2013 Forest River Sunseeker
2013 Forest River Sunseeker
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Frances Slocum State Park is named for Frances Slocum, who was one of the first settlers in northeast Pennsylvania. She, at five years old, was kidnapped by a group of Lenape Native Americans in 1778 and lived for a time in the region that would later be named for her. Frances lived with Native Americans for the rest of her life. Fifty-nine years later, her brother found her living in Indiana on an Indian reservation. Twice-married and mother of four children, she refused to leave her family, and she died in 1847. It is believed that Frances is one of the first, if not the first, European kidnapped by Native Americans, and her life may have inspired many similar stories about white Americans being kidnapped in the Wild West era and “going Native."
Frances Slocum Lake, within Frances Slocum State Park’s border, was created to control flooding in the nearby Susquehanna River basin. The closest large town is Dallas about five miles west. Wilkes-Barres is roughly 10 miles south.
A little over 10 miles of trails, perpetually covered by soft leaves of seasons past, wind through dense woods of pine and oaks. The shallow hollow dips in trails transform into muddy pits in springtime, often requiring rerouting around them-unless muddy boots are not minded. The trails bisect tiny streams, littered by fallen timber that can be used as makeshift bridges to cross the burbling water. In the elbow of calmer streams, tadpoles and minnows flit about in search of food. Summers and early falls bring about croaky frogs and toads that sing the song of their people at dusk and dawn. Overhead, in the bright green canopy that lets dappled sprays of light through, birds hop and fly about, singing merrily.
White-tailed deer are frequent companions in the woods, often recognized in the distance by their tell-tale flash of whitetail. The manmade horseshoe-shaped, a warm-water fishery, is a popular lake for fishermen and anglers. Common fish include bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass, catfish, and trout. Only non-powered or electric boats are allowed on the lake. If anglers wish to try their skill from water instead of the banks, the boat-concession stand has rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, and canoes available for rent.
Skip the hotels and get closer to nature and wake up to the sound of birdsong and wind in the leaves outside a travel trailer rental. Book an RV in Luzerne County, gain a world of adventure and fun.
Of the 100 sites at the Frances Slocum State Park, rental travel trailers and RVs are allowed on only 85. And only the larger sites have 30/50 amps electric hookups. The bathrooms with showers and drinking water are a short walk from most sites, and there is a small swimming pool. An added benefit of camping at Frances Slocum State Park is it’s dog-friendly, each site has a fire ring and picnic table.
If space should run out, there are several privately owned campgrounds in the area. Ricketts Glen State Park campground is also a good option to consider.
An advantage to staying at Frances Slocum State Park campground is it’s centrally located to several towns and attractions. Scranton made famous by the much beloved-television show, The Office is a little over 20 miles to the northeast. The town is also well known for its role in Pennsylvania’s mining and railroad history, and Steamtown National Historic Site is a nod to that heritage. In addition to showcasing several antique steam and coal-powered locomotives, Steamtown has a large exhibition devoted to detailing the railroad history, complete with photographs, documents, and maps. Hop on one of the original trains for a short ride around the town.
In this mountainous region of Pennsylvania, there are several ski resorts and slopes that date back to the early 1900s. Their lifts have, however, been updated and modernized since their founding. Camelback Resort in Tannersville, and Jack Frost Resort in White Haven, in the heart of the Poconos Mountains, are popular destinations. Though their slopes are significantly shorter than Colorado’s counterparts, they’re equally fun. Both ski resorts feature runs ranging from “bunny” (beginner) to double-diamonds (very hard) in difficulty, and there are also slopes set aside for snowboarders to practice tricks on half pipes.
In spite of being far from Philadelphia, the tradition of craft beer and whiskey run deep and strong. Distilleries and breweries dot the region. Award-winning Breaker Brewing Company is based out of Wilkes-Barres. The microbrewery specializes in IPAs, ales, and stouts.
Grab a growler, kick up your heels outside an RV rental, and enjoy the rich Pennsylvania culture and history.