Frances Slocum State Park - Pennsylvania

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide: US-Parks.com

Description

Frances Slocum State Park consists of 1,035 acres in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County. Frances Slocum Lake is the focal point of the park and forms a horseshoe covering 165 acres.

Recreation

Picnicking

Picnic areas are available year-round. Picnic facilities include drinking water fountains, restrooms, garbage and recycling receptacles, charcoal grills and charcoal disposal pits. All areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Three ADA accessible picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Swimming:

The swimming pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. A seasonal snack bar has fast food and beverages.

Boating: electric motors only

The 165-acre Frances Slocum Lake has two boat launches, two mooring areas and courtesy docks. A boat concession rents rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Fishing:

The 165-acre Frances Slocum Lake is a warm-water fishery. Common species are crappie, bluegill, perch, catfish, muskellunge, pickerel, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye and stocked trout. Ice fishing is permitted. An ADA accessible fishing pier is between Picnic Pavilion Three and the main boat launch.

Hiking: 13 miles of trails

Bluebird Trail: 0.5 mile

This trail passes through field and mixed forest habitats in the northern portion of the park.

Buck and Doe Trails: 0.8 mile and 0.3 mile

While skirting stone walls and old fields and passing through stands of pines, these trails connect to Maconaquah Trail in several places.

Campground Trail: 1 mile

Campers can access this trail from the Stony Point parking lot or from behind the Organized Group Tenting Area. A short stretch of Campground Trail follows Larch Tree Trail.

Deer Trail: 3.2 miles

This trail starts at the environmental interpretive center and passes through a diversity of habitats including lakeshore, thicket, hemlock stand, mixed forest, marsh and hardwood forest.

Upper Deer Trail: 0.6 mile

This trail parallels Deer Trail through a mixed hardwood hillside.

Frances Slocum Trail: 0.7-mile

This loop trail begins and ends at the boat rental parking lot. On this trail hikers can see beautiful forests and the rock shelter where American Indians temporarily held their small captive (Frances Slocum).

Hilltop Loop Trail: orange blazes, 0.7 mile

The trailhead is on Green Road. Hilltop Trail is the starting point to access all trails on the western side of the park or can be hiked as a short loop.

Lakeshore Trail: 1.4-mile

This trail begins at the Campground Road bridge or the Big Pines Picnic Area and follows the lake shore. It is popular with shore anglers.

Larch Tree Trail: 2 miles

This hilly trail loops around the northeast corner of the park and through a large stand of larch trees.

Macanaquah Trail: 2.5 miles

This trail begins and ends on Carverton Road and intersects other trails.

Mountain Biking: 4 miles of trails

Over four miles of trails are available in the western part of the park. Trails range in difficulty from easiest to more difficult. Bikers should respect other riders and hikers when using designated trails. All mountain biking trails are designated with red blazes.

Stay the Night

Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups

A 100-site campground, with 15 walk-in tent sites, and 85 tent or trailer sites (some ADA accessible and some with electric hookups), is available from the second Friday in April through the third Sunday in October. Each site contains a picnic table and fire ring. Flush toilets, showers, drinking water, sanitary dump station and boat launch are available. Pets are permitted on designated sites.

Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position

The campground host sites amenities include 30 and 50-amp electric service, with water and sewer hookup. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

Organized Group Tenting:

Organized groups can rent this modern area, which can accommodate up to 40 people. The camping area has drinking water, fire rings, picnic tables, flush toilets and shower facilities.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths. The lake ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is at least four inches thick and carry safety equipment.

Cross-country Skiing:

When conditions permit, the campground road and day-use areas are popular for skiing.

Sledding:

A good slope is west of the swimming pool.

Ice Fishing:

Ice fishing is permitted on the entire lake.

Ice Skating:

When conditions permit, ice skating is permitted on the frozen lake.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Natural, cultural, historical and recreational programs are conducted by a park environmental educator from March through November. The park provides environmental education and interpretive programs that usually begin at the campground amphitheater from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs and teacher workshops are available to area schools.

An environmental interpretive center in the day use area features exhibits on American Indians and ecological topics.

History

Frances Slocum

The park is named for Frances Slocum, a young girl who was kidnapped by American Indians. Frances was one of ten children of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Slocum. This Quaker family lived on what is now North Street in Wilkes-Barre.

On November 2, 1778, a small group of Delaware Indians entered the Slocum home and carried away Frances who was then just five years old. The first night after her abduction was spent in a crude shelter under a rock ledge along Abraham Creek, believed to be within the state park boundary. Frances tried to escape during the first night but was soon recaptured. Frances was taken along as the Delaware Indians moved westward and spent the rest of her life with them.

Fifty-seven years after her abduction, Maconaquah, who could not remember her original name, told her story to a traveling merchant, who sent word back east. Several years later the brothers and a sister got the news and traveled to investigate. They found Frances Slocum living on a reservation near Peru, Indiana. She had been married twice and had borne four children. Frances refused the pleas of her brothers to return to Pennsylvania. The brothers wrote to her and learned many of the details of her abduction and life with American Indians.

Frances Slocum died in Indiana in 1847, at the age of 74. Mississinewa Lake in Indiana contains the Frances Slocum State Recreational Area and Lost Sister Trail. Along the Mississinewa River in Indiana, there is a monument that marks the final resting-place of Frances Slocum, also called Maconaquah, the “Young Bear.”

Park History

Frances Slocum Lake was created to control flooding. Picnicking areas and the dam were constructed and opened in the spring of 1968. In 1972, Tropical Storm Agnes devastated large areas of the adjacent Wyoming Valley. Frances Slocum State Park was closed to the public and 280 families moved into temporary houses in the park until their homes were restored. After the last family moved out, the park reopened to the public in June, 1974.

Contact

565Mount Olivet Rd., Wyoming, PA 18644-9333

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