raymond b. winter state park sign and dam
Pennsylvania State Parks

Trip Report: Raymond B. Winter State Park in Pennsylvania

on
July 25, 2022
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Raymond B. Winter State Park in central Pennsylvania’s Bald Eagle State Forest has a small lake, campground, and multi-use recreation trails.

History and Location

Raymond B. Winter State Park in Mifflinburg is in the middle of the state, just over three hours from both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 

While the park is almost 700 acres, it lies in Bald Eagle State Forest – which is a slightly over a whopping 193,000 acres!

The forest was tapped for lumber in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, Raymond B. Winter was one of three rangers working in the area to restore the forest and establish the recreation trails.

The Civilian Conservation Corps eventually assisted with building the dam and other park amenities like the swimming beach. In 1955, the park was renamed for the hero that helped champion it’s creation: Raymond B. Winter.  

raymond b. winter state park beach

Campground

Raymond B. Winter State Park campground has 61 campsites (most with electric) and 3 camping cottages. The long and short loops are pet-friendly, while the upper loop is not. 

We stayed at site #16 in the long loop, extremely close to cabin A and diagonal from the bath house. 

raymond b winter campground map with star

While the campground in general has nice forest cover, site #16 is very close to the cabin next door:

raymond b winter state park campground close to cabin
raymond b winter state park campground pic 2

From site #16, the bath house is a short walk across the street.  

raymond b winter state park campground bath house

The bath house was newer and quite clean. The showers were incredibly hot (YAY!), and had no time buttons (double YAY!). 

Trails

Raymond B. Winter State Park features around 8 1/2 miles spread out between around 10 hiking trails – which means you could cover most of the park in one weekend easily.

Many of the trails in the park are multi-use- from everything like mountain biking and horse riding to snow-mobiling and cross-country skiing.

During our visit, our dog Franklin had torn the cranial cruciate ligament in his back leg (kind of like a doggy ACL). He was using a small leg brace while awaiting his surgery the following week. 

Because of his injury, Russ stayed back to hang out with him at the campground while Hazel and I hit the trails. 

Even though the Upper Loop was not pet-friendly for overnight stays, I did walk Hazel quickly through so we could access the Campground Trail. 

raymond b winter state park hiking map marked

To create an approximate 4-mile loop shown above in bright green, Hazel and I headed used the Campground Trail to Old Boundary Trail.  

Old Boundary Trail started out a slight incline, but graduated quickly to a pretty serious climb for a short stint. 

At the top of Old Boundary Trail, we made a right onto Bake Oven Trail and traveled the ridge to head towards Halfway Lake.

hazel hiking at raymond b winter state park
raymond b winter state park steep hiking trail

Once we came to the dam, I realized we could not walk across the top. We instead took the roadside to get to Lakeside Trail. 

raymond b. winter state park dam
halfway lake at raymond b winter state park

At the west end of Lakeside Trail, we made the 1-mile loop to see Rapid Run Natural Area (which appeared to still have some logging going on). 

rapid run natural area at raymond b winter state park

Once we completed the Rapid Run Nature Trail, we took the opposite side of Lakeside Trail back to the campground. 

Wildlife, Fauna, and Fungi

Because of Franklin’s injury, we had a rather short stay and didn’t get to see much wildlife. 

We did get a notice at the campground check in that bears were in the park again, and to be careful with our food and garbage- but unfortunately we didn’t see any! 

I did snap this woodpecker going to town along Rapid Run Nature Trail:

rapid run nature trail woodpecker

The Last Word

Apologies for this being one of the shortest Road Trip Tails Trip Reports ever! 

We did think that Raymond B. Winter State Park campground was quite comfortable and would have liked to spend more time exploring the trails. 

If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting and have more tips and things to see, please share below!

While he’s in recovery mode from his surgery, Franklin wishes you many happy walks on all good knees! 

franklin post-knee surgery
We’ve visited other parks in central Pennsylvania … Like Poe Paddy and Poe Valley State Parks. 
Never hesitate to stop at interesting places along the way! Like this one in north central PA.
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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Kent Knisley

    August 18, 2022

    I liked your report on r b winter state park in Pennsylvania. One minor point – there’s no logging going on there, it was a microburst of tornado like but straight line winds that blew down part of the forest on the nature trail.

    • Reply

      Jill & Russ

      August 31, 2022

      Oh, thank you for the correction! I thought I had read there was logging activity in rotation through that forest and just assumed that was what I was seeing. Much appreciated!

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