Kooser State Park

In the heart of the Laurel Highlands at an altitude of 2,600 feet, Kooser State Park attracts visitors year-round to its 250 acres of forest and the beautiful trout stream that flows the full length of the park.

The park’s original design character was stamped by the Civilian Conservation Corps projects of the 1930s that established the existing lake and most of its use areas, its architecture and site details. The park’s basic appeal lies in its intimate areas which are best suited for family outings and small groups. Picnicking, fishing, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, and family cabins are the major park uses.

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Hiking   -  Picnicking   -  Fishing   -  Hunting   -  Cross-country Skiing   -  Cabins   -  Camping

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 beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the Laurel Hill State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

The beautiful stone Mighty Oak Pavilion can be rented at Kooser State Park, Pennsylvania.Picnicking: Many picnic tables and the Mighty Oak Picnic Pavilion are available for year-round picnics. There is also a small stone pavilion centered in the picnic area that is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Fishing: The 4-acre Kooser Lake and Kooser Run are approved trout waters. Kooser Run is classified as a High Quality trout stream. Kooser Lake provides excellent fishing for trout, bass and blue gill, Kooser Run is stocked with trout. Night and ice fishing are prohibited on Kooser Lake.

Kooser Lake Depth Color Map (.pdf)  (2,338 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: Due to the park's small size, hunting is prohibited in the park. Hunters frequently camp in the park and walk to the Forbes State Forest lands that are adjacent to the park. Common game species are deer, turkey and black bear.

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 vehicle or enclosed trailer. 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.

A trail crosses a footbridge under tall trees at Kooser State Park, Pennsylvania.Hiking: 1.5 miles of trails

Kincora Trail: 1.0 mile, more difficult hiking
Named after a former church camp located here, this rugged trail provides challenging terrain and solitude for the day hiker.

Tree Army Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest hiking
This trail meanders along Kooser Run. In the summer, there is great access for stream fishing and you can enjoy the scenic beauty in the winter while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The trail is named after the Civilian Conservation Corps who were also known as Roosevelt’s Tree Army.

Stay the Night

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
The campground has been renovated to 35 sites, which is open from mid-April through mid-December. Most sites give visitors the ability to pull through with their camping equipment. There are 28 sites with electric hookups and seven non-electric sites. Five sites have full service hook up, which includes sewer, water, and electricity. ADA accessible sites and a sanitary dump station are available. This entire campground is open to pets. Please follow all pet camping rules.

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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
The campground host site amenities include 50-amp electric service, water and sewer. Hosts are required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week, with a one (1) month minimum stay. A full season commitment is preferred. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.This rustic log and stone cabin can be rented at Kooser State Park, Pennsylvania.Rustic Cabins: There are nine rustic rental cabins available for year-round rental, with summer rentals on a weekly basis. The smallest sleeps four with the largest sleeping eight. A modern shower house is available in the cabin colony. Each cabin has mattresses on the beds as well as a refrigerator, microwave oven, stove and sink with hot water. Renters bring all cooking and sleeping supplies. The primary source of heat is provided by a wood burning stove. Cabin 23 is ADA accessible. Cabins 21 and 22 are dog friendly.

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Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Snowshoers, including a toddler in a backpack carrier, enjoy a snowy trail at Kooser State Park, Pennsylvania.Cross-country Skiing: The park’s elevation and heavy snowfall creates prime conditions for cross-country skiing. Park staff set track on 1.5 miles of ski trail, which is marked with blue diamonds. The trail is classified as “easiest” and is popular with beginners to experienced skiers.

A 20-mile cross-country ski touring concession is adjacent to the PA 653 parking area of nearby Laurel Ridge State Park. Fee required on this trail. View conditions and snow depth on the live Web cam.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office. Programs are offered April to November. Contact the Laurel Hill park office for more detailed information.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.

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Access for People with Disabilities

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.