Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Schuylkill County, PA

  • Published 2022/11/12

Schuylkill County is in the middle eastern region of Pennsylvania.

Established in 1811, the county was named Schuylkill, which comes from the Dutch term that means “hidden stream.”

It is home to 143,049 people, according to the 2020 census.

The area is mountainous, with the Mahantango, Broad, Sharp, and Second ranges all contributing to the area’s ridge-and-valley topography.

The southern boundary is lined by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the state parks of Tuscarora, Locust Lake, and Swatara, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Anglers, kayakers, and swimmers will find many activities in rivers, lakes, and creeks.

Here are the best things to do in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania:

Hike the Tuscarora State Park

Daytime view of Tuscarora State Park

Katie Gilmour /

Tuscarora State Park is a 1,618-acre park in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Locust Mountain and Tuscarora Lake are the park’s two most notable landmarks.

The park was named after the Tuscarora Indians, who originally inhabited the area until Pennsylvania’s colonial settlers displaced them.

It is home to seven hiking trails that wind through various landscapes, including meadows and deciduous forests.

The waters of Tuscarora State Park

Katie Gilmour /

The lake is a popular fishing destination, and the lovely picnic area draws frequent guests for day vacations and family gatherings.

In addition to its natural beauty, the park is home to a wide range of recreational and environmental educational programs.

Guided hikes, interactive workshops, and evening events teach attendees to be good stewards of the earth’s natural and cultural resources.

Commune with nature and visit the Tuscarora State Park in Barnesville, Pennsylvania.

Travel Back in Time at Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles

Visit Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles for a trip down memory lane.

There are vintage automobiles from the 1950s and 1960s at Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles and other era-appropriate memorabilia.

Experience the 1950s like never before and come away with fantastic memories.

They put in a lot of effort to make it feel like it was still in the ’50s.

They will bring back fond memories of the days when automobiles were elegantly styled, rock ‘n’ roll was on everyone’s radio, and evenings were spent at the drive-in movie theater or the local soda shop.

For nostalgic effect, they showcase approximately 20,000 collectibles and old automobiles.

Not only does this museum have a fantastic collection of vintage cars, but it also features numerous relics from the turn of the century.

Drop by Pottsville, Pennsylvania, for a piece of automotive history.

Take a Dip at John F. Kennedy Memorial Recreation Complex

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Recreation Complex in Pottsville is an excellent place for a day out with the kids.

In addition to the several diving boards and kid-friendly play area, the waterpark features a 40-foot waterslide.

The JFK Memorial Complex’s pool is one of the largest in Northeast Pennsylvania, with a capacity of 600,000 gallons.

The pool provides swimming training that emphasizes technique and water safety.

In addition, the Junior Lifeguard Camp is an excellent place for older youngsters to get experience in lifesaving.

There is a 3/4 mile path that is ideal for a brief run, bike ride, or stroll.

You can also challenge your pals to a game of tennis, basketball, or sand volleyball.

There are events for families to enjoy together in the evenings, complete with games, activities, and refreshments.

You can reserve the JFK Pool for special occasions.

Visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Recreation Complex in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Visit the Schuylkill County Historical Society, Museum, and Gift Shop

The Historical Society, Museum, and Gift Shop of Schuylkill County is dedicated to preserving and sharing the county’s rich heritage.

They aim to teach the general public about their shared history through exhibitions and events.

The Schuylkill County Historical Society has existed since 1903.

It has worked tirelessly to inform, investigate, and preserve the county’s distinctive, rich local history.

It has a museum dedicated to the region’s history and culture that is worth visiting.

In addition, the former Centre Street Grammar School building, constructed before the American Civil War, now houses a museum.

The Society’s archive of information about the history of Schuylkill County is beneficial to members, researchers, scholars, and the general public.

Local history records, like those about the Underground Railroad and the coal industry, are also in the museum.

Its 20,000 priceless historical photographs give visitors insight into the area’s past.

In addition, the site includes videos of Jewish history and the latest list of historical sites in Schuylkill County.

Take a trip down memory lane by stopping by Pottsville, Pennsylvania, for the Schuylkill Historical Society, Museum, and Gift Shop.

Explore the D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. – Brewery, Museum, and Gift Shop

Exterior of D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. - Brewery, Museum, and Gift Shop

Mredden, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pottsville, Schuylkill County, is home to the “America’s Oldest Brewery.”

This brewery is the D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. – Brewery, Museum & Gift Shop.

