Bendigo State Park

Quick Facts

Bendigo State Park

Pennsylvania

(814) 965-2646

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Chartered in 1887, the Johnsonburg and Clermont Railroad linked the towns and mills of the area to haul the timber to the market. Visitors drive the old railroad trace when they drive the main park road. When the timber was exhausted, the railroad, sawmills and towns slowly disappeared. Bendigo State Park began in the 1920s as a community project of the nearby town of Johnsonburg. Seeking a place for a swimming pool and picnicking area, the planners chose an area that people were already using, the land that had once been the village of Bendigo. The lumber company who owned the property gave 100 acres to the county to be a park. In 1936, during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) began building roads and facilities in Bendigo Community Park, but the money ran out before the park and pool could be completed. People swam in the river behind the dam that had been built, and enjoyed the picnic tables and grills. Floods destroyed many of the facilities in 1942, but the stonewall and dam on the East Branch of the Clarion River survived. Due to the debris, the park lay nearly abandoned, but was still used as a swimming hole and picnic area. The process began in August of 1948, and in April of 1949, the late State Senator George B. Stevenson introduced the bill that transferred the property to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Improvements were made to the park facilities, including the building of a swimming pool. Bendigo State Park opened in 1954, finally realizing the dreams of the community. Now, the 100-acre Bendigo State Park is in a small valley surrounded with many picturesque hills. About 20 acres of the park is developed, half of which is a large shaded picnic area. The forest is predominantly northern hardwoods and includes beech, birch, cherry and maple. The East Branch of the Clarion River flows through the park. This beautiful stream was once polluted by abandoned mine drainage. It now provides excellent fishing and is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Bendigo State Park also offers year-round environmental education and interpretive programs. Hands-on activities, guided walks and historical talks are offered to park visitors. Participants will gain an appreciation and understanding of the natural world and develop a sense of stewardship for the park's natural resources.

Map of Bendigo (PA)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.529423, -78.628168

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Activities

  • Boating

    The East Branch of the Clarion River is scenic and appropriate for beginning boaters under normal conditions. A canoe launch is three miles upstream along Kilgus Road. Best water conditions are generally in the spring.

  • Fishing

    The East Branch of the Clarion River flows through the park and is an excellent fishery. The river is stocked with trout and is home to many cold-water species. A fishing platform behind the pool allows for easy access for children and the elderly.

  • Picnicking

    Over 150 picnic tables are located in several picnic areas. Within these areas are charcoal grills, drinking water, four horseshoe pits, restrooms and three picnic pavilions. Picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Water Sports

    The pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. Depth ranges from three to five feet.

  • Winter Sports

    The Bendigo SnowFest is held on the first Saturday in February, visitors can participate in a variety of outdoor activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sled-riding and geocaching. Children and adults of all ages are welcome at this celebration of winter in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Directions

Driving

In Jones Township, Elk County, Pennsylvania, Bendigo State Park is four miles northeast of Johnsonburg on SR 1004, which branches off of US 219 in Johnsonburg.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(814) 965-2646

Links