S B ELLIOTT STATE PARK
The 318-acre S. B. Elliott State Park is in the heart of the Moshannon State Forest. This entirely wooded park offers picturesque areas of forest and swamp meadows and typical second growth mixed hardwood and oak timber.
This mountaintop was once covered in giant white pine and hemlock trees. At the turn of the century, the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company and the Goodyear Lumber Company built railroads and roads to harvest the timber.
This logging devastated the area, entirely wiping out the magnificent stands of pine and hemlock. The logging companies swiftly departed, allowing the forests to regrow. The devastated land was eventually sold to the Commonwealth, usually at tax sales. This accumulation of land eventually became Moshannan State Forest.
Now about a century later, many of the logging roads and railroad grades can be seen in the maturing stands of oak and maple.
The Honorable Simon B. Elliott was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature and a member of the old State Forestry Reservation Commission, a precursor to the Department of Forestry. This early conservationist promoted the idea of creating a nursery to raise trees for planting in the surrounding area.
In 1911, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania established the Clearfield Forest Tree Nursery in a mountain pasture atop Penfield Mountain. This nursery was later renamed for District Forester William F. Dague who was in charge of its operation from its start in 1911 until 1947. The Dague Nursery was closed in 1978, but its buildings and facilities are still in use as the Moshannon State Forest maintenance headquarters and the seed orchards still supply seeds for the other state nurseries.
In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established Camp S-116 on land along the edge of the nursery and built the cabins, pavilions, roads, trails and many of the other buildings that exist today.
In that same year, 1933, the former Department of Forests and Waters erected a plaque dedicating Simon B. Elliott State Park. The plaque is on a stone in the pines along the northern edge of the park.
Six rustic cabins, of CCC origin, are available for rent. Minimal furnishings include: single bunk beds, chairs, table, a modern stove, refrigerator, electric lights and fireplace.
Camping: rustic sites
A 25-site camping area, across from the log cabin park office, offers modern restrooms but no showers and a sanitary dump station. The maximum stay in this area is 14 days during the summer season and 21 days in spring and fall. The restroom and site seven are accessible. The campground is open from the second Friday in April to late December. All sites are first-come, first-served.