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Explore Scenic Hiking Trails and Enjoy Lakeside Fun in the Shadow of Locust Mountain

Get away from it all at Tuscarora State Park in Barnesville. This 1,618-acre park in Schuylkill County’s northeastern corner sits at the foothills of Locust Mountain. With picturesque views, plenty of hiking trails and amenities for picnicking, camping and boating, there’s no wonder this beautiful park is a popular, year-round family destination.

Pristine Tuscarora Lake serves as the park’s scenic centerpiece with eight unique trails branching out into the surrounding mountains, forests and meadows. The park office serves as the visitor center for both Tuscarora State Park and neighboring Locust Lake State Park.

Tuscarora State Park is open all year from sunrise to sunset. Get outside. Grab a park map. And discover everything this NEPA favorite has to offer. Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights.


Boating, Fishing and Swimming On Tuscarora Lake



The 96-acre Tuscarora Lake at the heart of the park is open to fishing, boating and seasonal swimming. The lake features a sand beach with a safe, designated swimming area. The beach is open from late May through mid-September.

Fishing is a popular pastime at Tuscarora Lake in any season. The warm water fishery is home to trout, bass, pickerel, catfish, perch and muskies. Night fishing and ice fishing in the winter are also permitted on the lake. The park’s boat launch also features an ADA-Accessible fishing pier.

Boaters of all types take to the lake throughout the year. Electric motor boats are permitted and there are 125 boat mooring spaces available with the purchase of a permit. Kayaking and canoeing remain a popular activity from late spring through fall. The park also offers daily boat rentals from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

*Update: As of 8/30/23, DCNR has closed the beach at Tuscarora State Park to swimming due to resampling requirements. Other activities such as camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing are proceeding as usual unless posted otherwise on the DCNR page.


A Picnic in the Park



The quiet lakeside meadows at Tuscarora State Park are perfect for family picnics. The park offers over 250 picnic tables and two large picnic pavilions. The ADA-Accessible pavilions can be reserved via the park website. When not reserved, the pavilions are free to use on a “first come, first served” basis. The park also maintains modern restrooms from April through October.


Abundant Wildlife on Display



Throughout the many trails and all along the lake at Tuscarora State Park, you’ll find plenty of wildlife. The park and surrounding mountains are home to black bear, white-tailed deer, turkey, grouse, squirrels and chipmunks. The unique geographical position of the park also makes it a frequent stop along the migratory paths of many birds of prey. And on the forest floor level, there’s always a frog, snake or turtle ready for their close-up.

Please observe all park wildlife from a safe distance and never attempt to feed any animals.


Spirit of Tuscarora Trail



Tuscarora State Park features 8 trails covering just over 9 miles of terrain. Most of the park’s trails are shorter, connector or out-and-back trails consisting of easier terrain that carry hikers through the surrounding forest, along the lake or over sprawling meadows.

The Spirit of Tuscarora Trail, at 4.5 miles, is the park’s longest trail. The varying terrain offers a moderately difficult hike along Tuscarora Lake, through dense forest and thicket and wetlands. The hike proves worth the effort with stunning wildflowers, songbirds, butterflies, Locust Creek and the park’s famous “Spirit Tree.” You’ll want to bring your camera.


Get Involved



Spending time outdoors is lots of fun, but protecting NEPA’s natural beauty makes it even more rewarding. You can do your part by joining the Friends of Tuscarora and Locust Lake State Parks. This nonprofit organization has volunteer opportunities for everyone, no matter what your talents. They hold volunteer days, park clean-ups, trail maintenance, fundraisers, events and more throughout the year. Visit their website or Facebook page to learn how you can get involved and support their mission.


Plan a Trip



Tuscarora State Park is easily-accessible from Interstate 81 and within an easy drive from just about anywhere in NEPA. The park also offers camping cottages and Yurts for overnight stays. Guests must reserve cottages and yurts. Overnight stays begin on the Friday before the start of trout season and run through mid-October.

The park is also a short distance from nearby cities like Tamaqua, Pottsville, Lehighton and Jim Thorpe.

Spotlight On
Tuscarora State Park – Fall
Tuscarora State Park – Fall Image
Brian Johnson
Ryan Wood
Tuscarora State Park – Summer
Tuscarora State Park – Summer Image
Brian Johnson
Ryan Wood
Tuscarora State Park – Winter
Tuscarora State Park – Winter Image
Ryan Wood