Oil Creek State Park (place)
Return to Oil Creek State Park (place)
Oil Creek State Park is located in Northwest Pennsylvania, mostly in northern Venango County and continuing north a little into Crawford County. It is about 12 miles long, following the Oil Creek valley and averages about a mile in width. The north end of the park is capped by Drake Well Park and Museum. Oil Creek flows through a 400 feet deep gorge who's sides vary from very steep cliff-like hills to flat marshy patches of wetland. Oil Creek got its name from the oil slicks that floated naturally on the surface of the water in the 1800s.
The hub of Oil Creek State Park is Petroleum Centre which is about 10 miles south of Drake Well Park and Titusville, PA. Petroleum Center was developed in the 1860s following the birth of the oil industry. There were still a couple of families living there as late as the 1950s until it became a state park. One of the original houses is used for bicycle rentals and a snack shop. There is a visitor center offering historical and environmental programs at different times of the year. A large picnic area with a children's playground and large playing field lies adjacent to a stretch of Oil Creek used mostly for fly fishing. The southern end of the paved bike trail starts in Petroleum Center as well as several hiking trails.
Oil Creek State Park Highlights:
I used to ride the bike trail to work for a couple of years. I saw lots of deer and terrified many early morning fishermen and hikers when I would ride silently up behind them early in the morning and yell, "Coming through!". I watched a pair of fawns grow into yearlings one summer. Sometimes they ran beside me a few dozen yards in the woods.
Source: "Find a Park" http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us