History of Blacklick Valley Natural Area

Although no detailed written history of the Native American presence in the Blacklick Valley is available, it is likely that members of the Shawnee and Delaware tribes used the creek for fishing and transportation.

The first recorded owners of what is now the Parker Tract of the BVNA was William Bracken who purchased 309 acres from the Commonwealth of PA in 1786. At that time the land was located in Westmoreland County; Indiana County was not created until 1803. Since Bracken’s purchase, the property has changed hands many times. Most recently David and Penny Russell, formerly of Dilltown, owned the property and generously donated it to Indiana County Parks in 1995.

For more information and history, check out this interpretive guide, or pick up a copy of Great Natural Areas in Western Pennsylvania by Steven Ostrander, published by Stackpole Books.