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Season two of Centred Outdoors will wrap up at Black Moshannon State Park

Centred Outdoors will host its last guided hikes for the 2018 summer season on Sunday and Wednesday at Black Moshannon State Park. Everyone is invited to participate in these free adventures, which are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. In addition to the guided hikes hosted by Centred Outdoors, the 3,394-acre state park also offers swimming, fishing, boating, mountain biking and scenic picnicking opportunities. There are never entrance fees or day use fees for this park or any of the 120 State Parks in Pennsylvania.

There are two reasons for the name given to Black Moshannon State Park. “Moshannon” originated from the name given to the watershed by Native Americans which was “Moss-Honne,” meaning “moose stream.” “Black” describes the color of the water in Black Moshannon Lake. The water is tea-colored from the moss and wetland plants that dye the water as it flows into the lake from nearby springs and streams. The plant tannins that color the water are safe for swimming, which is a great activity for observing this unique and natural process up close. Rare carnivorous plants are another unique feature of the park that attracts many visitors. The bogs, marshes and swamps provide vital habitat for these plants are also home to fascinating wildlife such as dragonflies, salamanders and rare birds.

Learn more about these delicate ecosystems while taking in their beauty on a guided hike led by knowledgeable state park guides on Sunday and Wednesday. Hikers will follow the Star Mill Trail near the lake and loop up through the woods to the southeast end of Moshannon Lake. Sights include a cranberry bog, a colony of carnivorous plants, many blueberries, historic foundations and more. We will be hiking along the water; waterproof boots or shoes are recommended and may be required depending on the weather.

A fitness hike will also be offered, taking participants on a more vigorous hike up the Ski Slope Trail to reach the highest point in the state park and bask in views from the old ski slope before heading down toward the beach along the snowmobile trail. Like all Centred Outdoors destinations, please leave the wildlife undisturbed by leaving no more than footsteps behind you and taking home only pictures and fond memories of your trip.

Everyone at ClearWater Conservancy and the many partnering organizations that have made Centred Outdoors possible would like to thank those who have joined us on one or more guided adventures this summer. Centred Outdoors is an invitation for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level, to stress less and explore more by getting outside to discover the unique natural features that make Centre County such a scenic and vibrant place to visit or call home.

Centred Outdoors’ primary supporters include the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Mount Nittany Health. Community partners include The Arboretum at Penn State, Spring Creek Chapter Trout Unlimited, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society, Centre Foundation, Talleyrand Park Committee, Centre Moves, Penn State Sustainable Communities, Penns Valley Conservation Association, YMCA of Centre County, Get Outdoors PA, Mount Nittany Conservancy, PA Fish and Boat Commission and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Thank you for a wonderful summer!

Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:

What: Centred Outdoors: Black Moshannon State Park

When: Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Guided nature hikes will depart at 2 and 4 p.m. For the fitness hike, please arrive promptly at 2 p.m.

Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. Guided nature hikes will depart at 5 and 7 p.m. For the fitness hike, please arrive promptly at 5 p.m.

Where: Meet at the trailhead at this address: 4216 Beaver Road, Philipsburg, PA 16866. The main parking area and restroom facilities are 1 mile from the trailhead and can be located using this address: 249 Black Moshannon Road, Philipsburg, PA 16866

Parking: There is a parking lot at the trailhead. Check with a Centred Outdoors volunteer for information about overflow parking if needed the day of the event.

What to bring:

  • A refillable water bottle

  • Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Long pants and high socks may be preferred for additional protection from insects and ticks

  • A light snack or picnic, especially if you plan to come early or stay after the hike

  • Swimming attire and towels. Changing facilities and restrooms are available at the swimming area and the sand beach at Black Moshannon Lake is ADA accessible.

  • Child carrier/backpack is recommended for very young children

  • Binoculars for bird and wildlife watchers

Difficulty of hike: The guided nature hike is easy, approximately 2 miles long, and will take about 2 hours to complete. The fitness hike will be more difficult and is recommended for those comfortable with trail jogging/running along steep and rocky terrain.

Additional Information:

  • Pets must be kept on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets. Pets are prohibited at the swimming area and in park buildings.

  • Visit for complete event details and safety tips

Andrea Murrell is the strategic communications coordinator at ClearWater Conservancy.

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