Wildlife Watching at Raccoon Creek State Park
Many opportunities exist at Raccoon Creek State Park to see a variety of wildlife. When observing wildlife, remember to maintain a safe distance and never feed wild animals.
For birders, the Audubon Trail in the Wildflower Reserve is great for warblers. Waterfowl are abundant around Raccoon Lake and Wetlands Trail. During winter, it is common to see large flocks of turkeys near the campground and roadside picnic areas.
Deer and raccoon are common throughout the park. Most of the larger stream valleys have active beaver, muskrat, and mink.
In the more remote western side of the park, you may encounter red fox, skunk, and opossum.
Raccoon Creek State Park Wildflower Reserve
The 314-acre tract, originally purchased in 1962 by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, contains one of the most biodiverse and unique stands of wildflowers in Pennsylvania. More than 700 species of plants can be found along the 4.5 miles of trails, between a variety of habitats including oak-hickory forest, pine plantations, meadows, and riparian forest.
A record of the species documented in the reserve can be found at the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center. Wildflowers can be found throughout the growing season with peak blooms in late April through early May and again in August through early September.
The Wildflower Reserve is the focal point for programming at Raccoon Creek State Park. Programs on a wide range of topics are presented to the public, schools, and organized groups.
Hungerford Cabin is accessed via Jennings Trail and was the get-away for famous political cartoonist Cy Hungerford. He worked at Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph and then the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette between 1927 and 1977.
Wildflower Reserve Rules
For the future use and protection of this unique area, follow these rules:
- Picking or collecting of plants is prohibited
- Trails are for hiking only -- bicycles, horses, or motor vehicles are prohibited
- Pets are prohibited on the trails or in the interpretive center
- Smoking on the trails or in the center is prohibited
Hiking in the Reserve
Hiking is very popular in the 4.45 miles of trail in the reserve. Trails lead through a variety of habitats like, oak-hickory forest, pine plantations, woodland meadows, and riparian forest along Raccoon Creek.
The Raccoon Creek State Park Wildflower Reserve Map (PDF) shows a detailed view of the trails at the reserve.