Frances Slocum State Park: Beautiful Scenery And Some Amazing History
The cool weather continued here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was another cloudy and cold start on Saturday. I wanted to hike and explore someplace new and made a good choice when I decided to visit Frances Slocum State Park.
I had often heard about Frances Slocum Park , located in Kingston Township around 40 miles north and west of my home. However I never got to visit this park . On Saturday I did. It took about 45 minutes to drive to the Nature Center located near the shore on one arm of the horseshoe shaped lake.
The skies were starting to clear as I began my walk along the lake. The lake was created in the 1960’s by damming the waters of the Abraham Creek. In researching the park’s history I learned about the parks namesake, Frances Slocum and her abduction by Native Americans in 1778 when she was 5 years old. A remarkable story. You can learn more by clicking on the bold faced link.
After a short distance the trail split and I took the steep path to the upper deer trail. The path was covered with pine cones and needles from the large pine and hemlock trees that made up this area of the park.
I crossed a few small streams that flowed into the lake and came to the Moconaquah Trail. This was the name given to Frances Slocum by the Native American family that raised her. I followed the trail which took me out of the park and to a highway.
It was decision time. The trail ended and I had to return by the same trail I walked out. Or follow the highway that ran along the lake. I decided on the later and walked the bike lane between the highway and the lake.
It was a noisy but pleasant hike. The lake was below me and I watched the many cormorants flying above it’s waters and saw a few cardinals and sparrows in the brush and cattails growing along the shores of the lake.
I saw a few ducks on the far shore of the lake and heard the familiar chatter of a belted kingfisher. I love these birds. There was actually a pair of them flying over the waters of the lake looking for a meal of fresh fish.
I came to Lakeshore trail and continued my walk along the lake walking along many area of wetlands. I heard one spring peeper in the wetlands. In a few days I am sure he will be joined by thousands of others and the sound will be deafening.
The trail came to the middle of the two arms of the lake. There was a lot of human activity in this area using the boat and kayak ramps to enter the lake. And a lot more folks walking there dogs or parents out exploring nature with their children.
I saw a few more cormorants on the water and this pair of mallard ducks. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. Frances Slocum birds April 7 2018.
I also came upon some cliffs along the trail. I didn’t know it at the time of my walk, but I have now learned that young Frances Slocum may have sheltered under these very rocks on the first night of her abduction. I love to learn the history of the places I hike and this area sure has a lot of it.
It was a long five mile hike around the lake. I was glad to see the parking area and my car. Although the weather was more like January than April it was still a great day to explore this wonderful park. I hope to return, in warmer weather, which I hope will be very soon. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Frances Slocum hike April 7 2018
“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” –Marcus Garvey