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.
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.
Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.
éCamping: modern sites, some with electricity
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. A camp store, open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, sells food, ice, firewood, fishing bait and camping necessities.
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.
éSwimming: 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 boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
éFishing: 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.
éPicnicking: 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.
éHunting 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. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are in the park.
Mountain Biking: 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.
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 / 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: 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 miles
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.
Maconaquah Trail: 2.5 miles
This trail begins and ends on Carverton Road and intersects other trails.
The lake ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is at least four inches thick and carry safety equipment. Check the Web site or call the park office for snow and ice conditions.
Ice Skating: When conditions permit, ice skating is permitted on the frozen lake.
Ice Fishing: Ice fishing is permitted on the entire lake.
Sledding and Tobogganing: A good slope is west of the swimming pool.
Cross-country Skiing: When conditions permit, the campground road and day-use areas are popular for skiing.
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.
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.
Her brothers never gave up the search. Fifty-nine years after her abduction they found her 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.
Access for People with Disabilities
éThis symbol indicates facilities and activities that are accessible. This publication text is available in alternative formats.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Two nearby state parks, Lackawanna and Ricketts Glen, offer camping and other attractions.
For information on nearby attractions and accommodations, contact, Luzerne County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 888-905-2872. www.tournepa.com
In an Emergency
Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to the nearest hospital, look on bulletin boards or at the park office.