Kooser State Park

Visit Kooser State Park, an underrated state park in the Laurel Highlands to find a gem in all seasons!

View of Kooser Lake on a cold January day

The 250-acre Kooser State Park is one of the seven PA State Parks located in the Laurel Highlands. It is located at 2,600 feet (so bring warm layers if you visit in the winter, because it is COLD).

I have to say that I am usually less of a fan of some of the smaller State Parks, but Kooser was beautiful. The lake is a gorgeous blue contrasting with the snow and evergreens. Even though it was freezing, it was worth the visit.

While the park is small, it’s popular for fishing, picnicing and cabin rentals.

As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

Kooser State Park Trails

There are only a few 1.5 miles of trails in Kooser State Park. However, if you are comfortable doing some road walking, you can combine them into a 2.3 mile loop. (The road walking is inside the park, which is very managable).

Tree Army Trail – 0.5 miles long. This trail is named after the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which were also known as Roosevelt’s Tree Army. Tree Army Trail meanders from the park office to the far edge of Kooser Lake.

View from Tree Army Trail of Kooser Lake

Kincora Trail – 1.0 mile long. This trail is named for the site of a former church camp. While it’s only a mile long, Kincora has some more difficult terrain and may not be appropriate for a beginner hiker.

Trails at Kooser are open to both hikers and cross country skiers. Kooser might be a great place to start XC skiing, however nearby Laurel Ridge State Park offers over 30 miles of trails. To see a map of Kooser State Park, visit the PA DNCR site here.

Looking to visit more state parks? Check out my lists of state parks near a city near you!
- State Parks Near Pittsburgh
- State Parks Near Lancaster
- State Parks Near Philadelphia
- State Parks Near State College

Kooser State Park FAQs

Where is Kooser State Parks?

The park is located in Somerset, PA in the Laurel Highlands region of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

To visit the park, put the following address in your GPS: 943 Glades Pike, Somerset, PA 15501. You can also use the following coordinates: 40.05983; -79.22842. Note that service is spotty in the Laurel Highlands and I’d recommend downloading Google Maps to avoid getting lost.

Are dogs allowed at Kooser State Park?

Yes! Dogs are allowed at Kooser as long as they are on leash.

Tom was upset that he was not allowed to go swimming in 20 degree weather

Can you stay at Kooser State Park?

Yes, there are multiple opportunities to stay at the park. There are nine rustic cabins able to be rented year round. There are also over 30 campsites that are open from April to December. To reserve a cabin or campsite, visit the PA State Park Reserve America site.

What time of year is best to visit Kooser?

I visited in the winter and Kooser was lovely. However, I’ve heard really great things about this park in the fall, during peak foliage.

Is hunting allowed at Kooser?

No, hunting is not allowed. Because of the park’s small size, it’s too dangerous to hunt at Kooser. However, hunters are welcome to stay at the park cabins and hunt in nearby Forbes State Forest.

Is swimming allowed at Kooser?

Swimming was previously allowed, but is no longer allowed due to dangerous algae blooms. To swim visit, nearby Laurel Hill State Park.

Looking to visit nearby State Parks? Check out the following other state parks in the Laurel Highlands!
- Linn Run
- Laurel Ridge
- Laurel Hill
- Ohiopyle

Updated February 22, 2024

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