Big Spring Creek

Big Spring Road,
Newville, PA 17241
(717) 705-7850

Big Spring Creek is a world famous limestone creek that flows through woodland and farmland for 6 miles before emptying into the Conodoguinet Creek. It is the 5th largest spring in Pennsylvania. With a consistent flow of cool, fertile water it is the perfect place to land a 5-pound wild brook trout on a dry fly and to go bird watching.

Fly Fishing: The Big Spring is designated by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as a Class A wild trout fishery for both brook trout and rainbow trout from its headwaters downstream for one mile to Nealy Road. This section is catch and release, fly fishing only. From Nealy Road through Newville, the Big Spring is open to all tackle and is stocked every spring by the PAFBC. Big Spring is designated as a Class A wild brown trout fishery from the Laughlin Dam in Newville down to where the Big Spring empties into the Conodoguinet Creek. (Information courtesy of

Click here for more tips to make the most of your fly fishing experience along the Big Spring Creek.

Catch your next fly fishing destination here.

Bird Watching: Big Spring doesn't freeze over, so winter is a great time to visit to see American Widgeon, Eastern Phoebe, Rusty Blackbirds along with Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and more. In the summer, both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos can be found. American Bald Eagles make occasional appearances in the fall and Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers are around all year long. More than 190 species of birds have been identified along the Big Spring since 2000. For a complete list, click here.

View Big Spring Creek real-time water levels.

Things to Do
  • Directions: To reach Big Spring Creek take exit 37 off of Interstate 81. Head north on Rte 233 for 1 mile and take a left at the traffic light onto Rte 11 (Ritner Hwy). Go 3 miles and take a right onto Big Spring Rd. The Spring Head is about a mile up the road. From the North, take Rte 233 south until you reach the light at Rte 11 (Ritner Hwy). Take a right at the light and then follow the directions as stated above.
  • Catch n' Release:
  • Fishing:
  • Fly Fishing:
  • Wild Trout:
Land Recreation
  • Bird Watching: