Prince Gallitzin State Park - Pennsylvania

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Description

At Prince Gallitzin State Park, the forested hills of the Allegheny Plateau cradle sprawling Glendale Lake. Vistas offer scenic views of the 1,635-acre lake with its 26 miles of shoreline, which is a favorite of anglers and boaters. Campers flock to the large campground and also enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities. The varied habitats of the park make it a home for many types of wildlife, and a rest stop in the spring and fall migrations.

Recreation

Picnicking:

Picnic tables are available throughout the park. Many picnic tables are adjacent to the swimming area in Muskrat Beaches 1, 2 and 3. Four picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Swimming:

Muskrat beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. A food concession, modern bathhouses, dressing rooms, disc golf, volleyball courts and a large picnic area are in and around the swimming area.

Boating: up to 20 hp motors permitted

The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake has nine public boat launching areas conveniently located throughout the park, along with three public mooring facilities for sailboats, pontoon boats and runabouts. Marina slips are available at Beaver Valley and at Prince Gallitzin marinas. A watercraft concession and marina provides various services, including: watercraft rentals, lake tours, repairs to boats and motors, and the sale of fuel.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Fishing:

The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake is a warm-water fishery with bass, pike and muskellunge as the most common game fish. There is also a good population of panfish that includes crappie, bluegill and perch. Killbuck Run is stocked with trout. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Hiking: 32.65 miles of trails

The trails pass through many habitats and near the lake. For trail descriptions explore trails.

Biking: 2.3 miles of trails

All bicyclists may use park roads open to public travel. Campers may cycle the 2.3-mile multi-use trail around the perimeter of the campground.

Mountain Biking: 20 miles of trails

In the northern part of the park, the 20-mile snowmobile trail network is open for mountain biking and hiking. Bikers should follow the rules of the road and common courtesies.

Horseback Riding:

All equestrian trails can be accessed from the Beaverdam Boat Launch.

A riding stable adjacent to park property on Marina Road offers rides of varying degrees of difficulty and length on park property.

Stay the Nights

Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups

A 398-site tent and trailer campground is open from the second Friday in April to the last Monday in October. Facilities and services offered in the campground include: camp store with coin-operated laundry, swimming beach, boat mooring area, boat rental, playgrounds, paved sites, showers, flush toilets and sanitary dump stations.

Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 7 host positions

The campground host sites have amenities that include 50-amp electric service and water and sewer hookup. The Crooked Run Campground has host sites on each of seven main loops that have 43 to 84 campsites each. Each loop has its own washhouse. The host is required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week with a two-week minimum stay. On the loop or loops assigned, host responsibilities include light maintenance tasks at campsites, litter pickup, evening checks of washhouses, and promoting good public relations with campers. Some loops are closed seasonally, reducing the number of hosts needed in the spring and fall. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

Camping Cottages:

The three camping cottages in the campground have a deck and windows that overlook the lake. Each cottage sleeps five people in a single bunk and double/single bunk beds and has electric lights, outlets and heat. The cottages are available from the second Friday in April to the last Monday in October. One cottage is ADA accessible.

Modern Cabins:

Ten modern cabins are for rent year-round. Cabins are furnished and have a living area, kitchen/dining area, shower room, and two or three bedrooms. Two bedroom cabins sleep six people (one double bed and two bunks), while three bedroom cabins sleep eight people (one double bed and three bunks). One cabin is ADA accessible.

Organized Group Tenting:

A rustic tenting area may be reserved by organized adult and youth groups from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. There are picnic tables, restrooms and drinking water. A shower house is within easy walking distance.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing:

Seven miles of marked trails are available for this popular wintertime activity.

Snowmobiling:

Registered snowmobiles may use the 20-mile trail network. Snowmobiles may be operated on designated trails and roads from the day following the last deer season in December until April 1, weather permitting.

Ice Fishing:

The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake is popular for ice fishing. Common species caught through the ice are perch, walleye, pike and crappies. Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is four inches thick and carry safety equipment.

Iceboating:

Iceboats must display a state park launch permit.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

An environmental education specialist offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs seasonally. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward the natural and cultural resources of the park. Recreational programming includes interpretive kayak and pontoon boat tours of Lake Glendale. Curriculum-based environmental education field learning experiences are available for K – 12 school groups, youth organizations and homeschool associations.

Wind Turbine:

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) installed small-scale wind turbines to show how alternative energy can reduce pollution and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

For hundreds of years, traditional windmills harnessed wind energy to pump water or grind grain. Today's modern equivalent – the wind turbine – uses wind energy to generate electricity which has far less impact on the environment than energy generation based on fossil fuels.

