When a glacier retreats, the accumulated debris it leaves behind is called a moraine. That is where the park’s story begins. Evidence of its glacial past is still evident today at the Jacksville Esker. Esker is another glacial term, meaning a serpentine ridge of gravelly and sandy drift, believed to have been formed by streams under or in glacial ice. Preserving this history today, the park offers a self-guided “Trail of Geology” tour. Moving forward tens-of-thousands of years, humans created history on the land… and not the pretty history that you might expect if you’ve seen the park today. The land was deep-mined, strip-mined, drilled and polluted. Thankfully, the land was given a shot at redemption by Dr. Frank W. Preston and others who studied the land for decades and helped form the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The conservancy purchased the land, plugged up 422 gas and oil wells, sealed the deep mines, filled the strip mines, fertilized the soil, and planted thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses. Muddy Creek was also dammed to create the lake. Today, Moraine State Park is 16,725 acres with 1,750 square feet of beach, 71 miles of trails and 42 miles of shoreline. More than two million visitors enjoy the park each year, making it one of the top parks in Pennsylvania. We love the park and welcome you to love it, too. 

What makes Moraine State Park so great?

Beautiful scenery in every season, tons of outdoor activities, rich history.  Moraine is one of Pennsylvania’s top parks, and you can enjoy a plethora of activities (land, air and sea!) each season throughout the park.

Sea: Summertime is when Moraine State Park really shines with endless lake activities. The 3,225-acre Lake Arthur features ten boat launches sprinkled throughout the park, and the Crescent Bay Marine and Boat Rental can provide kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, sailboats, pontoon boats and small motorboats. Set sail for a gorgeous day on the lake swimming, windsurfing, fishing or stand up paddleboarding! Want to learn to Stand Up Paddleboard? SurfSUP Adventures can help! Take lessons and eco-tours at the park and you’ll be gliding over the beautiful waterways in no time! Take in the beautiful scenery and watch the seasons change on the Nautical Nature, Moraine Preservation Fund’s 45-passenger enclosed pontoon boat. It operates on a regular schedule spring through fall, providing public tours and chartered cruises.

Land: Name your favorite outdoor activity. Chances are, Moraine State Park has you covered. The park’s six-mile mountain biking trail was named one of the most technical mountain bike trails in the world! You can also ride on a paved seven-mile bicycle trail, hike Moraine’s 28.6 miles of trails, and go geocaching. 13,600 acres of the park are open to hunting, trapping and dog training. You can even enjoy Moraine on a chilly winter day! If you happen to be visiting during the winter, there’s still plenty to do including cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, ice boating, ice fishing, ice skating and snowshoeing.

Air: One of the newer and more unique activities that has become popular is disc golf. While the pros love it, you don’t have to be a professional to hit the course! This challenging 18-hole course has spectacular views of the park and is located in the Lakeview Day Use area. Another air activity that is a highlight at Moraine is birdwatching. Bald Eagles, Herons and Osprey are some of the species you can look for at the park.


  • Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park.
  • Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. You are responsible for your safety and your family’s safety.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Your pets are welcome, but are not permitted in overnight or swimming areas. Pets must be on a leash and controlled and attended at all times. The park manager has the authority to set a leash length for the park. Please check with the park office for current pet regulations.
  • Please park only in designated areas and obey all traffic regulations.
  • Do your part to keep wildlife wild! Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance and do not feed or approach wild animals
  • Prevent fires by properly disposing of hot coals and having a fire in proper facilities. Do not leave a fire unattended.
  • Soliciting and posting signs is prohibited without approval from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
  • Please recycle. Place trash accumulated during your stay in proper receptacles, or take it home with you.

The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise posted. Park information, launch permits, cabin information and assistance can be obtained at the park office near the entrance to the South Shore. It is open year-round, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends during the summer.

Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations. A secondary office at the Davis Hollow Marina on the North Shore can provide marina applications and general park information. It is open from April 15 to October 30.

Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to the nearest hospital, look on pay phone booths or at the park office. Nearest Hospital: Butler Memorial Hospital 911 East Brady Street Butler, PA 16001 724-283-6666

Moraine State Park
225 Pleasant Valley Road
Portersville, PA 16051-9650
e-mail: morainesp@state.pa.us