September 20, 2021
If you are looking for a unique way to spend the day in Mercer County, look no further than Big […]
October 1, 2020
The 2,856-acre Maurice K. Goddard State Park offers hours of outdoor adventure and fun. Many recreational activities attract visitors in all seasons.
A large lake, abundant wetlands, old fields and mature forests provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife, especially waterfowl, eagles and ospreys. The park features the 1,860-acre Lake Wilhelm which is very popular with anglers, as well as the scenic 12.2-mile paved hiking and biking trail that loops around the entire lake. Maurice K. Goddard State Park is a five-minute drive from I-79 off the Sandy Lake / Greenville exit.
Whether you are looking for that perfect honey hole for fishing or want to take the family somewhere to spot wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors, Maurice K. Goddard State Park has something for everyone!
You can also explore the large lake and wetlands as well as the forests and fields that serve as the habitat to diverse wildlife such as waterfowl and eagles.
Ready for an Outdoor Adventure? Plan Your Visit Today!
Hiking/Biking- A twelve mile paved hiking/biking trail follows the shoreline of Lake Wilhelm from Boat Launch 4 to the Marina, and continues to Dugan’s Run. It can be accessed from Launch 4, Marina, Launch 2, Launch 1, the Dam and Dugan’s Run. The trail is open to two-way bicycle traffic, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Fishing- The 1,860 –acre Lake Wihelm is a warm–water fishery. Common species are largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, bluegill, crappie, catfish, perch and sunfish. A bait and fishing tackle concession is available at the marina. All Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.
Hunting – Over 1,155 acres of Maurice K. Goddard State Park, plus Lake Wilhelm, are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer and waterfowl. State Game Land 270 is adjacent to the park.
Boating – The 1,860- acre Lake Whelm has a 241-slip marina and a 48-space dry land mooring area available from May 1 to October 31. The Marina rents rowboats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes.
Cross –country Ski Trail – is on the South Shore and cross-country skiing, hiking and biking is permitted. The south shore of the lake has areas of trail that share the road with motor vehicles. The trail runs from the dam to Lake Wilhelm Road.
Wildlife Watching: The large lake, abundant wetlands, old fields and mature forests provide a diversity of habitats that attract wildlife in all seasons. Once pushed to the edge of extinction, bald eagles and ospreys have rebounding populations. Both of these fish-eating raptors nest near Lake Wilhelm. The combination of old fields and mature forests are home to many birds including American woodcock, common snipe, common nighthawk and many species of warblers. In the spring and fall, waterfowl by the thousands stop at the lake for a quick rest and snack. Loon, teal, merganser, goldeneye and bufflehead are some of the noteworthy waterfowl. The winter is a good time to see many woodpeckers, including the pileated woodpecker.
In summer, turtles are abundant in the quiet waters by the Marina. The wetland across Lake Wilhelm Road from the marina entrance has a waterfowl observation station and is a great place to see osprey and beaver.
Bluebird trail: Once a rare bird due to habitat loss, the red, white and blue eastern bluebird is once again a common sight at Maurice K. Goddard State Park. The park’s bluebird trail program is one of many successful wildlife programs at Maurice K. Goddard State Park. The habitat in Mercer County is very suitable for this beautiful bird but was lacking cavities for the birds to nest in. For over 20 years, volunteers have maintained bluebird nesting boxes in old fields, meadows, farm fields and recreation areas. Six volunteers maintain about 90 boxes each year, which annually fledge about 100 young bluebirds. The white and emerald tree swallow, another cavity nester, also thrives in the boxes.
Purple Martin: Nesting gourds have been set up for the Purple Martin. The destruction of its insect prey by Hurricane Agnes, in 1972, decimated and fragmented the population of purple martins. What was once a common bird became hard to find except in a few places. Highly social birds, purple martins need abundant cavities to form colonies.
The best place to see the birds and boxes is in day-use areas along the Multi-use Trail, which traverses the lower portion of Lake Wilhelm, and the Marina and boat launches.
Mercer County is filled with a variety of scenic trails, waterways, parks, and more, perfect for families and avid outdoor adventurers to enjoy! If you are ready to plan your visit, go to VisitMercerCountyPA.com today to get started!