Using non-renewable fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to generate energy releases many pollutants into the atmosphere. These pollutants, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and particulates, cause smog, acid precipitation and contribute to global warming which threatens our health and the environment.

Wildlife Watching

The diverse habitats of Prince Gallitzin State Park provide great opportunities for viewing wildlife. Please observe wildlife from a distance and do not feed wildlife.

The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake, with its 26 miles of shoreline, is home to many species of fish, birds and animals. Wyerough Branch and the upper reaches of Slatelick and Mudlick branches are covered in wetland plants and are a good places to see ducks, herons and rails. In the spring and fall,waterfowl stop at the lake to rest on their migrations north and south.

The forests of the park are excellent for seeing many species of birds, especially warblers and vireos.

The fields in the park are excellent for seeing butterflies. Prince Gallitzin State Park, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, has begun to enhance the Headache Hill area to improve wildlife diversity and create wildlife viewing areas.

Feeding wildlife is prohibited. When animals become dependent on humans for food, this brings animals and humans into close contact which can lead to potentially dangerous situations. Human food is often of little nutritional value to animals and can make animals sick and unhealthy.

History

Prince Gallitzin

Prince Gallitzin State Park is named for Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin. Born in Holland (Netherlands) on December 22, 1770, he was the only son of Prince Dimitri Alexievitch Gallitzin, Russian Ambassador to Holland, and his wife Amalia Von Schmettau Gallitzin.

In 1792, young Gallitzin arrived in the United States and became intrigued at the contrast between the terrible social and political state of France and the civil and religious liberty that had become fundamental principles in the social structure of the new country. He determined to devote his life to being a Catholic priest and entered the Sulpician Seminary in Baltimore. On March 18, 1795, Gallitzin was ordained as one of the earliest people in the United States upon whom the full orders of the priesthood were conferred. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States and was first assigned to the Conewago mission near the Susquehanna River and south of present day Harrisburg.

Prince Gallitzin, the son of Russian nobility, played an important role in the settling of central and northern Cambria County. There were a large number of widely scattered farms throughout the region. Father Gallitzin was responsible for establishing the first Catholic Church between the Susquehanna and the Mississippi (St. Michael’s Parish) and the town of Loretto. He arranged the construction of a gristmill, tannery and sawmill. He taught children and for many settlers was their doctor, lawyer and banker.

Father Gallitzin never returned to his homeland and died in Loretto on May 6, 1840. His contributions are remembered in several place names in Cambria County, including the town of Gallitzin, Gallitzin Springs, as well as Prince Gallitzin State Park.

Father Gallitzin, for all his great deeds and hard work helping the settlers of the region, will forever be known as the “Apostle of the Alleghenies.”

Park History

In the 1930s, much of the area that is now Prince Gallitzin State Park was forested and laced with trout streams and beaver dams. The Pennsylvania Game Commission owned much of the land. The local economy was depressed and the population of the area was declining. It was in this atmosphere that the idea of a park was conceived.

In 1935, during the Great Depression, the National Park Service proposed to establish several Recreation Demonstration Areas in Pennsylvania. A project was proposed and approved for this area, but was never implemented. The project proposal map is on file in the park office and has an uncanny resemblance to Prince Gallitzin State Park.

In 1955, the Patton Chamber of Commerce and the Patton Sportsmen proposed a 30-acre dam in the Killbuck Area. In March of that same year, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters, met with the Patton Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Goddard approved of the idea and from that beginning, the original concept rapidly expanded.

On April 4, 1957, Governor George M. Leader announced plans for “Pennsylvania’s largest and most complete state park” and land acquisition began. The park was to have a 1,760-acre lake and “provide the people of this State with the finest recreation facilities.”

Money derived from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund, recently authorized by the state legislature, was to pay for the proposed two million dollar project. Secretary Goddard said, “No other areas that I have seen in the Commonwealth has this unique combination of characteristics. I predict we will be able to fulfill the desires of the Legislature much beyond their expectations in the development of this outstanding park.”

The park was one of Pennsylvania’s largest parks at the time. From July 8 to July 15, 1967, the park hosted the National Campers and Hikers Association convention. There were 26,500 people camped in the fields around Headache Hill. The convention brought national awareness to the park and Pennsylvania.

In April of 1970, Crooked Run Campground opened, the docks at Beaver Valley Marina opened, and the first seasonal park naturalist conducted lectures and walks.

Further improvements like the addition of hiking trails, cabins and upgrades to facilities continue to make Prince Gallitzin one of the finest recreational facilities in Pennsylvania.

Contact

966 Marina Road, Patton, PA 16668-6317

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