Park brochure for Oil Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. Published by Pennsylvania State Parks.
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Oil Creek Oil Creek State Park A Pennsylvania Recreational Guide for Pennsylvania State Parks Mission The primary purpose of Pennsylvania state parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations. visitPAparks Printed on recycled paper HISTORY OIL CREEK STATE PARK Oil Creek Valley is the site of the world’s first commercial oil well. Oil Creek State Park tells the story of the early petroleum industry by interpreting oil boomtowns, oil wells, and early transportation. Scenic Oil Creek carves a valley of deep hollows, steep hillsides, and wetlands. Reservations Make online reservations at www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations. Directions Between Drake Well Museum and Titusville to the north, and Oil City four miles to the south, the main entrance to the park is off PA 8, one mile north of the Borough of Rouseville. RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES BICYCLING: A 9.7-mile paved bicycle trail through scenic Oil Creek Valley is a major park attraction. Trailheads are at Petroleum Centre in the south and Drake Well Museum and Park in the north. Trail users may rent bicycles at the park office. Picnic tables, benches, rain shelters, and restrooms are at key points along the trail. Historical markers detail special events of the 1860s oil boom era. The trail is open to two-way bicycle traffic. Stay to the right while riding. When passing another cyclist, first ensure that there are no oncoming riders, then call out to the cyclist that you are passing. Bicycles should be parked off of the trail to avoid obstructing traffic. Bicycles are only permitted on paved trail, and roadways. Bicycles are prohibited on hiking trails. Caution: Park maintenance and emergency vehicles may be on the trail. HUNTING AND FIREARMS: About 6,800 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are rabbit, deer, squirrel, turkey, black bear, and ruffed grouse. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information. Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park. FISHING: Oil Creek is known for its bass and trout. Boughton Run, Toy Run, and Jones Run provide brook trout fishing. Two delayed harvest, artificial lures only areas cover 2.5 miles of Oil Creek. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply. CANOEING AND KAYAKING: Oil Creek offers a scenic float and is classed as a beginner’s creek under normal conditions. Water levels can change rapidly and boaters should call the park office for current water conditions. Generally, the boating season is from March to early June. Non-powered boats launched in the park must display one of the following: boat registration; launch permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: A crosscountry ski trail complex located between Petroleum Centre and Plumer can be accessed on SR 1004. A network of 11.5 miles of groomed trails offers beginner and intermediate skiers a variety of skiing experiences. The area includes a large parking area, warming hut, and restrooms. Track is set on all trails in the complex. A fee is charged for a ski pass, which is required in the complex. Mountain bikes are prohibited on ski trails. The 9.7-mile bicycle trail is open to skiers without a pass. Check at the park office for trail conditions. PICNICKING: Blood Farm Day Use Area and Egbert Farm Day Use Area are on the southern side of the park and are ideal settings for an enjoyable outing. The day use areas have picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, playfields, and picnic pavilions that may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. A playground is in the Egbert Farm Day Use Area. ORGANIZED GROUP TENTING: Organized groups can rent a rustic camping area in Wildcat Hollow or McCrea Farm. Each area has nearby parking, picnic tables, fire circle, composting toilets, and seasonal water, but no showers. Each camp can accommodate up to 25 people. Call the park office for accommodations for larger groups. Advance reservations are required. WATERFALLS: Oil Creek is home to four beautiful waterfalls. The best time to view the falls is early to late spring. For safety reasons, visitors are encouraged to stay on the trails while viewing the falls. Additional information can be obtained at the park office. HIKING: 52 miles of trails Blood Farm Interpretive Trail: Spend 30 minutes walking a 0.5-mile trail through the 440-acre