Chapman State Park: A Hidden Gem Surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest

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Are you looking for an outdoor adventure that is packed with fun and excitement? Chapman State Park in northwest Pennsylvania is the perfect place for a day of exploring, fishing, and camping.

Located in Warren County and surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest, this park offers hiking trails, fishing spots, and camping areas. Whether you are an experienced outdoorsman or a beginner looking to experience nature for the first time, Chapman State Park is the perfect place to get out and explore!

It’s even a great place to visit in the winter. The area typically gets plenty of snow, and there are opportunities for sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice skating.

Seasons and Hours

Day-use areas in Chapman State Park are open year-round from sunrise to sunset, so you can enjoy the outdoors any time of the year.

The park office hours vary seasonally, so be sure to check ahead.

The beach area is open during the summer months, while other areas such as overnight camping and recreational facilities have their own specific hours and seasons. Typically, camping is open from mid-April through mid-December.

You can rent boats, participate in educational programs and go on ranger-led hikes throughout the year.

A park bench sits along the shore of the lake at Chapman State Park.
Lakeside at Chapman State Park in spring.


Chapman State Park is easy to find and access. Located in Warren County, Pennsylvania, the park is just a few miles off US 6 near the town of Clarendon.

To get there from US 6, turn onto Railroad Street, which then turns into Chapman Dam Road, and follow it for five miles.

This road leads right into the park. Make sure you stop at the visitor center on the way into the park to grab your park map and other informational material, and see what activities are going on during your visit.

The park is also adjacent to Allegheny National Forest and State Game Lands 29, so you can explore even further if you want and have extra time!

Things to Do at Chapman State Park

Chapman State Park is a great destination for outdoor recreation! The park offers 862 acres of fun and adventure. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll or an exciting hike, Chapman State Park has plenty of options.

The 68-acre Chapman Lake is located within the park and provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. There’s also a boat launch and rental facility so you can explore the lake at your own pace.

If you’d rather stay on land, there are several hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

In addition to its recreational facilities, Chapman State Park has educational programs throughout the year that focus on natural history topics such as bird watching and plant identification.

Canoes sit along the shores of the lake in Chapman State Park.
Canoes are available for park visitors to rent and enjoy the lake.


Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Chapman State Park. With 14 miles of trails, you’ll get the chance to see stunning views of the surrounding landscape and take in all the park has to offer.

Those looking for a family hike with younger children should definitely check out the Adams Run Trail. It starts just past the sledding hill and restroom facility, and it’s less than 0.5 miles on extremely flat terrain.

Along the trail, there is a “storybook walk” where every so often, signboards have pages of a story that is changed seasonally. Keep your kids entertained by stopping to read each part along the way.

Those looking to hike a little longer can use the short connector trails to create a loop with the Hunter’s Ridge Trail. This one is a little further from the park roads and facilities, so you just might have the chance to spot wildlife along the way. 

Another great spot to check out is the Lowlands Trail. While this one is short and sweet, the trail also has a unique swinging bridge over the West Branch of Tionesta Creek. Be careful with little ones as you cross the bridge, as the rope railings are below waist level in the center.

Where is the best place to hike in Chapman State Park?

Hiking in Chapman State Park is a great way to explore the beautiful landscape and all that the park has to offer. Nature trails are abundant, ranging from easy strolls through lush woodlands to more challenging routes with steeper inclines.

We’d recommend the Adams Run Trail for beginners and families. The Penny Run Trail is great for a little more distance, but it can be quite wet and muddy, especially during the spring and after heavy rains.

No matter what type of terrain you’re looking for, there’s sure to be a trail perfect for you at Chapman State Park!

How many trails are in Chapman State Park?

Chapman State Park is a great destination for beginner hikers, with 10 trails of varying lengths.

None are more than a few miles long, and many are even shorter.

With 862 acres of lush woodlands, the trails cover roughly a combined 14 miles.

Hiking trails in Chapman State Park are beautiful and child-friendly.
The trailhead for the Adams Run trail and storybook walk.


Fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, especially in the spring. Located in Warren County, Chapman State Park offers access to 68-acre Chapman Lake, perfect for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is stocked with brook and brown trout, bass, perch, and sunfish.

A boat launch is available for those who want to get out on the water, and a few rental boats are available if you don’t have your own.

You can also easily fish from the shores around the lake. The only area that is off-limits to fishing is the beach area. Fishing is also popular along the West Branch of Tionesta Creek.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking to try something new, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch some fish at Chapman State Park.

Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased online or at local stores. Be sure to read up on regulations and tips from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website before heading out!

What fish are in Chapman Dam?

Chapman Dam is home to a variety of fish species, giving anglers plenty of options for their next fishing adventure. The lake is stocked with trout, bass, perch, and sunfish.

It’s a popular spot for fishing during the spring when trout season opens in Pennsylvania. Families come to fish the lake and creek, as there is easy access for all ages.

