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Ole Bull State Park



Alvin R Bush - Kettle Creek- The US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, supervises the drainage area of 226 square miles or about 92 percent of Kettle Creek.
Bucktail State Park- Hemmed in by mountains, this state park scenic drive follows PA Route 120 as it winds from Lock Haven to Emporium along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and the Sinnemahoning Creek. The scenic drive has no recreational facilities. In June, the mountain laurel is in bloom and in early October the fall colors are breathtaking.

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General Information

Ole Bull State Park
Copyright: - Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Ole Bull State Park
Description - Ole Bull State Park consists of 125 acres along the Kettle Creek Valley in Potter County. This area is referred to as the Black Forest because of its dense tree cover, mountainous terrain and wilderness habitat.

Ole Bull State Park offers a wonderful rustic cabin for rent in addition to its campground. There are picnicking, fishing and swimming opportunities along Kettle Creek. A one-hour hike travels through the Black Forest of Pennsylvania while a shorter trail offers sites of Ole Bull's homestead. A nature trail provides an introduction to the environment along the creek. This three-quarter mile trail starts at the concrete fordway. Its flat trail surface is easily walked. In addition, the more difficult 85-mile Susquehannock Trail System passes through park in an east / west direction.

The park provides an environmental interpreter during the summer months while winter visitors will find plenty of open space for cross-country skiing. Twenty-five acres of parkland is open for hunting, trapping and the training of dogs. The most popular game species include turkey, ruffed grouse, squirrel, white-tailed deer and black bear.

Two campsites with electric and picnic tables in Area 1 are handicapped accessible. Senior citizens and people with disabilities should contact the park office if assistance is needed.

Attractions - Ole Bull State Park consists of 125 acres along the Kettle Creek Valley in Potter County. This area is referred to as the Black Forest because of its dense tree cover, mountainous terrain and wilderness habitat.

Ole Bull State Park is named after Ole Bornemann Bull, the famous Norwegian violinist who toured this country in the 1850's. Ole Bull grew fond of the Potter County landscape and attempted to settle a Norwegian colony in this area in 1852. He attempted to build a "home" on the hilltop behind the present park office. This large wooden cabin was never completed. After a year of severe hardships, the majority of the colony disbanded and moved west into Michigan and Wisconsin. A complete history of Ole Bull is available at the park office.

The lumbering industry followed Ole Bull into this Black Forest area. By the turn of the century, two railroads, one on each side of Kettle Creek, were hauling logs to sawmills in the Cross Fork area. By 1920, the Commonwealth had purchased vast tracts of land no longer useful to the lumber companies. In 1925, Ole Bull State Park was opened as a picnic area on a one-half acre tract of cleared land.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enlarged the park to its present size. Since the passing of the CCC camps, Ole Bull State Park has continued to improve and modernize its facilities to its present level.

Recreation - Today, Ole Bull State Park offers a wonderful rustic cabin for rent in addition to its campground. There are picnicking, fishing and swimming opportunities along Kettle Creek. A one-hour hike travels through the Black Forest of Pennsylvania while a shorter trail offers sites of Ole Bull's homestead. A nature trail provides an introduction to the environment along the creek. This three-quarter mile trail starts at the concrete fordway. Its flat trail surface is easily walked. In addition, the more difficult 85-mile Susquehannock Trail System passes through park in an east / west direction.

The park provides an environmental interpreter during the summer months. The park interpreter uses the history and environment of the area to develop an attitude of wise and constructive use of our natural resources. The programs include guided walks, children's programs and evening campfire programs.

Winter visitors will find that the park provides parking, restrooms and picnic shelters. Cross-country skiing is a favorite winter time activity and are permitted on all park trails.

Twenty-five acres of park land is open for hunting, trapping and the training of dogs. The park is surrounded by state forest land which is also open and within walking distance from campgrounds and parking lots. Safety zone areas are posted. Pennsylvania Game Commission laws apply in all areas, with the exception of: 1) hunting of woodchucks also known as groundhogs is prohibited and 2) dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. Many Pennsylvania bird and mammal species can be found in the surrounding area. The most popular game species include turkey, ruffed grouse, squirrel, white-tailed deer and black bear.

Two campsites with electric and picnic tables in Area 1 are handicapped accessible. Senior citizens and people with disabilities should contact the park office if assistance is needed.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Ole Bull State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius). Precautions should be made when traveling this snowy area in the winter.

Location - The park is located in north central Pennsylvania along PA Route 144. It is 18 miles south of Galeton and 26 miles north of Renovo.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Ole Bull State Park, HCR 62, Box 9 , Cross Fork, PA, 17729-9701, Phone: 814-435-5000
, olebull@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Allegheny National Forest Area - The Allegheny National Forest Region of Pennsylvania is a remote area of the state characterized by wilderness surroundings. This region offers the best opportunities for viewing elk and black bear.
Alvin R Bush - Kettle Creek - The US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, supervises the drainage area of 226 square miles or about 92 percent of Kettle Creek.
Bucktail State Park - Hemmed in by mountains, this state park scenic drive follows PA Route 120 as it winds from Lock Haven to Emporium along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and the Sinnemahoning Creek. The scenic drive has no recreational facilities. In June, the mountain laurel is in bloom and in early October the fall colors are breathtaking.
Hyner Run State Park - The terrain of the park is generally level and occupies the small valley created by Hyner Run, with steep mountains on both sides. The park derives its name from Hyner Run, which flows through the park. The park is entirely surrounded by Sproul State Forest.
Hyner View State Park - Hyner View State Park features a scenic vista overlooking the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and is a favorite spot for hang gliding.
Kettle Creek State Park - Kettle Creek State Park consists of 1,793 acres along Kettle Creek in western Clinton County. The park is in a valley surrounded by mountainous terrain and wilderness. Many of the existing recreational facilities arose from a joint flood control project developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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