Blood Farm oil lease. This farm produced more oil than all of the other farms in the oil region in 1861 and 1862. Learn about 15 years of frantic drilling, gushing oil, and devastating fires. Interpretive signs guide the tour. Petroleum Centre Walking Tour: Petroleum Centre flourished from 1863 to 1870 on its twin livelihoods of oil and entertainment. This company town had no government, law enforcement, sanitation, or public works. It was reputed to the “wickedest town east of the Mississippi!” Start at the Petroleum Centre Amphitheater for this 45-minute self-guiding tour. Along Oil Creek, just south of Titusville, Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil at a depth of 69.5 feet in August 1859. Three words“They’ve struck oil!” thundered triumphantly throughout the valley. This statement changed the world forever and marks the birth of the world’s oil industry. The New York Tribune stated, “The excitement attendant on the discovery of this vast source of oil was fully equal to what I saw in California when a large lump of gold was accidentally turned out. When California 49ers came into the valley they claimed conditions here were crazier than any they’d ever seen.” Drake’s discovery caused thousands of people to pour into the valley in search of liquid gold. Boomtowns sprang up instantly as derricks replaced trees and the valley filled with people. “The boomtowns spring up as of from the touch of a magician’s wand, are swept away by fire, or disappear only to reappear miles in advance of their last location.” Gerard Hiking Trail: This 36-mile long trail encompasses the entire park. The main trail is marked with yellow paint blazes. For shorter day hikes, use the five connecting loops blazed in white. Parking areas are available at several access points. Scenic vistas, waterfalls, and historic sites are prevalent along the trail. Two overnight hike-in shelter areas (Cow Run and Wolfkiel Run) are along the trail. Each area contains tent sites, six Adirondack-style shelters with fireplaces, restrooms, and seasonal water supply. A fee and reservations are mandatory for use of these areas and overnight usage is limited to one night per shelter site. Fires are only permitted in camp stoves, fireplaces, or designated locations and must be extinguished when unattended. Standing timber and shrubs must not be defaced. Camping is permitted in shelter areas only. Other special regulations pertain to these areas. Contact the park office for further information. Pets are permitted at the shelter areas. Please contact the park office for guidelines for pets. Tell us about your hike at: www.explorepatrails.com Oil and mud soon mixed together throughout the valley. Roads were impassable. When J.H.A. Bone got off the train at Petroleum Center he wrote: “…pull up your legs when they disappear from sight, remembering that if you descend deep enough, you may strike oil.” Others wrote: “The creek was covered with oil, the air was full of oil… we could see, hear, smell, nothing but oil.” “Mud divided our attention with oil, wagons, men and animals were submerged in mud.” By 1871, production in most boomtowns was dwindling. Drillers, speculators, and others went to other areas in their endless search for oil as “black as a stack of ebony cats,” and the valley was allowed to return slowly to the state it is today. Scattered ruins dot the landscape of Oil Creek Valley. Remnants of old refineries can still be seen, old wells abound, and crumbling stone walls that once protected wells still stick up in the middle of Oil Creek. The wooded hills of Oil Creek Valley look almost as they did before the boom. A few wells are still active in the park, pulling the last bits of oil and natural gas from the earth which nature laid down millions of years ago. “The oil rush changed the pace of the world, and greased the wheels of the machine age. It lit up the future, fueled wars, speeded peace and is still flowing strong.” Reference: Unless stated otherwise, the above quotes are from Paul Gidden’s book, “Early Days of Oil.” HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES The primary purpose of Oil Creek State Park is to tell the story of the changing landscape. The early petroleum industry’s oil boom towns and important oil well sites are in contrast with clean trout streams and forested hillsides seen today throughout the park. The events of the exciting 1860s, the time of the original oil boom, receive special emphasis. Train Station Visitor Center Historical displays and an exciting diorama provide