Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 9.7 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: https://www.ohioriverwatertrail.org/

The Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail holds a significant historical value as it follows the path of the historic Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad. This railroad, established in 1862, played a crucial role in the development of the oil industry in Pennsylvania. The trail stretches for approximately nine miles, starting from the Drake Well Museum in Titusville and ending at Petroleum Centre.

During the late 19th century, the Oil Creek region witnessed a remarkable oil boom, attracting thousands of prospectors and entrepreneurs. The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad was constructed to transport oil from the oil fields to the markets. It became the first railroad in the world specifically built for the transportation of oil. The railroad played a pivotal role in the growth of the oil industry, facilitating the transportation of oil barrels and equipment.

The trail itself offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the oil industry. Along the way, hikers and bikers can explore remnants of the past, such as old oil derricks, pump houses, and storage tanks. These artifacts serve as a reminder of the region’s industrial heritage and the significant impact it had on the global oil industry. Today, the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail stands as a testament to the pioneering spirit and ingenuity of those who shaped the oil industry in Pennsylvania.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Drake Well Museum Trailhead: Located at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, this trailhead is the starting point for the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Petroleum Centre Trailhead: Situated near the site of the historic Petroleum Centre, this trailhead provides parking and restroom facilities. It is a popular access point for hikers and bikers.

3. Miller Farm Trailhead: Located near the Miller Farm, this trailhead offers parking facilities and restrooms. It is a convenient access point for visitors looking to explore the trail.

4. Petroleum Centre Spur Trailhead: This trailhead is located along the spur trail that connects the main Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail to the historic site of Petroleum Centre. It provides parking facilities and restrooms.

5. Pioneer Trailhead: Situated near the Pioneer Pavilion, this trailhead offers parking facilities and restrooms. It is a popular access point for hikers and bikers.

6. Petroleum Centre to Drake Well Trailhead: This trailhead marks the end of the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail. It is located near the Drake Well Museum and offers parking facilities and restrooms.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad – Historic train rides along the Oil Creek Valley.
2. Venango Regional Airport – Local airport offering general aviation services.
3. Franklin Transit Authority – Public transportation service in Franklin, PA.
4. Oil City Transit – Public transportation service in Oil City, PA.
5. Taxi Cab Services – Local taxi companies providing transportation in the area.
6. Car Rental Agencies – Various car rental options available nearby.
7. Bike Rentals – Bike rental services for exploring the multi-use trail.
8. Uber/Lyft – Ride-hailing services available in the area.
9. Greyhound Bus Station – Bus station offering intercity transportation options.
10. Local Shuttle Services – Shuttle services for convenient transportation in the vicinity.


The amenities available at the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various locations along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas provided for trail users. These parking lots are located at different access points along the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Oil Creek State Park offers camping facilities for visitors who wish to stay overnight. There are both tent and RV camping options available.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy a meal or have a picnic with family and friends. These areas are equipped with picnic tables and sometimes grills.

5. Shelters: There are shelters available for rent at the park. These shelters can be used for gatherings, events, or simply as a place to rest and relax during your visit.

6. Water Fountains: There are water fountains available at certain locations along the trail, providing a source of drinking water for visitors.

7. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the trail, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the history, wildlife, and natural features of the area. These signs offer educational opportunities for visitors.

8. Bike Rental: If you don’t have your own bike, there is a bike rental service available at the park. This allows visitors to explore the trail even if they don’t have their own equipment.

9. Fishing: The Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail runs alongside Oil Creek, which is known for its fishing opportunities. Visitors can enjoy fishing along the trail and take advantage of the park’s fishing amenities.

10. Wildlife Viewing: The trail provides excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. Visitors can observe various species of birds, mammals, and other wildlife along the way.

