Agency Spotlight: Chapman State Park
The 805-acre Chapman State Park includes the 68-acre Chapman Lake on the West Branch of Tionesta Creek. Adjacent to state game lands and the Allegheny National Forest, Chapman is an oasis of recreational facilities in a vast area of wilderness.
The park is an excellent place to stay the night. This beautiful woodland campground has 82 campsites, modern restrooms, water at convenient hydrants and a sanitary dump station. Pets are permitted at designated campsites. ADA accessible sites are available. The campground is open from mid-April to mid-December. Winter access cannot be guaranteed and can be checked by contacting the park office.
Three camping cottages sleep five people in bunk beds and have wooden floors, windows, table and chairs, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets. Cottage 1 is ADA accessible. Up to two dogs are permitted in Cottage 1 for a fee.
Yurts—round, canvas and wood walled tents—have a wooden deck and sleep six people in 2 bunk beds and a double bed. Yurts have a stove top, microwave oven, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat, electric lights and outlets, fire ring, picnic table and are adjacent to a water pump. Yurt 1 is ADA accessible.
For those interested in organized group tenting, this rustic area is available for rent year-round to adult and youth groups. The area has restrooms nearby, fire rings, picnic tables and water. Advanced reservations are required.
For anglers, the 68-acre Chapman Lake has fishing for cold-water and warm-water fish, including brook and brown trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, yellow perch and sucker. ADA accessible fishing piers are on the eastern and western shorelines of Chapman Lake. Within the park and the surrounding Allegheny National Forest, trout fishing exists in the West Branch of Tionesta Creek and Farnsworth Run.
The lake has a boat launch and 41 seasonal mooring spaces on the western side, and mooring for registered campers on the eastern shoreline. Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
A sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset for swimming. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules.
In addition to the trails at the park, Chapman is the trailhead for backpacking trails on adjoining public lands. Map and trail information is available in the park office. Free parking is available at the park for those who would rather not leave their vehicles along public roadways. PLEASE SIGN IN AT THE PARK OFFICE.
Chapman State Park is in the midst of about 517,000 acres of Allegheny National Forest and state game land. When going on a hike, always take a map and compass and KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. Leave word with a family member, friend, or the park office concerning the trails you will take, destination and expected return time. Have a safe hike.
Although most hiking trails are not open to bicycles, all roads in the park and in the adjacent state game land and Allegheny National Forest are open to bicycles.
Over 400 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, bear and small game. Allegheny National Forest and State Game Land 29 adjacent to the park are open to hunting. Special Canada goose hunting regulations are in place. Contact the park office for more information.
Chapman State Park has plenty of winter recreational opportunities available as well. For cross-country skiers, at least 4.4 miles of groomed ski trails connect with numerous trails in the adjoining national forest and state game land. A seven-acre groomed slope for sledding on the western side of the park is lighted until 10 p.m., daily. The 68-acre Chapman Lake is popular for ice fishing for perch and trout. Ice thickness in not monitored.
An ice rink is located across from the park office, behind the Environmental Learning Center. Constructed in 2011, this 120’ x 80’ on the ground rink is lighted nightly until 9:00 PM when conditions permit. Skates only please on the ice rink. Footprints on snow and slush can freeze and create hazardous conditions for skaters. And on the western side of the park near the sled riding hillis a warming hut with a wood burning stove and benches.
The park name honors Dr. Leroy E. Chapman (1881-1967) of Warren. Dr. Chapman was a State Senator from 1929 to 1963 and was very active in civic affairs.
Many community groups were instrumental in creating this popular state park. The first land for the park was acquired in 1949. A dam was constructed near the old earthen dam of the Bucher Mill Log Pond, which dates back to Bucher’s Mill that was built about 1849. Chapman State Park opened in 1951.
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