Dr. Colson E. Blakeslee Memorial Recreation Area

The Blakeslee Recreation Area provides important access to the Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek, which is now recovering after decades of being polluted due to drainage from abandoned coal mines.

The Blakeslee Recreation Area features a mature forested floodplain. Small, isolated pools of water and woody debris on the forest floor provide important habitat for amphibians.

Named in memory of a Western Pennsylvania Conservancy board member and local physician from DuBois, PA., “Doc” Blakeslee was a tireless supporter of conservation and environmental efforts, and championed the need for restoring the Bennett Branch and providing recreational access to the stream. Throughout his life, Blakeslee treasured our region’s beauty, and advocated for the protection of our natural resources.


  • Benezette Township, Elk County

Dates Acquired



Approximately 24 acres

Notable features

floodplain forest, creek access


Parking Available

Recreational Activities

  • Fishing
  • Hiking (Designated Trail)
  • Hiking (Off-Trail)
  • Horse Trail
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking

Recreational Activities

Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding

The small parking area provides easy access to a former railroad embankment available for hiking, biking and equestrian use. A spur trail off the embankment (the Anglers Path) is open for foot-traffic only, and leads a short distance to the Bennett Branch. Visitors have a good chance of spotting elk, but should remember to give those large animals plenty of room.

Hunting and Fishing

Both hunting and fishing are permitted in accordance with state regulations, although hunting is not permitted on Sundays. Please exercise caution and wear blaze orange during hunting season. Trapping is not permitted.

Plan Your Visit

GPS Coordinates: 41.29107, -78.395610

Directions to the Preserve

Interactive Preserve Map


From I-80 Exit 101, take PA-255 North 16.2 miles. Turn right onto Rt. 555 East and travel 6.9 miles. Property is on the right. Look for a small gravel parking area.

Visitor Tips

The trail to the Bennett Branch is level but may be wet depending on the season. Be sure to wear boots or shoes that can get wet. Also, remember that bicycles and horses are allowed only on the former railroad embankment. Be prepared for your visit with the following resources. We recommend downloading these files to your device prior to visiting.

Visitor Guidelines

When visiting Blakeslee Recreation Area, please remember:

  • Horses and bicycles are permitted only in the designated area.
  • Dogs must be on a leash or otherwise kept under control at all times.
  • Camping and campfires are prohibited.
  • If you carry it in, carry it out.
  • Collecting (animals, plants, rocks, etc.) without permission is prohibited.
  • Review the Guidelines for Public Use of WPC Properties document prior to your visit.