Our restaurants, shops, attractions, and hotels welcome you to Cumberland Valley. However, as COVID-19 cases rise and fall due to variants, local businesses and organizations may continue to implement mask policies or encourage individuals to continue to mask. We encourage visitors to seek and heed the latest expert guidance and take the precautions necessary for all of us to stay safe. By following updated recommended public health guidelines and showing our respect to the people around us, we can minimize the spread of COVID-19 and help keep local businesses open. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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Colonel Denning State Park

Surrounded by rolling mountains, Colonel Denning State Park's 273 acres of woodland is the perfect place to enjoy a little peace and quiet. With the 3.5-acre Doubling Gap Lake for swimming and boating in the summer and ice-fishing and ice-skating in the winter, a 49-site campground, volleyball, picnicking, and trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, it's the perfect place to bring the family and connect with nature.

Things to Do at Colonel Denning State Park

Hiking

There are three trails totaling 3.5 miles to explore in Colonel Denning. The most notable trail is the 2.5-mile (one-way) Flat Rock Trail. The strenuous, rocky climb leads to a 180-degree panoramic view of the Valley. In the fall, enjoy the foliage and hawk migration from the Flat Rock lookout. The trailhead is located next to the Visitors Center. The self-guided Doubling Gap Trail is a one-mile moderate hike.

Colonel Denning is a trailhead for Tuscarora State Forest and the 252-mile Tuscarora Trail. Trails in the surrounding Tuscarora State Forest are accessible from the park and, when combined with those in the park, provide 13 trails with 18 miles to explore.

Cycling

Cycling is allowed on paved roads through the park (approximately 1 mile). View additional Cumberland Valley bike routes.

Horseback Riding

The park has an equestrian trailhead where riders can access the state forest trails.

Orienteering

There are three courses to challenge your map and compass skills: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Trail maps are available at the park office or the nature center.

Picnicking

The park has picnic tables and a limited number of charcoal grills. Pavilions are available for rent.

Swimming

The lakeside beach is open from late May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. View more places to splash around.

Fishing

The 3.5-acre Doubling Gap Lake has stocked trout. There is an ADA-accessible fishing pier. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission limits, seasons, and regulations apply. Ice fishing is also available. View the top ten fishing locations.

Hunting

During established seasons, many acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs. Common game species are deer, squirrel, and turkey. Hunting is also permitted on the adjacent Tuscarora State Forest. Learn more about Cumberland Valley's hunting areas.

Birding

The avian inventory lists an impressive 100 species, including several species of hawk, owl, woodpecker, warbler, flycatcher, and vireo. Regular forest species include Eastern Wood-Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Wood Thrush, and Blackburnian Warbler. View bird-watching hotspots.

Winter Activities

Cross-country Skiing

While there is no formal cross-country skiing trail system, skiing is permitted on existing roads and trails and in all park areas. The terrain is moderately hilly to mountainous.

Ice Skating

When conditions permit, the natural lake ice is monitored for ice skating in the swimming area. Skating is permitted from 8:00 A.M. until sunset. Ice skating is at your own risk. Ice thickness is not monitored.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

A two-plug, electric-vehicle charging station is available for public use in the main day-use parking area near Doubling Gap Lake. Please move to another parking space once your vehicle has been charged.

Colonel Denning Recreational Guides and Maps

Stay the Night

Camping

The 49-site tent and trailer campground is open from the opening day of trout season and closes the day after rifle deer season in December. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. Restrooms with warm showers and a sanitary dump station are available. Pets are permitted on designated campsitesMake a Reservation.

 

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