A wooden swinging bridge crosses over the creek in Chapman State Park
the Swinging Bridge in Chapman State Park

Spend a Day by the Water

If you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, why not head over to Chapman State Park? It features a 68-acre lake where you can rent boats and set out on the water.

Bring your own boat, if you wish, but only those with electric motors are permitted on the lake. It’s also a great spot for paddling around in a canoe or kayak.

The state park also offers a beach for swimming and enjoying the lake, which is typically open from the end of May through the middle of September. It is unguarded, so swimming is at your own risk.

There is also a concrete path leading directly into the water, which is located on the left side of the beach when looking at the water.

Winter Activities at Chapman State Park

If you’re looking for a winter getaway, Chapman State Park also has fun activities when the snow hits the ground. During the colder months, visitors can take advantage of the park’s many winter options.

From snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the trails surrounding the 68-acre Chapman Lake to ice fishing for trout and perch on the lake itself, Chapman State Park certainly does not close down during the winter. 

Near the end of Chapman Lake along Chapman Dam Rd, you’ll find the sledding hill, with a warming hut at the bottom. There is a large parking area here, and trails through the woods on either side of the hill to walk back up to the top.

Enjoy the day with your sled flying down the 7-acre sledding hill on the west side of the park.

The Chapman State Park sledding hill in spring

Camping at Chapman State Park

If you’re searching for a peaceful outdoor escape, you can spend the night camping at Chapman State Park.  Whether you’re a novice or an experienced camper, Chapman State Park has something to suit every need.

If you’re looking for a little extra comfort, rent one of the park’s cabins for an unforgettable stay.

With its natural beauty and wide range of activities, it’s sure to make your next camping trip one to remember!

Book all campsites, cottages, and yurts ahead of time through ReserveAmerica.

Camping Cottages

If you’re looking for a camping experience that combines the outdoors and the indoors, book one of  Chapman State Park’s three camping cottages. These charming cottages offer a few comforts of home while still allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors.

Each cottage is equipped with electricity. You’ll also have access to a patio porch where you can take in the beauty of your surroundings or go for a peaceful evening stroll. To top it off, there is easy access to recreational activities nearby.

Whether you’re looking for an escape from busy life or just want to get away for a few days, Chapman State Park’s camping cottages are a great way to get away but still have a solid roof over your head.


Yurts are an increasingly popular option for campers looking for a unique outdoor experience.

Chapman State Park has two yurts located within the park, which provide a cozy and comfortable atmosphere while still allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors.

The interior of each yurt is spacious and airy and comes fully equipped with modern amenities such as a refrigerator, microwave, and stovetop.

There are beds for six people in these yurts with two bunk beds and a double bed. Whether you’re looking for an adventure with your family or just want to get away for a few days, Chapman State Park’s yurts will surely provide you with an unforgettable stay.

You can spend the night in a yurt similar to this one in Chapman State Park.

Modern Electric, Non-Electric, and Walk To Campsites

Are you looking for your standard campground experience? Chapman State Park has just what you need! The park offers both modern electric and non-electric campsites, so everyone can find something that suits their needs.

Separated into 2 loops, the sites are scattered with 50 amp, 30 amp, and no hookups. There are also a few walk-in tent sites on the upper loop. Plus, sites are equipped with features such as picnic tables and fire pits.

No matter which type of site you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of all that Chapman has to offer – exploring 862 acres of woodlands or taking part in educational programs designed to teach visitors about wildlife and conservation.

Rustic Organized Group Tenting Site

Rustic organized group tenting sites are the perfect place to gather with your closest family and friends for a weekend of camping. Located in Chapman State Park, this site offers an open space for many tents, away from some of the hustle and bustle of the park.

This is the ideal spot for larger groups looking for an unforgettable camping experience.

The rustic tenting site includes several amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and an accessible vault toilet just a short walk from the site.

Are Pennsylvania state parks free?

Pennsylvania state parks offer so much to explore and enjoy without costing you a dime! The Pennsylvania state park system is made up of 124 parks covering over 300,000 acres of beautiful land, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Admission to state parks in Pennsylvania is free. Once you arrive at the park, there are plenty of activities to partake in, such as hiking and biking trails, fishing spots, picnic areas, and more. Many of the parks also offer educational programs that teach visitors about the local wildlife and plants. There are also boat launches available for those who want to explore by water.

Each Pennsylvania state park has something different to offer, from rapids and waterfalls in Ohiopyle to the beaches of Presque Isle State Park to the rugged hiking in Worlds End

A wide view of the calm lake at Chapman State Park.

Chapman State Park is a hidden gem in northwest Pennsylvania that offers a variety of activities and access to the vast expanse of the Allegheny National Forest. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you’ll find it all here. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and experience the natural beauty of Chapman State Park for yourself!