“Enjoy the Mountainous Terrain!”
Laurel Hill State Park consists of 4,072 acres of mountainous terrain in Somerset County. The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake is a focal point of the park. Laurel Hill is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine state park and state forest lands. A trail system invites visitors to hike and explore the park and observe the diversity of plants and wildlife. Hemlock Trail passes through a beautiful stand of old growth hemlocks. The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake has bass, trout, catfish, sucker, bluegill, perch, crappie and sunfish. Laurel Hill Creek and Jones Mill Run are excellent trout streams. A fishing pier for people with disabilities is near the bridge over Laurel Hill Creek. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. A fishing license, not available at the park office, is required for people ages 16 and older. The Laurel Hill Valley escaped the unbridled logging that swept through Pennsylvania—for longer than many areas of the state. The steep stream valleys and rugged hills made logging difficult until technology laid the tracks to enable the trees to be hauled to mills. Powerful, slow locomotives climbed the switchbacked tracks through Laurel Hill and hauled the logs to mills. From 1886 to 1940, logging companies clearcut the trees of the park, leaving behind a wasteland of brambles prone to forest fires and flooding. Only the area now called Hemlock Trail Natural Area escaped the loggers’ reach. Beginning in 1935, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration began purchasing sub-marginal agricultural and forest land so that it could be converted to better use. In 1936, the National Park Service was given the responsibility of the Recreational Demonstration Areas. Laurel Hill was one of five areas in Pennsylvania and targeted for restoration and reforestation, and organized group camping and day picnicking.
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Laurel Hill State Park
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