“A Remote and Wild Setting”
Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. The park conserves unique, natural environments and is in Centre County on PA 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting. According to local tradition, American Indians called this watershed “Moss-Hanne,” meaning “moose stream,” thus the origin of the park’s name. Appropriately, the “black” in the park name describes the tea-colored waters. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is fed by clear springs and small streams which flow through the bogs that stretch in most directions from its shores. As the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant teabag to color the water. Human use of this area has always been reflected in the use of Black Moshannon’s water. The Seneca Indians hunted, traded and fished here when the present lake was a string of beaver ponds. By 1821, the Philadelphia-Erie Pike (now PA 504) opened, and settlement began with the establishment of the Antes House, a tavern, near the present bridge. This substantial hotel hosted weary travelers, pioneers and sheep and cattle drovers making their way across the steep Allegheny Front.
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Black Moshannon State Park
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