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Cross Country Skiing

General Information

History: Oil Creek State Park is one of five state parks established through the efforts of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The 7,300 acre tract of land preserves 12 miles of the winding gorge, group of skiers which stretches south into Venango County from the Crawford County line, created approximately 10,000 years ago by the draining of an ice-dammed glacial lake.

The discovery of oil in the valley on August 27, 1859 marked the birth of the world's oil industry Throughout the park, expect to see cultural and natural resources.

As the second growth forest health improves, it gives a physical reminder of nature's ability to reclaim the landscape. Habitat is provided for wildlife including a large population of white-tailed deer, turkey, bear, ruffed grouse, squirrels and various winter birds.

lone skier

Being located in northwestern Pennsylvania generally ensures lake effect snow cover for cross-country skiing for much of the winter. During the winter of 1984-85, Oil Creek State Park developed a cross-country ski area with a network of 11.1 miles of marked trails, on the plateau of the east rim of the gorge.

A parking lot, warming hut and restrooms enhance the opportunity for skiers to enjoy and explore.


In 2011 John and Peg Sims, Friends members, developed a plan to maintain and groom the ski trails. With the implementation of the plan and the formation of Sun Valley Nordic, LLC the trail upkeep was transferred from park employees to the Friends and Sun Valley Nordic, LLC.

The trails are now maintained by Sun Valley Nordic, LLC.

John and Peg Sims owners of Sun Valley Nordic, LLC (both Friends members) along with Friends volunteers work to keep the trails clean and clear.

During the ski season John Sims packs, grooms and sets track on the trails to ensure a pleasant skiing experience. Peg sells passes.