Please note that amenities may vary and it is always recommended to check with the park authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Hotel Meadville – A nearby hotel offering comfortable accommodations for visitors to Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail.
2. Quality Inn & Conference Center – A conveniently located lodging option with modern amenities near the trail.
3. Hampton Inn Meadville – A popular hotel chain providing comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast for trail visitors.
4. Econo Lodge – An affordable lodging option with basic amenities for budget-conscious travelers.
5. Holiday Inn Express Meadville – A well-known hotel chain offering comfortable rooms and a complimentary breakfast buffet.
6. Super 8 by Wyndham Meadville – A budget-friendly hotel option with basic amenities and easy access to the trail.
7. Days Inn by Wyndham Meadville Conference Center – A hotel with spacious rooms and a conference center for larger groups or events.
8. Arby’s – A fast-food chain serving roast beef sandwiches and other quick bites near the trail.
9. McDonald’s – A well-known fast-food chain offering burgers, fries, and other classic menu items.
10. Subway – A popular sandwich shop providing a variety of fresh and customizable options for trail visitors.
11. Sheetz – A convenience store chain offering made-to-order food, snacks, and fuel for trail-goers.
12. Pizza Hut – A pizza chain serving a variety of pizzas, wings, and other Italian-American dishes.
13. Taco Bell – A fast-food chain specializing in Mexican-inspired cuisine, including tacos, burritos, and nachos.
14. Meadville Medical Center – A nearby hospital providing emergency medical services for any trail-related incidents.

Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail Difficulty Notes

The Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning approximately 9.7 miles, this trail provides a diverse terrain that includes both flat sections and gradual inclines. While it is suitable for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders of various skill levels, some sections may pose a challenge for beginners due to occasional rocky or muddy patches. Additionally, the trail features several stream crossings and bridges, adding an element of adventure to the experience. Overall, the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail offers a rewarding and enjoyable outdoor activity for individuals seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

1. Oil Creek Gorge: The trail runs along the stunning Oil Creek Gorge, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forested hills and the meandering creek below.

2. Drake Well Museum: Located near the southern end of the trail, the Drake Well Museum is a historical site that marks the birthplace of the American oil industry. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the history of oil drilling.

3. Petroleum Centre: This ghost town was once a bustling oil boomtown in the 1860s. Today, visitors can see the remnants of the town’s buildings and imagine what life was like during the oil rush.

4. McClintock Well No. 1: This historic oil well was the first commercial oil well in the world. It was drilled in 1861 and is now a designated National Historic Landmark.

5. Miller Farmstead: This restored 19th-century farmstead offers a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in the area. Visitors can explore the farmhouse, barn, and other outbuildings.

6. Titusville Iron Works: Located near the northern end of the trail, the Titusville Iron Works was a major industrial complex in the 19th century. Today, visitors can see the ruins of the iron furnace and learn about the region’s industrial history.

7. Petroleum Center Bridge: This historic bridge spans Oil Creek and offers a picturesque view of the surrounding landscape. It is a popular spot for photography and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

8. Wildcat Hollow: This scenic area along the trail features a dense forest and rugged terrain. It is a great spot for hiking and wildlife viewing.

9. Pioneer Flats: This open meadow area along the trail offers expansive views of the surrounding hills and is a popular spot for picnicking and relaxation.

10. Oil Creek State Park Office: Located near the southern end of the trail, the park office provides information about the trail and the surrounding area. Visitors can learn about the park’s history and pick up trail maps and brochures.

Usage Guidelines

– All pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet.
– Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians and horses.
– Horses are permitted on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians and cyclists.
– Motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, are not allowed on the trail.
– Camping is not permitted along the trail.
– Fires are only allowed in designated areas.
– Hunting is allowed in designated areas during the appropriate seasons.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas with a valid fishing license.
– Swimming is not permitted in Oil Creek.
– Littering is strictly prohibited; all trash must be carried out.
– Alcohol consumption is only allowed in designated areas and is subject to Pennsylvania state laws.
– The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during hunting seasons for safety reasons.

Seasonal Information

Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The best times of the year to visit this trail largely depend on personal preferences and the type of activities you wish to engage in.

