Parks and Trail Regulations
Parks contain hazards that you or your family may not normally encounter. Please obey the following regulations while visiting the county parks to make your visit an enjoyable and safe visit. A partial list of our regulations is as follows:
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- Smoking is not permitted in park lodges.
- ATV's, snowmobiles and motorized trail bikes are prohibited on county park lands.
- Persons with mobility disabilities ARE permitted to operate electric vehicles which are designed specifically for disabled use. Please review our Mobility Device Guidelines.
- Bicycles are prohibited on park hiking trails.
- Pets are permitted, but they must be leashed at all times. The leash may not exceed 6 feet in length.
- Fires are permitted only in grills or fire rings.
- Swimming is not permitted in park lakes or streams.
- Observe a reduced and safe driving speed.
- Fireworks are prohibited.
- Hunters should obey all safety zones and game laws of the PA Game Commission.
- Fishermen should obey all laws of the PA Fish & Boat Commission.
- Deposit all litter and refuse in proper containers.
- Observe park hours where posted. County parks close at sunset, except Hemlock Lake which is open 24 hours a day for fishing.
- Respect the rights and privacy of adjacent property owners.
- If using a park trail, please stay on the trail.
Mushroom "hunting" is permitted on park property but must be done so in accordance with these guidelines.
Visitors renting our park facilities should refer to the reverse side of their rental application for a list of further regulations regarding the use of park facilities and grounds.
County parks are patrolled by the Indiana County Sheriff's Department. For questions regarding law enforcement in the county parks please call 724/465-3930.
Wildlife and Waterfowl Feeding Policy
Indiana County Parks does not permit the feeding of wildlife and waterfowl at county parks for the following reasons:
- Not feeding wildlife allows animals to find natural food sources, which are plentiful in the park and provide better nutrition than food intended for human consumption.
- A diet of white bread can be fatal to waterfowl. When birds feed on bread, they may stop eating natural food sources which are more nutritious. The birds may become malnourished and there have been cases of birds choking on wads of bread (Source: Ducks Unlimited)
- Feeding wildlife supports artificially high numbers of wildlife, above what the natural numbers would be. Hand feeding of wildlife prevents them from being wary of people and may cause them to become a nuisance or a danger to humans.
- Feeding areas carry germs and bacteria. Feeding waterfowl can cause avian botulism, which can result in waterfowl deaths.
- Excessive feeding has resulted increased rodent populations. We have been required to bait and trap rodents at Blue Spruce Park in areas where feeding has occurred.
- High numbers of waterfowl can decrease water quality due to high levels of fecal coliform and nitrogen found in waterfowl waste. A single goose can produce up to 1.5 pounds of droppings per day and a flock of 150 geese can produce 40 tons of droppings per year (Source: Water Resources Education Network).
- High numbers of Canada Geese have made the park lawn and turf areas undesirable and, in some cases, unusable due to the excessive amounts of droppings.
- The Pennsylvania Game Commission, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Ducks Unlimited all advise against the feeding of waterfowl. In the case of Canada Geese, feeding can contribute to a loss of migratory instincts, resulting in high numbers of Canada Geese who no longer follow normal migration patterns.
- Most other parks, including Pennsylvania State Parks and many other county park systems, do not permit wildlife feeding.
- As an alternative to feeding, park visitors are encouraged to observe wildlife from a distance by walking along the park system's many trails and open space areas. The park system provides an extensive series of environmental education programs, including live animal programs, where visitors can learn more about local wildlife.
- In cases of severe winter weather, Indiana County Parks personnel may feed the waterfowl.