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Hiking at Oil Creek State Park

52 miles of trails

The hiking and interpretive trails lead visitors through areas rich in historic and scenic interest. Trail maps and information are available at the park office.

Mountain bikes and horses are prohibited on hiking trails.

If you find yourself lost, travel downhill to the bicycle trail or Oil Creek and follow either upstream to Drake Well or downstream to the park office at Petroleum Centre.

The railroad running along Oil Creek is an active line. Caution: Stay off of the tracks at all times.

Oil Creek State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles.
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface.
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe.

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route.
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle.
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead.

Bike Trail

9.7 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Point-to-point trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, backpacking, biking, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables, benches

A paved, multi-use trail through scenic Oil Creek Valley is a major park attraction. Trailheads are located at Petroleum Centre and Jersey Bridge by Drake Well museum. Hikers and bikers can also board the OC&T Railroad for trail ride.

Blood Farm Interpretive Trail

0.5 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables, benches

This is a family-friendly, self-guided trail depicts the history of the Blood Family and their oil lease. Historical remnants still remain along the trail.

Cross-country Ski Trails

11.5 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Red/blue/green/white blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, cross-country skiing recommended
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables, benches

A network of groomed trails offers a variety of skiing experiences for beginner and intermediate skiers. These are three main loop trails (red - 5.8 miles, blue - 2.6 miles, and green - 0.6 mile) with additional connector trails blazed in white. The area includes a large parking area, warming hut, and restrooms. These trails are also popular for hikers and trail runners spring through fall. 

Gerard Hiking Trail

36 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, backpacking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables, benches

This 36-mile long trail encompasses the entire park with scenic vistas, waterfalls, and historic sites. 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, some with amenities.

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. Leashed pets are permitted at the shelter areas. 

Petroleum Centre Walking Tour

0.5 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables

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.

Wildcat Hollow Trails

2.5 miles total
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restroom

Explore a network of short hiking trails named after “wildcat” wells, oil wells drilled in areas not known to contain oil. These exploratory wells had about a 10 percent chance of being successful. 

Geology Trail

1 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Red blazes

This loop trail climbs the hillside to a rock outcropping and shelter utilized by Indigenous people in the late woodland period and oil workers in the 1860s. 

Forestry Trail

0.25 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Green blazes

Heavily forested, this trail spurs from the Wetland Trail near the Wolfe Rig. It rejoins the Wetland Trail at its terminus. 

Oil History Trail

0.25 mile  |  Easiest hiking  | White blazes

The remnants of a central power house and many oil well sites can be seen from the trail. The trail spurs from the Wetland Trail and later rejoins it near the Wolfe Rig. 

Wetland Trail

1 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Blue blazes 

The loop trail circles a wetland fed by Wildcat Run. Along this trail, an example of a Wolfe Rig, a light weight, portable drilling machine used by oil workers, can be seen.