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Reeds Gap State Park (Image courtesy: Pennsylvania State Parks)

Reeds Gap State Park

Reeds Gap State Park is 220 acres of wilderness in the New Lancaster Valley of Mifflin County. Large hemlocks and white pines cast cool shadows over Honey Creek, which flows through the park.

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Image Credit: Reeds Gap State Park (Image courtesy: Pennsylvania State Parks)

Hours

Dawn to dusk.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Free.

Activities

Picnicking: Four mostly wooded picnic areas are available year-round. There is ample parking, tables and one small, non-reservable shelter. Modern flush toilets and running water are available during the warmer months.

Fishing: Native and stocked trout are found in Honey Creek and smaller mountain streams like Reeds Gap Run. Hiking trails offer access to Honey Creek. The spring months offer the best angling. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Hunting and Firearms: Over 100 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, bear and squirrel.

Hiking: 3 miles of trails.

Camping: The 14-site campground is for tents only. It is open from the second Friday in April to the second Sunday in October.

Cross-country Skiing: Skiers can enjoy the trails, service roads and open areas. About five miles of ungroomed trails are available with proper snow conditions.

ATVs are prohibited on state park roads and trails.

Environmental Education and Interpretation programs are offered seasonally.

History

Reeds Gap is a natural water gap in Hightop, also called Thick Mountain. American Indians from the village of Ohesson, today’s Lewistown, used this valley as hunting grounds. When European settlers arrived, they homesteaded and named the area the New Lancaster Valley.

During the late 1700s, Reeds Gap became a bush meeting ground. The settlers packed lunches and traveled in their horse-drawn wagons to hear a circuit preacher and enjoy neighborhood fellowship. These bush meetings, also known as homecomings, were held through the 1920s.

In the mid-1800s, the park’s namesakes, Edward and Nancy Reed, set up a water-powered sawmill along Honey Creek just inside of the western boundary of the present park. Part of the historic water-storage dam is still visible near Honey Creek in the southeastern corner of the park. Edward Reed’s son, George Wilbur Reed, was a sawyer at the mill. Another son, John, later moved the watermill to Virginia by horses.

Around 1930, people sold five-cent bottles of soda pop cooled in Reeds Gap Run to attract picnickers and to improve the local economy.

Weather

Last updated: January 24, 2020
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