Moraine State Park Hiking Trails

Moraine State Park hiking trails are some of the best in Pennsylvania! Read on to learn more about the amazing places this park has for hiking, biking, and boating.

Fall on Lake Arthur
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

Day Hiking at Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park hiking trails are great for day hiking! There’s so many options for hikers of all levels and abilities among the park’s 28 miles of trails. Here are some of my favorites!

Butterfly Trail: This short 1.1 mile trail is great for families and those who love nature. The trail is short but has a nice gazebo and views of the lake.

Sunken Garden Trail: I stumbled on this beautiful trail by accident one day when exploring the park. At 3.4 miles, it’s a relatively short but beautiful trail that has all sorts of different types of trees, plants, and wildlife. There’s also a 1.7 mile loop of this trail if you need a shorter variation.

Sunken Garden Trail in spring

Wyggeston Trail: This 7.2 mile trail on the south shore of Lake Arthur is great for those looking for a few more miles and feet of elevation gain. It’s a lollipop trail, with a pretty large climb in the first couple of miles. Great for those looking for a day hike with a bit of a challenge!

Glacier Ridge Trail: Overlapping with the NCT for most of the park (more on the NCT below), the Glacier Ridge Trail is a 17 mile trail that can be done all in one go or split into shorter sections.

For a map of trails at Moraine State Park, visit the DNCR website.

Planning a day hike? Make sure you have the right gear! Check out my Ten Essentials for Day Hiking post!

Backpacking at Moraine at State Park

Moraine might not be the first place people think of for backpacking, but it is a great place to get away! I highly recommend this as a first backpacking trip, especially if you’re from Pittsburgh. It’s only an hour away from downtown and I had cell service the whole time.

The North Country Trail, a 4,800 mile trail that goes from North Dakota to Vermont, cuts through the park. This trail is extremely well blazed and there are many variations of overnight trips you could take in the park. We did a 12.5 mile out and back hike from Route 528 parking lot by hiking westbound on the NCT until we hit Link Shelters where we stayed overnight. Then we hiked back to the car in the morning. You could absolutely make it a point to point by continuing westbound on the NCT further into Moraine or even into McConnell’s Mill State Park.

Trying to figure out what gear to take on your backpacking trip? Check out my list of Must-Have Backpacking Gear!

The Link Shelters in Moraine were GREAT! It was still early in the season when we went (April) but they were clean and well kept. I also liked that all the shelters were separate from each other. We knew we had neighbors in our shelter but we didn’t feel like we were on top of them.

Link Shelters at Moraine have picnic tables and benches, making it super easy to relax at camp!
Looking for more places to backpack in Pennsylvania? Check out my post on Best Backpacking in Western Pennsylvania!

Frequently Asked Questions

What other activities can I do at Moraine State Park?

Moraine is HUGE for boaters, as Lake Arthur has over 42 miles of shoreline. Boats with motors up to 20 horse power are allowed.

Other activities at Moraine include:

  • SUPing
  • Sailing
  • Rent kayak, canoes, and rowboats
  • Swimming
  • Horseback riding
  • Biking (7 miles of bike trail)

Is there camping at Moraine State Park?

Camping is allowed at Moraine State Park. You must reserve a permit from the PA DCNR Reserve America site.

Where is Moraine State Park?

Moraine State Park is about an hour north of Pittsburgh and about 80 minutes south of Erie.

Looking for more state parks near Pittsburgh? Check out my post listing all the State Parks Near Pittsburgh!

Are dogs allowed at Moraine State Park?

Like all state parks, dogs are allowed at Moraine State Park! Dogs must be on leash and controlled. Please remember to pick up all pet waste and pack it out.

Does Moraine State Park have cabins?

Moraine has 11 modern cabins that can be reserved at the PA DCNR Reserve America site here.

When is the best time of year to visit Moraine?

I have visited in all seasons and they all have their bonuses! Moraine’s WinterFest is a great way to enjoy the park in the winter – the event showcases all the amazing winter activities. However, my favorite season to visit Moraine is the fall.

Looking to visit more Pennsylvania State Parks? Check out some of my favorites below:
- Linn Run
- Oil Creek 
- Cook Forest
Or check out my guides to all the Pennsylvania State Parks I've visited!

Updated November 19, 2023

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