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Alerts

COVID-19 Mitigation UPDATE 3/17/2021:  Effective Sunday, April 4, 2021

  • Outdoor, in-person programs will resume with a limit of 40 participants per program.

  • Volunteer work days will resume with a limit of 40 participants per group.

  • Virtual and self-guided programs will continue to be offered.

  • Visitor center exhibit halls, interpretive areas, and theaters will open with a 75% capacity visitation allowance.

  • Check the calendar of events https://events.dcnr.pa.gov for scheduled programs.

  • Large, DCNR-sponsored events remain canceled until further notice.

Masks are required to be worn:

  • In park offices and visitor centers

  • In any other indoor public space

  • During outdoor educational programs

  • Masks are recommended throughout the park when you are unable to adequately social distance

If you have questions, please call the park office before your visit.

Boat Launch Road will have intermittent closures from now through mid-May due to a road construction project. The closures may affect all or parts of the Mill Area including all of Boat Launch Road, the parking lot for Pavilion 3 and the Entertainment Pavilion, the Main Boat Launch, and the Main Boat Launch parking lot. The project will also close the Wahneta Boat Launch (accessible kayak launch) at some time for paving. Watch the park Facebook page for more specific dates and closures.

SPOT THE PROBLEM. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s resources, businesses, and economy. To date, our park does NOT have these pests. Help us stay lanternfly free and stop the spread. Visit the Penn State Extension’s Spotted Lanternfly website to learn how to identify it, report it, and inspect your vehicle or gear when traveling to and from the quarantine zone.

 

Little Buffalo State Park

Certain places just attract people. The cool, clear water of Little Buffalo Creek has been attracting people for centuries.

American Indians frequented Little Buffalo Creek on hunting trips. Farmers and merchants used to gossip and pass news while the grain was ground at Shoaff’s Mill. Nearby, merchants, local people, and travelers met at Blue Ball Tavern.

Today, thousands of people meet at Little Buffalo State Park to picnic, swim, fish, hike, and experience nature and history.

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. The pool, 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

From PA 322, take the Newport Exit and follow PA 34 south through the town of Newport. One mile from town, turn right onto Little Buffalo Road to the park. From PA 322 to the park entrance is 4.6 miles.

GPS DD: Lat. 40.4585  Long. -77.1682

This circular map shows the roads near the park. 

Recreation Hall

Located in the campground, the rentable Recreation Hall seats 200 people for wedding receptions, family gatherings, and meetings. Contact the park office for reservations and additional information.

Special Events

Old Fashioned Apple Festival: Held the third weekend of October, this festival will take your taste buds back to the mid-19th century.

You can see and taste apple butter cooked in a large copper kettle in front of Shoaff’s Mill. Apples are ground and squeezed in a century-old water powered press. Shoaff’s Mill grinds cornmeal, cracked corn, and apples. Visitors may taste samples of apple cider, apple butter, and cornmeal recipes as long as supplies last.

Christmas Walk: This family-oriented activity has become a popular holiday event in the county. Thousands of lights and holiday cutouts dot East Picnic Area and provide the perfect holiday atmosphere.

Santa makes an appearance. Local 4-H Clubs sell cookies and hot chocolate. Area choirs sing carols many of the nights.

The program is on the third weekend in December.

For all upcoming events,  details can be found on the Calendar of Events.

Learn, Experience, Connect

Little Buffalo State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and recreation programs.

Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and campfire 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 year round. Many programs feature Shoaff’s Mill. More than 12,000 people visit the mill annually. Contact the park office for more detailed information on programs.

Self-guided Tour

Take a self-guided tour (PDF) through Little Buffalo’s historic district to learn about the park history and find out what was the most important resource for the development of the Little Buffalo Valley. The Little Buffalo Quest starts in front of the Blue Ball Tavern and is less than a mile long.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

A two-plug, electric-vehicle charging station is available for public use in the parking lot near Shoaffs Mill and the Entertainment Pavilion. Please move to another parking space once your vehicle has been charged.

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. An ADA accessible fishing pier is at the main boat launch. There is a paved trail from the swimming pool to the boat rental. Blue Ball Trail is paved and ADA accessible in East Picnic Area.

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 or at the park office.

Nearest Hospital

UPMC Pinnacle West Shore
1995 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
717-791-2600

​Explore Little Buffalo State Park

Little Buffalo State Park