a glimpse into oil history. A train still chugs through the valley and stops at the Train Station in Petroleum Centre, just as it did over 100 years ago! The train station is open noon to 5:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays, June through October. Historical Tableaus These full-scale, three-dimensional landscapes contain buildings, machinery, equipment, and materials that replicate the historic landscape. Similar to a movie set, the buildings are empty and the machinery does not work, but the tableaus give an idea of historic periods at Oil Creek. Wildcat Hollow Trails: Hike the “wickedest hollow east of the Mississippi!” on these short, easy hiking trails. Geology Trail is 1 mile. Forestry Trail is 0.8 mile. Oil History Trail is 0.25 mile. Wetland Trail is 0.8 mile. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INTERPRETATION The park offers a wide variety of environmental education, recreational, and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office. Programs are offered early spring through late fall. For more detailed information contact the park office. 2017 HUNT FARM TABLEAU: This site has an engine house, various pumping jacks, and stock tanks. From the 1940s to the 1960s, Ma-and-Pa oil operations drilled and pumped oil using a gas engine to pump several wells, with the wells supplying gas to run the engine. The long rod lines carried the power from the central engine to the distant wells. BENNINGHOFF FARM TABLEAU: This site has six 35-foot tall oil derricks, an oil barge, and an engine house. The first oil operators thought that oil could only be drilled on flat, level terrain. In the autumn of 1865, the famous Ocean Well was sunk on the steep hillside. When the well began producing 300 barrels of oil a day, oil opportunists flocked to lease part of the farm and soon Mr. Benninghoff earned about $6,000 a day. FOR YOUR INFORMATION Access for People with Disabilities This symbol indicates facilities and activities that are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible for people with disabilities. This publication text is available in alternative formats. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit. In an Emergency Call 911 and contact a park employee. Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office. First aid is available at the park office in Petroleum Centre and at Drake Well Museum and Park. i NEAREST HOSPITALS UPMC Northwest Titusville Area Hospital 100 Fairfield Drive 406 West Oak Street Seneca, PA 16346 Titusville, PA 16354 814-676-7600 814-827-1851 Information and Reservations For More Information Contact Oil Creek State Park 305 State Park Road Oil City, PA 16301-9733 814-676-5915 email: firstname.lastname@example.org GPS DD: Lat. 41.51544 Long. -79.68097 An Equal Opportunity Employer www.visitPAparks.com Information and Reservations Make online reservations at www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations. Pocket Ranger™ App by Parks by Nature Protect and Preserve our Parks Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park. • Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. Your personal safety and that of your family are your responsibility. • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Nearby Attractions Information on nearby attractions is available from the Oil Region Alliance. www.oilregion.org At the north end of Oil Creek State Park near Titusville is the Drake Well Museum and Park. The museum is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and presents a full-size replica of the engine and derrick over the early oil well, plus outstanding exhibits about Pennsylvania oil country. Within six miles of Oil Creek Valley is Pithole, America’s largest oil boom town. Oil was discovered in Pithole in January 1865. By September 1865, Pithole had grown into a city of 15,000. www.drakewell.org The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad operates an excursion train on weekends and other dates from June through October. The 26-mile round trip travels through Oil Creek State Park from Titusville to Rynd Farm. With advanced notice, the train will also stop at the Petroleum Centre Train Station within Oil Creek State Park. www.octrr.org 1400 Run 15 Wolfkiel Run 00 ller Road Plum Dungeon 0 4 te n Whi Ru lf w Ru n Co Ca Ru Cree Road 3.45 Old 58 7 1400 0 R o ad 130 0 12 Park Blood Farm River Rynd Farm Train Station Coal Oil Johnny House Stev en T-5 85 Moody T-555 Run Road 8 16 T-5 428 To Oil City, 5 Mi. Rev. 8/23/18 00 15 Rynd 0 ROUSEVILLE 12 00 13 00 Coal Oil