Hitting the Trails: Moraine State Park, Portersville, PA

If you’re looking for a fun place to take a day trip, or you’re passing through the area, Moraine State Park is a beautiful and fun place to ride your horse!

Moraine State Park in Portersville, PA is a park comprised of 16,725 acres. The park was restored from coal mining, oil and gas drilling and is now a great place to trail ride!

The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. There are different parking options to access different trails heads throughout the park. For the sake of this article, we parked in the Bear Run Boat Ramp parking area at the end of Badger Hill Road.

If you’re thinking about making the trip to Moraine State Park with your horse, here are the pros and cons of the overall experience.


The Trails are Well Maintained and Easy to Ride

No matter which trail you took or which path you strayed on to, the trails at Moraine State Park were well maintained. There were minimal low limbs and if there was a tree down or an obstacle blocking the trail, there was a safe way around it. There were several trees that were fallen on the trail but they were low enough for the horses to step over. For the more adventurous rider, these down trees made for some fun as we cantered and jumped the trees while making our way through the trail.

The trails varied in the path width, but, whether it was narrow or wide, the path was safe with no holes, rocks, stumps or questionable footing. The water drainage on the trails is optimal leaving minimal spots of thick, deep mud.

The Scenery Is on Point

From aesthetic views of evergreen and deciduous trees to views of the lake, Moraine State Park had some breathtaking scenery. Some areas had gorgeous views of lilli pads on the lake while other areas showcased tall grasses. The different color greens mixed with the beginning of fall colors was a beautiful sight.

The lake views were truly gorgeous. The water continued as far as the eye could see and was lined with trees in the horizon. We even watched some sail boats go by as they utilized the wind to navigate.

Optimal Access to Water

If anyone’s horse goes thirsty here, it’s not because of lack of water stops. Within the seven miles we rode, there were many points we could stop and allow our horses to get a drink. Many of the trails lead to the lake so water intake was offered frequently.

Taking the lake one step further from a drinking hole, you can also gradually walk into the water at several points until your horse is swimming. This makes for a fun time on a hot day.

Photo by Chris Robertson

Trails are Well Marked

At almost every area where the trail splits into more than one option there are markers stating a trail number. We rode trails three, four and some of five. Along with the trail markers stating which trail goes which way, the trees also have color marks on them that coordinate with the different trails. For instance, trail number three is color coordinated with red marks on the trails. This makes it easy to figure out if you’re going the correct way if you like to follow the trail.

Trails that are not to be accessed by horses are also marked with “no horse” signs. This makes it easier to not end up somewhere you shouldn’t be and be courteous to your fellow park goers.


Trails are Limited

Within the 16,725 acres Moraine State Park has to offer, only approximately 20 miles are trails accessible to horses. If you’re looking for a place you can ride sun up to sun down, unfortunately Moraine State Park is not the best option. The lack of trails limits this location to more of a day trip rather than somewhere you’d plan to go for a weekend.

Photo by Marcella Gruchalak

No Camping Access

Of the campgrounds I’ve researched that border the park, I have not found one that accommodates horses to allow for the option of an overnight trip. This unfortunate situation also limits Moraine State Park to a day trip location rather than a weekend getaway destination.

Photo by Chris Robertson

Overall, if you live in the area or you’re passing through and have some time to make a pit stop, Moraine State Park is a lovely place to experience. No matter which season you visit, you’re sure to see some beautiful sights within this state park.

Whether you’re just starting out riding or an experienced rider, these trails give the option to mosey along or condition and create stamina by cantering.

Happy trails and go riding!

Editor’s note: The initial publication of this article included a mistake regarding the acreage of the park. It has since been corrected.