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Oil Creek State Park

The 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.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.

The park office is open specific hours. Overnight areas and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.

Reservations

Make online reservations or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday.

This map shows the park in Pennsylvania. 

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.

GPS DD: Lat. 41.51544  Long. -79.68097

This circular map shows the roads near the park. 

Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window.

Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.

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 more than 100 years ago!

The train station is open 12:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M., 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.

Hunt Farm Tableau: This site has an engine house, various pumping jacks, and stock tanks. From the 1940s until 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.

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.

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.

Wildcat Hollow Outdoor Classroom

This area is for use by school groups. Near Petroleum Centre, the area contains a bus parking lot, picnic pavilion, restrooms, activity field, and four themed trails. Hike the “wickedest hollow east of the Mississippi.” Choose from the:

  • Wetlands Trail (one mile)
  • Geology Trail (one mile)
  • Oil History Trail (0.25 mile)
  • Forestry Trail (0.25 mile)

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. ADA accessible picnic tables, parking spaces, and restrooms are in the day use areas.

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 an employee.

Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office.

First aid is available at the Petroleum Centre park office and at the Drake Well Museum

Nearest Hospitals

UPMC Northwest
100 Fairfield Drive
Seneca, PA 16346
814-676-7600

Titusville Area Hospital
406 West Oak Street
Titusville, PA 16354
814-827-1851

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 Oil Creek State Park