Finding the area
Loleta Recreation Area is located about six miles south of the village of Marienville via South Forest Street (between the Pennzoil station and the Bucktail Hotel) on a paved road.
N 41 24.039
W 079 04.933
Walk-in – April 1 – May 24; September 5 – October 10, 2023
Peak season – May 25 – September 4, 2023
Reservations for peak season can be made at Recreation.gov. Availability opens 180 days out, with a rolling day to day window.
Upper loop, day use and group sites are open May 1 – Sept. 4
Loleta offers 38 campsites. Campsites in the upper loop are recommended for tents and small RV’s or trailers. The lower loop campsites have electric hookups and will accommodate tents, RV’s, or trailers up to 50′ long. Each campsite has a tent pad, picnic table, and fire ring. Water and vault toilets are available in both camping loops. The bathhouse at the beach has flush toilets and hot showers. Firewood and ice is available for sale from the host.
Two group camping areas are available for groups of up to 50 people. Water, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings are available at both sites. Group sites must be reserved.
The picnic area offers two picnic shelters, cooking grills, an ampitheater, volleyball court, and swimming beaches. The bathhouse has changing rooms, flush toilets, and hot showers. Trout fishing is good in Millstone Creek. The picturesque Clarion River, about four miles south of the campground, offeres excellent fishing and canoeing. A three-mile long hiking trail, marked with off-white diamonds, starts and ends at Loleta. The trail passes a scenic overlook of the Millstone Valley.
Camping Fees per night
non-electric $16.00 or $18.00
add electric $5.00
Group Site $40.00 to $120.00 per night
Day use per day
All facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.
Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Management Area, about 5 miles north of Loleta, is cooperatively managed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Forest Service. Ten miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
Loleta Recreation Area was built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on the site where, just 20 years earlier, a bustling logging town of 600 inhabitants stood. Established in 1889, Loleta was typical of boomtowns associated with the age of exploitation, when the hills of Pennsylvania were stripped of trees. The town had a large sawmill, shingle mill, broom handle factory, and a rail connection for shipping its products to Sheffield, Pennsylvania. Once the timber supply was exhausted in 1913, the mills shut down and the town was dismantled and deserted.
The federal government purchased the site in 1925, adding it to the newly formed Allegheny National Forest. In the 1930’s, the Forest Service reconstructed the old Loleta mill pond, using CCC labor, then added a bathhouse, swimming area, picnic shelters, and landscaping. The distinctive quality of CCC workmanship is evident today in the dam stonework and the log construction of the old bathhouse. The camping loops were added in the 1960’s. Campground reconstruction was completed in 1996.