The 958-acre Canoe Creek State Park is in scenic Sinking Valley, 12 miles east of Altoona. This beautiful, modern park features a 155-acre lake, wetlands, old fields and mature forests, which provide critical habitat for migrating birds and for one of the largest bat colonies in the Commonwealth. The lake is popular for fishing year-round. Hikers enjoy the trails that wind through the many habitats. Picnicking, swimming at the beach, enjoying educational programs, and staying the night in a modern cabin are also popular activities.
The beach experiences heavy usage during the summer months, and at times the Limestone trail loop can seem a bit overcrowded, especially the area near the Blair Limestone Co. Kilns. Stepping onto one of the more difficult trails is normally a quick escape from any crowds, and leads to more opportunities to see wildlife. I always end up packing out at least a shopping bags worth of trash on each visit, which is quite disappointing, and signs of water pollution are visible if you look for them.
Personally, I would not come here to hike. I walk my dog on the trails often, and it is a great place for that. Come to Canoe Creek to kayak or canoe the lake, and to check out the bats ( an absolute must see!) and the birds that the park has to offer. Hike the trails while you are here, for sure, but don't make this a hiking destination by any means.
The time of year might have something to do with my review--the trees were bare and there was A LOT of gunfire--encountered two groups of hunters on park trails near the kilns, otherwise the park was deserted. The first part of the hike ambled on mowed trails through fields on even terrain, nice exercise but a minefield of horse crap. The lake looked nice, lots of picnic tables and facilities that were closed. The kilns were cool and interesting, and the hike along the nearby stream was pretty. No wildlife to be seen--not even birds, possibly from the heavy hunting nearby. We pass this place a lot on our way east to visit relatives and always thought it would be a nice visit, but it was a mistake to choose it as a primary attraction. I'm sure it's a nicer place in the summer, but it wasn't worth the 70 minutes we drove to get there. The terrain is flat and unremarkable.
Completed the Moore's Hill Trail Loop at Canoe Creek. It was an absolutely beautiful fall evening. We encountered no other hikers but we did encounter a few hunters, so If you go during hunting season, I suggest wearing orange. I'd say the trail was moderate, as there were two large inclines, but nothing too hard to handle. The views were worth it. Loved seeing two limestone kiln sites. Probably gonna try to do this one again before it gets too cold out there.
Grat trail for the entire family. My wife my daughter,(age 8 at the time), and myself enjoyed ourselves on a beautiful sunny day. Mostly a flat trail that follows many feeder streams of the lake. Only a mild elevation at one point. There is a small spur at the front of the lake that you can take to make the hike a little more that 5 miles. Not crowded but you will see others on the trail. Bring your pole for some great fishing afterwards, or during if you want to have a shorelunch!