Once known as the Eagle Brewery, you can take a free hour-long tour of this historic and still-functioning brewery.

The tour will begin in the similarly historic Yuengling Dairy building, built in 1920.

It housed Yuengling’s museum, gift store, and tasting room.

The museum’s collection includes Yuengling memorabilia, such as bottles, labels, cans, and promotional materials from Yuengling’s long history.

The red-brick Yuengling Brewery dates back to the 1830s and is across the museum.

Following your guide, you’ll descend into the maze of old underground tunnels where beers used to be kept for aging.

Above the tunnels is their state-of-the-art factory, where all their newest items are manufactured.

At the end of the tour, visitors can sample some of the brews.

It’s quite an exciting tour, and there’s nothing like it in Schuylkill County.

You can find the D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. Brewery, Museum, and Gift Shop at Mahantongo St, Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Watch the Big Mine Run Geyser

Even though there are no actual geysers on the east coast, the artificial Big Mine Run Geyser in Schuylkill County is nevertheless fascinating.

The Big Mine Run Geyser got its nickname from the road it is located on.

The geyser is a result of tremendous water pressure deep below the surface of the old mine shaft.

Because of the lack of a drainage system, water eventually seeps out to the old ventilation shaft at the abandoned mine.

The geyser’s height can range from three to 15 feet depending on the amount of precipitation.

The orange color of the surrounding rocks results from the iron-rich water gushing out.

The Big Mine Run Geyser is on private property, although it is easy to see from the roadside along Big Mine Run Rd in Ashland, Pennsylvania.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Camp Wood Haven

Camp Wood Haven is in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, close to the county line with neighboring Berks County.

It sits in a lovely valley overlooking the rolling hills and farmland.

Campers may stay in a traditional tent, an Adirondack lodge, a tree house, or even a Conestoga wagon.

Campers can enjoy various exciting activities, including archery, a team challenge course, outdoor cooking, a climbing wall, environmental education, a tree ascension, and slacklining.

The Appalachian Trail is only five miles away.

They also feature a horseback-riding program that caters to riders of all ages and skill levels with lessons in both English and Western riding styles.

You can also visit the Critter Cabin and hang out with the animals.

Enjoy a Hike at Locust Lake State Park

Camping at Locust Lake State Park

Delmas Lehman /

On the eastern side of Locust Mountain sits Locust Lake State Park, a popular camping destination.

Locust Lake spans 52 acres and is nestled between two campgrounds and engulfed by verdant woodlands.

The park’s 1,772 acres make it ideal for outdoor adventures like fishing and hiking.

There are 282 camping spots, split evenly between those who plan to bring a tent or a trailer.

The northern shore of the lake is reserved exclusively for tent camping.

Camping tents and trailers are welcome at the campgrounds south of the lake.

Gorgeous sunrise over Locust Lake State Park

Delmas Lehman /

Campground amenities include clean, up-to-date facilities and showers.

You can bring your pet to assigned spots for an additional fee.

This campground is excellent for its cleanliness, security, and pleasantness.

Access to the parking area is unobstructed, and there’s enough room to accommodate a large trailer.

Don’t forget to book a night at Lakewood Campground or one of their cabins on Route 54 in Barnesville, Pennsylvania.

Spend the day at Locust Lake State Park.

Solve Puzzles in Record Time at the Art of Escape

Try to beat the clock at The Art of Escape at S Tulpehocken St #2, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.

You’ll be put to the test in a real-life escape adventure with the puzzles in this room.

In an escape room, also known as a puzzle room or exit room, participants work together to complete a series of tasks.

The team must find clues hidden throughout one or more spaces to escape within a time limit.

At the Art of Escape, you have less than one hour to discover the clues, solve the puzzles, and get out of the room.

The owners have done an excellent job of providing an entertaining environment.

Someone will meet you at the door and brief you on what to do when you get inside.

Have fun figuring out the challenges and sharing hints to get through the game in record time.

Play Golf at Hidden Valley Golf Course

The Hidden Valley Golf Course is a private golf course that opened its gates in the spring of 1958.

The course is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 78 and State Roads 61 and 443.

You can find it in Pine Grove, located in the southern part of Schuylkill County.

Architect James Harrison designed the Hidden Valley Golf Course with bunkers, mature trees, flowing streams, and ponds.

They also have a natural grass driving open range daily during the golfing season.

They offer affordable rates with helpful staff.

