Frances Slocum State Park
Frances Slocum State Park consists of 1,035 acres in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County. The horseshoe shaped, 165-acre lake is popular for boating and fishing, and is a home to many species of birds, fish and wildlife. The many hiking and mountain biking trails and the large day use area attract visitors to picnic and explore the forests.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. The pool, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
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.
Explore swimming for more information.
Boating: electric motors only
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.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
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.
Frances Slocum Lake Depth Black-and-white Map (.pdf) (2,865 kb, 8/15)
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 700 acres are open to hunting. 350 acres are open to archery hunting. 350 acres in the west side of the park are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, waterfowl, turkey, rabbit and squirrel.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer or leased campsite. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: 13 miles of trails
Bluebird Trail: 0.5 mile
Buck and Doe Trails: 0.8 mile and 0.3 mile
Campground Trail: 1 mile
Deer Trail: 3.2 miles
Upper Deer Trail: 0.6 mile
Frances Slocum Trail: 0.7-mile
Hilltop Loop Trail: orange blazes, 0.7 mile
Lakeshore Trail: 1.4-mile
Larch Tree Trail: 2 miles
Macanaquah Trail: 2.5 miles
Mountain Biking: 4 miles of trails
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
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.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
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 thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: When conditions permit, ice skating is permitted on the natural ice of the lake. Ice thickness is not monitored.
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.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Patrick J. Solano Environmental Education Center
The environmental education center sits near Frances Slocum Lake in the day use area. The building features exhibits on American Indians and the ecology of the park. Programs are offered from March to November.
The center is named for Patrick Solano, who served as deputy secretary for Parks and Forests with the former Department of Environmental Resources and as the acting secretary when the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources was created in 1995. Mr. Solano has held many prestigious positions, including senior counselor to two governors and a senate majority leader.
During World War II, Mr. Solano completed 23 combat missions with the Eighth U.S. Air Force Heavy Bombardment Group. For his service, he was awarded the Group Presidential Citation, the Air Force Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Combat Theatre Medal with two Bronze Stars.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
The 165-acre lake, wetlands, vernal pools, and forests of Frances Slocum State Park are havens for wildlife. In the spring, the park’s vernal pools are the breeding grounds of wood frogs and salamanders. In the summer, songbirds such as yellow warblers, brown thrashers, and Baltimore orioles raise their young. Blue-eyed grass, wild geranium, false hellebore, and Jack-in-the-pulpit are just a few of the many species of wildflowers that bloom in the park. Painted turtles, great blue herons, and a wide variety of dragonfly species inhabit the lake and wetlands.
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.”
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.
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Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
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We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
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Frances Slocum State Park
Maps and Downloadables
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Frances Slocum State Park Map (.pdf) (1,301 kb, 6/16)
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Lake Depth Map
Frances Slocum Lake Depth Black-and-white Map (.pdf) (2,865 kb, 8/15)
The park is five miles from Dallas and ten miles from Wilkes-Barre. From Exit 170B of I-81, take PA 309 north 7.2 miles. Turn right (east) onto Carverton Road and drive for 4.2 miles. Turn left (north) on West 8th Street and drive 1.3 miles. Turn left (west) onto Mt. Olivet Road and drive one mile to the park entrance on the left.
GPS DD: Lat. 41.34433 Long. -75.89186
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Frances Slocum State Park