During the spring season, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors as the surrounding foliage begins to bloom. This is an excellent time for hiking and birdwatching, as the park is home to a diverse range of bird species. The moderate temperatures and lower visitor numbers make it an ideal time to explore the trail at a leisurely pace.

Summer is the peak season for outdoor activities, with the trail bustling with visitors. The warm weather allows for a wide range of activities, including biking, fishing, and picnicking. However, it is important to note that the trail can get crowded during this time, especially on weekends and holidays. It is advisable to plan your visit accordingly and arrive early to secure parking.

Fall is arguably the most picturesque time to visit the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail. The surrounding forests transform into a stunning display of vibrant autumn colors, creating a breathtaking backdrop for your outdoor adventures. Hiking and biking during this season offer a unique experience, as you can witness the beauty of nature’s changing palette.

Winter brings a different charm to the trail, with opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park’s serene atmosphere and snow-covered landscapes provide a peaceful and tranquil setting for winter enthusiasts. However, it is important to note that certain sections of the trail may be closed or inaccessible during winter due to snow accumulation or maintenance.

It is advisable to check the park’s website or contact the park office for information on seasonal closures and trail conditions before planning your visit. This will ensure that you have the most up-to-date information and can make the most of your time at the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail offers wheelchair accessibility, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the trail’s scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.
2. Paved Surface: The trail features a paved surface, providing a smooth and even pathway for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Accessible Parking: The park offers designated accessible parking spaces near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available at designated locations along the trail, providing necessary facilities for all visitors.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: The park offers accessible picnic areas equipped with tables and facilities designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
6. Signage and Wayfinding: The trail features clear signage and wayfinding markers, ensuring easy navigation for individuals with visual impairments or cognitive disabilities.
7. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps, handrails, and other accommodations to facilitate entry and exit for individuals with disabilities.
8. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail provides accessible benches and rest areas at regular intervals, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
9. Assistance Animals: The park allows service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities on the trail, ensuring equal access and support.
10. Accessible Information: The park provides accessible information, such as brochures and maps, in alternative formats (e.g., large print, braille) to cater to individuals with visual impairments or reading disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or damaging the surrounding environment.
2. Be aware of wildlife: Keep a safe distance from any wildlife encountered and do not feed or approach them.
3. Carry and use insect repellent: Protect yourself from ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects that may be present in the area.
4. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy and comfortable shoes or boots to prevent slips, trips, or falls on uneven terrain.
5. Stay hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated during your hike or bike ride, especially during hot weather.
6. Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, even on cloudy days.
7. Share the trail: Be courteous to other trail users, yield to faster-moving traffic, and announce your presence when passing.
8. Be prepared for changing weather conditions: Dress in layers and bring rain gear or extra clothing as needed.
9. Carry a trail map: Familiarize yourself with the trail map and carry a copy to navigate the trail effectively.
10. Practice Leave No Trace principles: Pack out all trash, respect the natural surroundings, and leave the trail as you found it.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. As a designated multi-use trail, it is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) with the primary goal of preserving the natural resources and ecological integrity of the area. The trail is regularly monitored and managed to ensure minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

Efforts have been made to minimize erosion and maintain the trail’s sustainability. The DCNR has implemented erosion control measures such as strategically placed gravel, drainage structures, and vegetation management to prevent soil erosion and maintain the trail’s stability. These measures help to protect the surrounding ecosystem, including the creek and its associated habitats.

Additionally, the conservation status of the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail includes the preservation of the park’s diverse wildlife. The trail is designed to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors while minimizing disturbance to the local fauna. Signage and regulations are in place to educate trail users about the importance of respecting wildlife and their habitats, ensuring their long-term conservation.

Overall, the conservation status of the Oil Creek State Park Multi-Use Trail is actively managed to protect the natural resources, prevent erosion, and preserve the diverse wildlife that call the area home. The efforts put forth by the DCNR and park management ensure that visitors can enjoy the trail while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Leave a Comment