feet. There is a lift in the pool for people with disabilities.

There are 28 campsites, 18 of which have electricity. There are also five secluded, walk-in tent sites that sit along the West Branch of Cowley Run, which was just stocked with trout late last week and will be stocked again May 1.

There are flush toilets, showers, a sanitary dump station and ADA accessible facilities.

The campground also features a play area and outdoor amphitheater.

Pets are permitted on designated campsites for a fee.

The East Branch of Cowley Run is also stocked with trout. Cowley Run is a high-quality stream offering mountain freestone fishing at its best. It is not unusual to catch native brook trout in these waters.

Nearby, the Portage and Driftwood branches of the Sinnemahoning Creek provide anglers with an opportunity to fish for smallmouth bass and trout.

Picnic Grounds and Pavilions

If you are looking for a place to stop and have a cookout, Sizerville also offers several options.

There are six picnic pavilions, rustic restrooms, and more than 100 picnic tables in the two picnic areas, shaded by white pine, hemlock, and hardwood trees. A playground is in a central location. ADA accessible parking and picnic tables are throughout the areas.

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.

Horseshoe pits are nearby each pavilion.

Pavilions 1 and 2 are ADA accessible.

Hiking Trails

The park also has five miles of hiking trails, which are a series of loops.

The Bottomlands, Campground, and North Slope trails take the visitor through a variety of lowland habitats and are relatively easy to walk, making them ideal for hikers of any age.

Fee Hollow Trail begins by the campground and then climbs into the state forest.

Nady Hollow Trail is a 1.5-mile loop that ascends a 1,900-foot mountain. Proper footwear is recommended for any hiking and is essential for the Nady Hollow Trail.

The Nady Hollow Connector is a less challenging alternative to Nady Hollow Trail.

The Sizerville Nature Trail, across from the campground in Elk State Forest, is a three-mile loop with a small elevation change, a scenic vista, and educational stopping points.  Maps are available in the park office.

Sizerville State Park is also a trailhead for the Bucktail Path Trail, which is part of an extensive trail system throughout the northern tier region of central Pennsylvania.

Also, for those planning to hike from the park on to the Elk State Forest trail system, be sure to have an Elk State Forest map and advise park personnel of your hiking plans.

Another area worth exploring near Sizerville is the Johnson Run Natural Area.

The boulders that line the stream are covered with thick blankets of moss. Insects fill the air during the warmer months, preyed on by native fish in the tumbling waters of the creeks and streams.

Access to this wild natural area is via the Bucktail Hiking Trail in Elk State Forest, with a trailhead near Sizerville State Park and another trailhead in Sinnemahoning along Grove Run Road.

For more information about the area and planning your trip, go to visitpago.com.

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“The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, is a weekly blog by exploreClarion.com’s Scott Shindledecker. Plan your next outdoor adventure at VisitPAGO.com or call (814) 849-5197 for more information.


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