Outdoor Adventure, Painted Turtles Await at Frances Slocum State Park

Outdoor Adventure, Painted Turtles Await at Frances Slocum State Park

Abbie James, Columinst

In times where coronavirus leaves us wondering what is safe or unsafe to do on the weekends, we can always turn to the great outdoors.

If you and your friends are looking for an outdoor adventure this weekend, plan a visit to Frances Slocum State Park. Located in Luzerne County only a convenient 10-minute drive from campus, Frances Slocum State Park has many activities to offer.

This state park was established in 1968 and is named for Francis Slocum, a five-year-old girl from the county who was captured by a group of Lenape Indians native to Pennsylvania in 1778.

She ended up living with the tribe until her brothers found her 59 years later. By then, however, she learned to love life with the tribe, and she established a family of her own within it.

Some popular activities nature lovers can enjoy at this local hot spot are hiking, fishing and kayaking. There is a 165-acre pond perfect for boating. You can even spot painted turtles hanging out on the habitats made by park employees.

Recreational equipment rentals are available at a rental store in the park. Here, you can rent kayaks, paddle boards or row boats to use.

Another popular activity among students is hiking. There are 13.7 miles of hiking trails at the park. Some of the most scenic ones loop the pond, so if you’re lucky, you may be able to spot a great blue heron.

You can even make a day of your visit by packing a picnic lunch to take along with you, as there are over 11 picnicking sites. If you and your friends are feeling especially adventurous, you can even camp overnight. Reservations for camping are required. The cost is $21 per night.

During this time of uncertainty, at least you can be certain about one thing: the fun you and your friends could experience at Francis Slocum State Park.