Blacklick Valley Natural Area

800 McFeaters Rd., Seward, PA 15954
40o 27' 42.410" N 78o 59' 40.925" W

Facilities | Directions | Map


Although no detailed written history of the Native American presence in the Blacklick Valley is available, it is likely that members of the Shawnee and Delaware tribes used the creek for fishing and transportation.

The first recorded owners of what is now the Parker Tract of the BVNA was William Bracken who purchased 309 acres from the Commonwealth of PA in 1786. At that time the land was located in Westmoreland County; Indiana County was not created until 1803. Since Bracken's purchase, the property has changed hands many times. Most recently David and Penny Russell, formerly of Dilltown, owned the property and generously donated it to Indiana County Parks in 1995.

Read more about the natural area in our interpretive guide.

More extensive information about the site can be found in the Great Natural Areas in Western Pennsylvania by Steven Ostrander, published by Stackpole Books.


Natural areas are set aside to protect both typical and unique plant and animal communities and to protect outstanding examples of natural interest and beauty. Facility development at the site has been minimized to protect the site's natural character.

The natural area has three tracts. The Parker Tract, located south of Blacklick Creek, encompasses 300 acres. A small parking area and six miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails have been established. These trails are shown on the site map (see below). The Caldwell and Clarke Run Tracts form a contiguous 413 acre parcel, and lie north of Blacklick Creek. These northern tracts are undeveloped and do not contain established hiking trails. The Ghost Town Trail bisects the property about one-half mile east of Dilltown.

Hunting, camping and motorized vehicles are not permitted in the natural area.


The BVNA is located 15 miles south of Indiana and 9 miles north of Johnstown. The Parker Tract is located along McFeaters Road, off Route 22 east of Armagh. A small parking area is located at the end of McFeaters Road.

A directional map with written directions is available.


A detailed map of the natural area in PDF format is available. This is a large file that may take several moments to appear on your screen. The image may be difficult to read on the screen but will clearly show all text and graphics when printed or enlarged.

Back to top