Johnny House 1100 00 Hill T-55 3 00 14 To Oil City, 5 Mi. 13 Oil 07 Creek 10 1 KILOMETERS 0 1100 .25 MILE 00 15 87 T-5 Rd. er ow 0 1500 0 5P 428 140 Rd. 1/2 0 140 To Oil City, 3 mi. 1500 heny 15 To Oil City, 3 mi. Alleg 4 100 00 00 14 State 00 13 00 11 1300 SR 350 1400 00 15 99 T-5 00 11 0 0 12 Oil 00 12 0 Wildcat Hollow SR 0 ry Cher 150 BLOOD FARM DAY USE AREA 00 Ice Control ank B Dam 69 T-5 Grandview Road SR 1001 Run 15 00 1400 SR 1 007 6 T-51 Horn T Sta rain tio n Cre ek Road son 140 EGBERT FARM DAY USE AREA1 130 0 T- Road T-450 130 n Ru 1500 1400 n so Road Hill 0 4 l Rd. 110 0 110 4 0 56 150 T- 1600 y Cherry Tree Rd. 1600 Columbia Farm 0 130 ter 0 140 00 13 Hil KANEVILLE 1350 1300 1500 s er rn Co Oil Cre ek & Titusville R.R. 1500 1400 0 160 d 1200 me e Run Run 1450 0 To Dempseytown, 0.5 Mi. Roa 4 0 Ce Tre 00 0 140 1300 12 115 1400 150 rry Kane 00 15 e nak Rat Che 1400 1500 00 SR 1004 Rd. tles EGBERT FARM DAY USE AREA ENLARGEMENT Petroleum Centre 11 Eagle Rock To Eagle Rock, 5 Mi. 1600 SEE ENLARGEMENT Petroleum Centre Petroleum Centre Center Road SR 1004 PLUMER n r Tar 417 Petroleum Ru 8 Road ry 0 150 Tree CHERRY TREE N McCrea Farm 2 Wildcat Hollow 00 er Petroleum Centre 13 ry 1500 Cross-country Ski Area 00 Train Station er Ch Delayed Harvest Area Artificial Lure Only Co Petrole u m Road 1 12 Stevenson Run Stevenson Rd. T-617 Ch Hamilton rs rne n 0 50 Rd. Hill Drake Well Museum Property Oil 0 00 ll State Park Hunting Ru e Center 60 99 T-5 Lan rns Bu 586 T- State Park No Hunting Hi ad Benninghoff Farm Tableau CONTOURS ARE ON 100 FT. INTERVALS 14 T- sse Ru l l ad Unpaved Road lock Hem Run 00 Ro 66 0 Ro Gate To Pithole, (Historic Site) 00 15 54 ad Ro 14 T-5 T- 67 2. istie r e RUSSELL CORNERS n Ru rte tre Bull Run 00 Chr 00 Funkville 16 1500 Run Great-western Run 13 ry er Ca er Red Number is Distance Between Red Dots in Miles (EAST SIDE 18.4 MILES) (WEST SIDE 16.06 MILES) ff ho Ch 00 k 00 00 n ing 14 ne 009 n Be Pet Gerard Hiking Trail Pio SR 1 um role 1500 14 e Cross-country Skiing Recommended Bicycle Trail Pioneer tr Cen Trail Cow Run 0 Hiking Trail SGL 96 1 Pioneer Falls Shelter Parking Ro ad T-62 150 00 Self-guiding Nature Trail 16 n 4.13 12 0 Parking Unpaved Sledding Hill er ne Pio rs rne o C 99 T-5 g 00 0 150 160 8 Ro eg Gr Road Parking Paved 0 15 Organized Group Tenting Non-powered 150 ad 1600 Warming Hut 227 n T-60 75 3. 130 1400 Shaffer Farm Scenic View NY City r ffe Ru Plum Dungeon Falls 1400 Sha Run 1300 Picnic Pavilion Shelter and Rustic Restroom 0 150 0 150 ad Rain Shelter y err Tu d Roa 22 ton R 40 x u S B Picnic Area N Ch y rke Switchbacks Ro Playground 00 12 m Far -633 T GH E T-6 1600 ad Rustic Restrooms AL LE 35 Mi Ro Emergency Phone West Pithole Creek Miller Farm 00 51 Frank lin m Far Run T-6 T-6 ad 16 er ph So 00 1600 74 T-5 Blue Symbols Mean ADA Accessible 16 R 39 1400 e Historic Site & I-80 Exit 29 ell rev ad d oa oe C 8 lk To Westley 15 0 Ro s w Hol lo To ng mi 37 e l F T-6 130 Train Station Visitor Center T-65 5 le vil na an R lfkie Park Office To Po Ro l To Ven u R oa d To Meadv ille Ro ad 62 d oa de ha les p a 322 M To k Sh iew 257 ss 1400 00 rv Fai Wo 15 Seneca Ru 49 T-6 62 00 T-635 0 0 15 Sugarcreek Cree 0.62 R 322 H ler Shelter F Roa arm Parking d st a one To T T 1600 Mil 157 Oil City Jo ne s Bre Run oad 427 Gho st 12 00 00 0 120 00 y To Oi lC ree k n tow r lle 15 00 8 Cranberry 1300 0 5 16 16 Two Mile 428 Run Reservoir 0 150 3.4 140 R & Ti tu s v i l l e 00 Mi ed . T-670 5 Oil 16 Miller Falls 417 8 1600 Rou te T65 3 Ru 8 150 0 Run T-578 Old R Boughton Black 1400 un 4.4 0 d 428 227 417 150 Roa T-669 President 8 ek ad to n ugh Bo d Roa 63 T-617 Bradleytown 0 1 N OIL CREEK 62 27 27 36 9 40 SR es ta 9 T-5 22 Cooperstown 0 60 T-6 8 Chapmanville 130 Hill 6 Trout Ro T-57 2.06 227 Cre Boughton Falls Hunt Farm Tableau 1500 R 1500 To 160 n 1400 Road Switchbacks Du tch Diamond 0 S t. City T-6 00 408 Oil 00 13 rry Pe 1.56 To To n 36 27 428 227 RIVE R 1500 te Drake Well Museum oad 0 227 27 74 T-5 hi le rise T o Ne illto wn 27 T-600 W Train Station D OR WF GO A CR NAN VE 71 T-6 ntz Ku ow il nv Titusville 89 n tow de 8 Hy To To Enterp Springs 76 T-5 00 14 adine helm To S 40 T-5 14 00 Road 13 Well T-602 R 10 St. Drake To PA 40 8 St r n d oa Br yn e le UN TY CO OUN C 150 0 Al S. Oil Creek Titusville Railroad 8 27 1300 SR ss lo E. B 0 TY . W 120 1400 S t. e nro Mo g rin Sp St. Cr e ek rry Pe Oil e 8 27 k ree C et tr r S ate Pine 227 .R N. E. OIL CREEK STATE PARK St. g in Spr 27 Petrole u Centem r 1300 St. TITUSVILLE . Elk t. E S e c St. u r t Sp u ln E. Wa St. 89 in 27 a M 1 MILE