They’ve designed a championship course that’s challenging enough for pros yet beginner-friendly.

The facility also has a full-service snack bar and lounge for its guests.

There is an awning over their patio deck, making it an excellent place for golfers and non-golfers to relax.

You can take picturesque vistas of the course and the surrounding fields from the patio.

Enjoy Nature at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park

Landscape of Sweet Arrow Lake County Park

btvscharmedgirl /

Situated in a picturesque valley, Sweet Arrow Lake Park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and farmland.

It is a tranquil park perfect for taking it easy and wildlife-watching.

The beautiful park spans 200 acres and contains a lake and wetland region.

You can explore the area through the park’s six miles of trails.

Waterfall at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park

Klaftera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Towards the southwest corner of the park, not far from the dam, you’ll discover the park’s waterfall.

One of the trails crosses over this waterfall, providing a spectacular backdrop for photographers.

After visiting the waterfall, take some time to relax and enjoy the sights of Sweet Arrow Lake and the rest of the park.

You will reach Sweet Arrow Lake Park through Clubhouse Rd, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.

Catch Motorcross Races at Dutchmen MX Park

The facilities at Dutchmen MX Park include a mile-long main track, a hare scramble course, and a track for younger riders.

Since taking over in January of 2022, the Martins have been diligently tending to the land and renovating the building.

During open training schedules, the main track is mowed and watered.

Spectators can enjoy the racetrack from the safety of spacious bleachers.

This venue is used for open bike practice, D6 hare scramble, and D6 motocross competitions.

The property has a sizable gravel parking area with multiple vault toilets.

Unfortunately, there is no overhead cover, so bring a hat or umbrella.

There is no extra charge for camping.

Watch exciting motocross races at the Dutchmen MX Park in Pine Grove.

Go Kayaking and Fishing at Lakewood Park Campground

The family-friendly Lakewood Park Campground, located at Park Ave, Barnesville, Pennsylvania, is open all year and features luxury cabin rentals and family cabins.

They also provide a large number of R.V. spots with full hookups.

Spend some time on their 54-acre property, where you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and more.

In addition, there are two state parks within 15 minutes of the campground, both of which have lakes.

It has high-quality amenities like clean bathrooms and showers.

Their parking spot is convenient, with enough room for even large trailers.

Their family cabin has a private bedroom, bunk beds, a living room, a dining area, a bathroom, and a full kitchen.

It can also comfortably accommodate six people.

You can get quality firewood and anything else you might have forgotten at their fully stocked store.

Enjoy the weekend outdoors at the Lakewood Park Campground.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

Entrance to the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

Shanshan0312 /

The No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum is home to the region’s most extensive collection of mining relics.

Exhibited artifacts include mining equipment, blasting instruments, and items originally belonging to miners at the No. 9 Mine.

The No. 9 Mine was the world’s longest continually operating deep anthracite coal mine, beginning operations in 1855 until 1972.

Railcar at No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

Shanshan0312 /

The mine’s restoration project kicked off in 1995, and visitors were given their first glimpse inside in 2002.

Visitors take a railcar 1,600 feet into the mountain and then take a guided walking tour of the mine.

Visitors can explore the original 700-foot-deep mine shaft and discover a miner’s hospital carved directly into the rock.

Mining equipments at No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

Shanshan0312 /

Check out the old mining gear and other relics to see how people lived back then.

The museum’s gift shop sells a variety of merchandise, including t-shirts, carved coal pieces, and books.

You can have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure at the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, 29 minutes from Schuylkill County.

Wooden coal cart at No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

Shanshan0312 /

Take Riding Classes at Eagle Rock Equestrian Center

Eagle Rock Equestrian Center is located in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

This place is 45 minutes from Schuylkill County.

It is a horse boarding and riding facility that offers trail rides, pony rides, riding classes, and stalls for your horses.

The trails of Eagle Rock are great for horseback riding, and even guided tours are available.

The shorter trail ride is around a mile, while the longer, more refined ride is over 2.25 miles.

Riders must be at least seven years old and wear closed shoes on the trail rides.

Their one-hour course covers the basics of horse grooming and riding.

You need to book appointments in advance due to the popularity of their facilities.

Final Thoughts

Visit Schuylkill County and its beautiful countryside.

There is always something to do in the county, whether you are a hiker, outdoor explorer, or water enthusiast.

Enjoy the fresh air and world-class entertainment in their museums, restaurants, sports, and camping facilities in and around the county.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.


© All rights reserved.