Warriors Path State Park
Comprising approximately 350 acres, the scenic park occupies a peninsula formed by the meandering Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.
Established in 1965, Warriors Path State Park is located 2 miles south of Saxton. The park is accessed by driving on Warriors Path State Park Road which was the original right of way of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad abandoned in 1954.
Most of the park’s area (282 acres) was purchased from the Nimchishim family in 1959. A stone monument near the park’s entrance commemorates the donation of 17 acres by Sam and Mary Bussard stating that the donated land will forever remain as a public park A final purchase of land from the Nimchishim family in 1987 completed the park’s land area.
Warriors Path is named for the famous war path used by Native Americans, mainly Iroquois, who frequented the area. Today, no signs of the path remain but artifacts of Indian encampments along the river have been found nearby in the vicinity of Rhode’s Bridge (PA 913) west of Saxton.
Warriors Path offers day usage with the park closing at sunset daily.
Activities and Facilities
Activities and facilities available at the park:
- Hiking: More than 3 miles of well-marked and maintained trails criss-cross the park.
- Fishing: Access at several locations to the river for wading and shoreline fishing. Popular species of fish include bass, perch, rock bass, walleye, muskellunge, suckers, bluegill, and catfish.
- Hunting: The park is open to general hunting for turkey, deer and other small game species. A Pennsylvania Hunting License is required.
- Picnic and Family Groups: Two rental pavilions are available. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park. Potable well-water is available.
- Comfort: Comfort facilities are located adjacent to the pavilions.
- Other activities: Horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, cross-country skiing.
- Boating: A concrete boat ramp is located a few hundred yards after entering the park. The river is shallow throughout most of the year limiting watercraft to kayaks and other shallow-draft vessels.
- Group camping: An area near the park office is provided for overnight camping for qualifying groups. Advance reservations are required. Electrical hook-ups and shower facilities are not available.
Flowers and Plants
Wetlands and seasonal marshes are found adjacent to River Trail, located along the Raystown Branch on the park’s north side. An amazing variety of wildflowers bloom throughout the year and provide brilliant colors during peak seasons.
While picturesque vistas are found throughout the park, they become even more attractive when the leaves turn color in mid-October.
In addition to deer, turkeys, and other small game, hikers report encountering occasional black bears. Eagles, geese and herons have been spotted along the river, particularly in the area of cliffs known as the Big Salmon Hole.
An excellent map of the park can be found on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website. A picture of the map is below. (Download from the Department of Conservation for better quality map)
Planning a visit? Warriors Path makes a great side-trip for travelers seeking nature’s beauty and solitude as the park is seldom crowded.