What to do in Kooser State Park

Kooser State Park is a 250-acre wooded area, lying in the heart of the Laurel Highlands enjoyed year-round by recreational enthusiasts. With an altitude of 2,600 feet and a good trout stream running the full length of the park, the park is a favorite of many visitors.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the land for Kooser State Park in 1922. In the late 1920's, the Van Dyke Area was used for summer tenting by people who would camp from early spring until late fall. In 1933, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp was established in the western end of the park and the CCC "Boys" built new roads, fireplaces, cabins and a lake. I n 1945, a tornado hit the area and did a tremendous amount of damage to Kooser's wooded areas. In 1955, the present tent and trailer area was developed, water was piped from Kooser Spring throughout the park, and the original dam was rebuilt with a modern earth and concrete breast and an all-sand beach was built.

Recreational enthusiasts enjoy this beautiful park year-round. Family camping, cabins and organized group camping are offered. There are over 370 picnic tables with access to nearby hiking trails that serve as cross-country trails during the cold winter months. A 350 foot guarded beach is offered on the 4-acre Kooser Lake. Anglers enjoy this quiet lake where no boats are permitted. Because of the park's size, 250 acres, hunting is not permitted.

Accessible tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. Restrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs are located in the beach picnic area.

Kooser State Park is a 250-acre wooded area, lying in the heart of the Laurel Highlands enjoyed year-round by recreational enthusiasts. With an altitude of 2,600 feet and a good trout stream running the full length of the park, the park is a favorite of many visitors.

Kooser State Park derives its name from John Kooser who settled in the western end of the park, near what is now known as Kooser Spring, in the year 1867. The early settlers told of a native American battle that was fought nearby and a number of war arrows and spear heads have been found in the area. A contingent of Washington's Army, known as Coxes Army, crossed Laurel Summit near here during the Whiskey Rebellion.

The land for Kooser State Park was acquired by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1922. In the late 1920's, the Van Dyke Area was used for summer tenting by people who would camp from early spring until late fall. In 1933, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp was established in the western end of the park and the CCC "Boys" built new roads, fireplaces, cabins and a lake. I n 1945, a tornado hit the area and did a tremendous amount of damage to Kooser's wooded areas. In 1955, the present tent and trailer area was developed, water was piped from Kooser Spring throughout the park, and the original dam was rebuilt with a modern earth and concrete breast and an all-sand beach was built.

Recreation
This beautiful park is enjoyed year-round by recreational enthusiasts. Family camping, cabins and organized group camping are offered. There are over 370 picnic tables with access to nearby hiking trails which serve as cross-country trails during the cold winter months. A 350 foot guarded beach is offered on the 4 acre Kooser Lake. Anglers enjoy this quiet lake where no boats are permitted.

Because of the park's size, 250 acres, hunting is not permitted, however, the adjacent Forbes State Forest welcomes hunters. Common game species are deer, turkey and ruffed grouse.

Accessible tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. Restrooms which can accommodate wheelchairs are located in the beach picnic area.

Location
Kooser State Park is a one hour drive from Johnstown or Pittsburgh. From Johnstown, take US 219 south and then west on SR31 at Somerset. From Pittsburg, take PA Turnpike southeast to SR 31.

Climate
Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Kooser State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Address
943 Glades Pike
Somerset, PA 15501-8509

Phone: 814-445-8673

Email: laurelhill@dcnr.state.pa.us
  • Kooser State Park Travel Q&A

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