Moraine State Park and Lake Arthur Near Pittsburgh

Park Beckons Boaters, Swimmers, Hikers and Bikers

Lake Arthur and Moraine State Park in Western Pennsylvania
••• Fall colors are reflected in the waters of Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park. ©2006 Kimberly & Albrecht Powell

Located in Butler County, about an hour north of Pittsburgh, Moraine State Park is a favorite summer destination for boating, sailing, swimming and fishing. The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparking waters of its Lake Arthur are a testament to the restoration of a land once ravaged by continental glaciers and massive mining for gas, coal and oil.

Location and Directions

Moraine State Park is located midway between Erie and Pittsburgh, about 2 miles off of Interstate 79, near its intersection with I-80, in Portersville, Pennsylvania.

Admission and Fees

Moraine State Park is free and open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. Certain activities within the park, such as boat rentals, have specific fees. Check the park's website for current fee information.

What to Expect

Moraine State Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The park's main attraction, the 3,225-acre Lake Arthur, is a draw for warm-water fishing, boating, sailing, swimming and windsurfing. On the lake are two swimming beaches, 10 boat launches, several fishing piers and numerous picnic areas. A paved 7-mile trail winds near the shoreline, and Moraine State Park also offers many miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Swimming

Swimming at Moraine State Park is permitted at two beaches along the shore of Lake Arthur -- the north shore's 550-foot sandy Lakeview Beach and the south shore's 1,200-foot sandy Pleasant Valley Day Beach, which offers a paved path down to the water.

The beaches are open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, weather permitting. Both beaches have showers, changing facilities and food concessions. Pets are not permitted in the beach areas.

Boat Rentals

Canoes, kayaks, sailboats, paddle boats, small motor boats and windsurfs can be rented from Crescent Bay Boat Rental, located on the South Shore, just past Pleasant Valley Beach.

Crescent Bay Boat Rental also sells fishing bait and gasoline.

Where to Eat

Concession stands at each of the two swimming beaches offer hot and cold foods, as well as beverages and desserts. Picnic tables, charcoal grills and restrooms are located throughout the park's day use areas and marinas.

Trail Details

Hiking opportunities in Moraine State Park are plentiful, where 28.6 miles of hiking trails wind through forests, fields and along the lake shore. Horse lovers will find about 20 miles of equestrian trails, and there is a 6-mile loop trail on the North Shore for mountain biking. For walking, biking and in-line skating, a paved, 7-mile trail (not a loop) winds near the shoreline in the northwest corner of the park. You can rent bikes and child pull-behind trailers for these trail adventures.

Camping

Moraine State Park does not include a public campground, but camping is available at nearby private campgrounds. Moraine State Park does have an organized group tent camping area, 11 modern cabins and a backpacking shelter along the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Winter Sports

Moraine State Park is not just a summertime destination. In the winter, as conditions permit, you can go cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice fishing and ice boating.

Check the winter report on the website for current ice and snow conditions and information.