The 1,200-acre Keystone State Park is great for day-trips and family vacations year round. Camping, modern cabins, many trails, and a lake are all within walking distance, providing an ideal setting for wildlife watching or outdoor adventures.
The park is within easy driving distance from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, the Laurel Highlands, and their many attractions.
Hiking at Keystone State Park
8 miles of trails
The trails are open year-round for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. All trails are rated from easiest to more difficult hiking with parking available at most of the trailheads. All trails are foot traffic only, except for Lakeside Trail, which is open to biking.
Davis Run Trail
3 miles, easiest hiking
This trail meanders through wetlands before reaching an upland forest of mixed conifers and mature hardwoods. Along part of the trail, the conifers form a scenic tunnel.
2.2 miles, easiest hiking
This loop goes around the lake on park roads and walkways. This scenic and fairly level path offers an excellent view of waterfowl and other aquatic life. Bikes are permitted.
McCune Run Trail
0.5 mile, easiest hiking
This short trail leads to an abandoned beaver pond and a wetland meadow. The trail crosses over the remnants of an old beaver dam and connects to Davis Run Trail.
0.3 mile loop, easiest hiking
This trail loops through plantations of red, white, and table mountain pine trees. About halfway through the trail, hikers can view farm fields and large chestnut oak trees.
Stone Lodge Trail
1.5 miles, easiest to more difficult hiking
The path starts from the James A. Kell Visitor Center parking lot. This challenging walk starts with a fairly steep climb that winds through hardwoods to ridgetop conifers. Keen-eyed hikers can find remnants of an old springhouse and homestead by large hemlock trees.
0.6 mile, easiest hiking
This trail connects Davis Run and McCune Run trails.
Picnicking at Keystone State Park
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
Several picnic areas in the park offer:
The picnic area adjacent to the boat concession offers charcoal grills and drinking water.
Please keep these areas clean and dispose of hot charcoal in proper receptacles.
Two pavilions have charcoal grills, drinking water, and electric outlets:
Pavilion #1 is on the north side of the lake, closer to the beach
Pavilion #2 is below the breast of the dam
Picnic pavilions can be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Stay the Night at Keystone State Park
flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hookups
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
About 100 tent and trailer sites are available from the first Friday in April to the third Sunday of October.
Lakeside Campground is adjacent to the lake. Hillside Campground is in a more remote area of the park and accommodates those camping with pets.
Both campgrounds have a modern bathhouse. A sanitary dump station is available. Shower facilities may not be available after October 1.
Swimming at Keystone State Park
A sand beach is open from late-May to Labor Day, 8:00 A.M. to sunset.
Swim at your own risk.
Please follow posted rules.
To keep this area clean and safe, no food, beverages, or pets are allowed on the sand area of the beach.
Wildlife Watching at Keystone State Park
Keystone State Park hosts a wide range of plant and animal life. Stop at the visitor center for a bird checklist or to learn about the natural sites and wildlife of the area. Each season provides an opportunity to see a diversity of plants and animals.
During spring, wildflowers bloom before the trees leaf out, such as:
Warblers, kinglets, buffleheads, mergansers, herons, osprey, and many other birds migrate through the park. Some birds only stop for a brief refueling visit, while others stay for the summer.
During summer, many young birds and mammals are born and can be seen, but be sure not to handle the wild animals. Fireflies dance and display their lights in midsummer.
Frogs and insects sing a nighttime chorus in the marsh area in the eastern end of the lake. Yarrow, joe pye weed, ironweed, boneset, fire pink, goldenrods, and daisies peak in late summer, providing food for butterflies.
The shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn cause the deciduous trees to erupt with color before dropping their leaves. Birds migrate south to their winter homes. The temperature is usually perfect for hiking and exploring.
During winter, you can find animal tracks in the snow and find bird nests that are revealed after leaves have fallen from the trees. Native birds like chickadees, cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeckers travel in groups hunting for seeds and insects.
Boating at Keystone State Park
electric motors only
The 78-acre Keystone Lake has a public boat launch and mooring area on the north shore by the breast of the dam.
Fishing at Keystone State Park
The 78-acre Keystone Lake has warm water and cold water fishing, with trout stockings throughout the year.
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. A fishing area by the spillway is ADA accessible.
Common species are:
Brown bullhead catfish
Fishing is prohibited at the beach, boat launches, and mooring areas.
Keystone Lake is a Big Bass Lake and special regulations apply.
When conditions permit, ice fishing is permitted on the natural ice of the lake.
Hunting at Keystone State Park
During established seasons, about half of the park is open to:
Training of dogs
Hunting on the lake and surrounding area is prohibited.
Common game species are:
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas.
Biking at Keystone State Park
Lakeside Trail is excellent for bikes of all types. This two-mile, level trail loops around the lake on park roads and walkways.
Mountain bikes must stay on park roads or gravel walkways.
All other trails are foot-traffic only.
Sledding at Keystone State Park
Sledding is permitted on slopes in the park.
Cross-country Skiing at Keystone State Park
Cross-country skiing is permitted on park trails.
Ice Skating at Keystone State Park
Skating is permitted on the natural ice of the lake.
Ice thickness is not monitored.