Whether you’re in the mood to explore local outdoor attractions like the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, enjoy the thrills of Knoebels Amusement Park, or simply relax at the Locust Lake State Park, the Mount Carmel area has a lot to offer!
Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area
The anthracite coal region is a historically important coal mining area of Northeastern Pennsylvania and encompasses six counties: Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, and Schuylkill Columbia County. This region contains the only reserves of United States anthracite coal, which was heavily mined throughout the 19th and early 20th century. The region is also the largest most concentrated anthracite deposit in the world and 480 square miles of coal bearing rock which originally held 22.8 billion short tons (20.68 billion tons) of anthracite. The anthracite mining industry dominated the region until its decline in the 1950s. Strip mines and fires, most notably in Centralia remain visible.
The Northumberland County AOAA Authority leases approximately 6,500 acres of coal lands in lower Northumberland County for the purposes of actively managing a family-friendly motorized and non-motorized recreation facility. The AOAA officially opened in May of 2014 and remains open on weekends and extended holiday hours. In addition to recreation, the AOAA property contains very unique and attractive features for motorized and non-motorized recreation. The property also is leased to several active mining companies, has many unique environmental features, rich mining history, and varying soils.
Visit the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area
The annual Bloomsburg Fair is surely an event that you will not want to miss. With over 405,000 visitors to the week long extravaganza, there is plenty to see. From food vendors and live music performances, to historic exhibitions, and livestock competitions the Bloomsburg Fair is fun for the whole family.
Founded in 1866, Centralia is in the middle of Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal mining county of Columbia. In 1962, a fire tore through an abandoned strip mine, causing a chain reaction when it broke through a rock pit, settling the rest of the town’s coal mines alight. The government and town was unable to quell the flames, and the underground has been a furnace ever since. With over 1000 residents in 1980 to fewer than 10 in 2010 it is now considered a ghost town. It may be considered an involuntary park – an area that has lost its value, been abandoned due to environmental and economic reasons, subsequently returning to a park-like status. Today only a very small handful of die-hard residents hold on to their houses. Few homes remain standing and most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished by the Columbia County Redevelopment Authority or reclaimed by nature. Visit the Graffiti Highway and take in this historical town.
Knoebels Amusement Park
Visit Knoebels, one of America’s largest Free-Admission Amusement Parks. With free admission, parking, entertainment, and picnic facilities, Knoebels is the perfect affordable getaway for the family!
Locust Lake State Park
Known for its popular camping area, Locust Lake State Park nestles on the side of Locust Mountain. The 52-acre Locust Lake is located between two campgrounds and is surrounded by beautiful forests. Hiking and fishing are popular activities in the 1,772-acre park.