“Climb a Tree, or Two”
When viewed from the lake or the day-use area, Locust Mountain seems to drop right into the southern side of Tuscarora Lake. The scenic picnic area plays host to many day trips and family reunions and the lake is a popular fishing spot. The 1,618-acre park is home to the park office and visitor center for Tuscarora and Locust Lake state parks. Visitors are welcome to gather information about the parks, the environmental education program and local attractions. Before European Settlers arrived in Pennsylvania, a deep forest of hemlock, white pine, ash, hickory, elm, oak, cherry and American chestnut covered the Locust Valley. The Lenni Lenape claimed the land, then it was conquered by the Susquehannocks, and finally controlled by the New York Iroquois League of Five Nations. When settlers discovered anthracite coal in Schuylkill County, immigrants swiftly arrived for the mining jobs reaching the Locust Valley in the mid-1800s. It was not economically feasible to mine the coal in the Locust Valley, but the area did not escape the American Industrial Revolution. The forests fell to the logger’s ax as sawmills turned the trees into lumber, shingles, tool handles and other wood products. Tanneries crushed hemlock and white pine bark for tanning leather. Colliers burned chestnuts and oaks into charcoal. Strong timbers supported the roofs of mines. The forests were gone by the early 1900s, replaced by shrubby land prone to seasonal floods and forest fires. Some farmers tilled the cleared land. Tuscarora State Park was purchased in the early 1960s. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania constructed the dam for flood control and recreation. Tuscarora State Park officially opened on June 26, 1971.
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Tuscarora State Park
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