Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
156.00 ft (47.55 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.44 mi (2.32 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Fulton County, located in south-central Pennsylvania, is home to a 1,085-acre forested park known as Cowans Gap State Park. There are several hiking trails within the park, but Lakeside Trail is the most popular trail for good reason.

Lakeside Trail is perfectly named since it follows the perimeter of the 42-acre Cowans Gap Lake. The well-maintained trail passes the swimming and picnic areas, crosses the dam, and then meanders through a lovely wooded section as it leads hikers back to where they started on this family-friendly 1.5-mile loop.

Take time and sit on one of the benches along the trail and listen to the woodland birds. You might spot an ovenbird, eastern towhee or migrating raptors. Watch for box turtles and small animals scurrying through the woods as well as larger animals including deer and bears.

Along the way, take a stroll on the large sand beach, put your toes in the cool lake, or cast a fishing line. The lake has excellent trout fishing along with bass, perch and panfish. When you’ve finished your hike and you’re ready for tasty refreshments, the trail passes near the concession building which is open from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic, nearly level trail around Cowans Gap Lake.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

1,221.00 ft (372.16 m)

Highest point

1,240.00 ft (377.95 m)

Net Elevation Gain

23.00 ft (7.01 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Family friendly
Potable water
Wildflowers
Fishing
Wildlife
Flushing toilets
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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