Lake Wilhelm Trail
12 mile loop in Maurice K Goddard Park State Park in Mercer County
The Lake Wilhelm Trail is a 12 mile loop in Maurice K Goddard Park that circles the southern 6 miles of the lake. On the southern side of the lake it hugs the shoreline offering views of the lake. On the northern side the trail is often in the woods, a short distance from the lake and you only get small glimpses. The trail is not a rail trail, but goes up and down as it crosses the numerous creeks that feed the lake and the moraines left over from the Glaciers. Some of the hillsare steep but short (30 feet). There are also a section on the south shore where the trail climbs up and over a ridge line, avoidable be using the gravely road..
Lake Wilhelm Trail
Location In Maurice K Goddard Park, Mercer County
Trailheads Lake Wilhelm Rd, Lake Wilhelm Dam, Launch Areas #1, #2, Marina
Length, Surface 12 paved miles total, 10.0 mi trail, 2.0 mi road
Character uncrowded, wooded, shady
Usage restrictions No horses, Snowmobiles on trail north of lake]]
Amenities Rest rooms, water, fishing
Driving time from Pittsburgh 1 hour 30 minutes north
There are two sets of mileposts, one counting from the parking lot on the northern side of the lake. Cross the Lake on Lake Wilhelm road and take the immediate right into the parking lot. The other milepost zero is in the first parking lot on the southern side of the lake off of lake Wilhelm Rd. The milepost are offset from each other by about 0.4 miles. This wright-up uses the ones that start on the north shore.
The trail leaves the north shore parking lot by the road on a paved surface. The trail is mostly in the woods on rolling terrain with occasional farm fields on the left and occatioal views of the lake on the right. The fisrt launch site is at milepost 1.2. At mile 4.3 the trail turns left for a short distance on an access road, before turn right onto the paved path.
The dam for the lake is crossed between MP5.9 and MP6.0. After leaving the dam turn right onto the park road. This road has only park traffic and is therefore only a few cars will be seem. Here there is a hillside on the left and the lake on the right
At a launch site #1 (MP7.1) the trail turns right off of the road and exits the parking lot on the far side to continue on a paved trail between the road and the lake. At mile 7.8 the trail turns away from the lake and climbs the hill on a short (80 ft) but steep slope. It then follows the contour lines with occasional dips for about 0.9 miles before dropping back to a road crossing (MP8.7). The trail now wanders between the road and the lake for about 2.6 miles until it enters the marina parking/storage lot (MP11.3).
The trail then flows along the parking lot access roads, past the large marina, and consesston bilding to connect to Lake Wilhelm Rd (MP11.7), Turning right the trail crosses the lake on the causeway and enters the starting parking lot at MP12.3.
Local history, attractions
The 2,856-acre Maurice K. Goddard State Park features the 1,680-acre Lake Wilhelm, which is very popular with anglers and boaters. The large lake, abundant wetlands, old fields, and mature forests provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife, especially waterfowl, eagle, and osprey.
State Game Lands 270 is adjacent to the park to the northwest of I-79..
Extensions of the ride
The nearest other bicycle trails are about 15 miles away. There are no obvious extensions to this ride. There are many rural roads that could be used to extend the ride, although they are hilly.
Vicinity: Directions begin headed north on I79 at Exit 130 To reach this point from Pittsburgh, take I79 North
Lake Wilhelm Rd Trailhead: At the bottom of the ramp turn left/west onto Sheakleyville Rd (PA358W). Go 0.5 miles to the tee, and turn right onto Sheakleyville road. Go 1,7 miles to the southern park marina entrance or go 2.3 files to the northern trailhead.
Lake Wilhelm Southern Launch Area Trailheads: At the bottom of the ramp turn left/west onto PA358W. Go 0.5 miles to the tee, and turn right onto Lake Wilhelm road. Go 1.7 miles and turn right onto Creek Rd. There are a three parking lots long this road at 2.0 miles, 4.2 miles, and 5.4 miles.
Rest rooms, water: at the Marina, and launch areas #1, #2, #3, #4
Bike shop, rentals: None
Restaurant, groceries: None
Camping, simple lodging: Goddard Park Vacation Land Campground about 0.5 miles from milepost 0.
Swimming, fishing: fishing/boating (20 HP limit) in the lake
Winter sports: Snowmobiling, Ice fishing, Ice boating, Cross Country Skiing,
Wheelchair access: ok, except for the steep hills
Maurice K Goddard State Park
684 Lake Wilhelm Rd., Sandy Lake, PA 16145-2310
(412) 257-2328 for voicemail system
(724) 253-4833 for information
Maps, guides, other references
USGS Topographic Maps: Hadley, New Lebanon, Sandy Lake
State Park Brochure
Text version of 10 Jul 2022 based on personal observation while bicycling main route 7/2022. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 7/2022.