Exploring Kooser State Park in Somerset County

The best things to see and do at Kooser State Park in Somerset County Pennsylvania

Kooser State Park occupies 250 wooded acres along Route 31 in Somerset County.

Kooser State Park sign along Route 31 in Somerset County PA
Kooser State Park sign along Route 31 in Somerset County

Initially constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s, the focal point of the park is 4-acre Kooser Lake.

Summer at Kooser Lake in the PA Laurel Highlands.
Summer at Kooser Lake in the PA Laurel Highlands.

Kooser State Park and Kooser Run is named for John Kooser, who settled in the western end of the park near Kooser Spring in 1827. 

Kooser Run at Kooser State Park.
Kooser Run at Kooser State Park.

Kooser Run is a stocked, high quality trout stream that runs the length of the park and is the source of water for Kooser Lake.

Fall foliage at Kooser Lake in Somerset County.
Kooser Lake in Somerset County.

The Best Things to Do at Kooser State Park

Kooser State Park lakeside picnic table and grill.
Kooser State Park lakeside picnic table and grill.

Picnicking at Kooser State Park

There are numerous picnic tables and grills surrounding Kooser Lake, available on a first come, first served basis, as well as pavilions that can be reserved (or used by anyone when not reserved).

Picnic pavilion at Kooser State Park in Somerset County Pennsylvania
Picnic pavilion at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

Fishing at Kooser State Park

Kooser Lake provides excellent fishing for trout, bass, bluegill, and pickerel.

Fishing at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.
Fishing at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

Hiking at Kooser State Park

The 0.5 mile Tree Army Trail follows along Kooser Run and is named after the Civilian Conservation Corps, who were also known as Roosevelt’s Tree Army.

Tree Army Trail at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.
The Tree Army Trail at Kooser State Park.

The 1.0 mile Kincora Trail is named after a former church camp located where the park now sits.

The Kincora Trail at Kooser State Park.
The Kincora Trail at Kooser State Park.

The Beach at Kooser State Park

There is a small, non-guarded beach at the western end of Kooser Lake.

The beach at Kooser State Park in Somerset County Pennsylvania
The beach at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

For those seeking a larger beach experience, Laurel Hill State Park offers that and is just minutes away.

The playground on the beach at Laurel Hill State Park.
The playground on the beach at Laurel Hill State Park.

Leaf Peeping at Kooser State Park

Kooser State Park is one of the many exceptional fall foliage destinations in the Laurel Highlands.

Fall foliage at Kooser State Park in Somerset County PA
Fall foliage at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

Mid to late October is typically the peak fall foliage period at Kooser State Park.

Leaf peeping at Kooser State Park in October.
Leaf peeping at Kooser State Park in October.

Nearby Attractions

As mentioned previously, Laurel Hill State Park is located just minutes from Kooser State Park.

Jones Mill Run Dam at Laurel Hill State Park.
Jones Mill Run Dam at Laurel HIll State Park.

Hiking, boating, swimming, and fishing are just some of the popular pastimes at Laurel Hill State Park.

Kayakers on Laurel Hill Lake at Laurel Hill State Park.
Kayakers on Laurel Hill Lake at Laurel Hill State Park.

Cole Run Falls

Cole Run Falls in the Forbes State Forest is probably the second most famous roadside waterfall in Somerset County.

The author at Cole Run Falls in the Laurel Highlands.
The author at Cole Run Falls in the Laurel Highlands.

The most famous being the waterfall beneath the Pack Saddle Bridge.

A summertime view of the Pack Saddle Covered Bridge in Somerset County, PA.
The Pack Saddle Covered Bridge in Somerset County.

Barronvale Covered Bridge

The Barronvale Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Somerset County, at 162 feet in length.

Aerial side view oof the Barronvale Covered Bridge in Somerset County PA.
Aerial side view of the Barronvale Covered Bridge in Somerset County PA.

The Barronvale Bridge is just one of ten historic covered bridges you can tour in Somerset County.

Aerial side view of Kings Covered Bridge in September 2020.
Aerial side view of Kings Covered Bridge in September 2020.

Beam Rocks Overlook

Beam Rocks Overlook offers a sweeping eastern view of Somerset County from high atop the Forbes State Forest.

Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.
Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.

Beam Rocks Overlook is just one of more than a dozen fantastic Laurel Highlands vistas.

The author capturing a sunrise photo at Baughman Rock Overlook.
The author capturing at Baughman Rock Overlook in the PA Laurel Highlands.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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