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Pinchot (pin·show) State Forest comprises approximately 50,000 acres in the North Eastern counties of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Wayne.

Pinchot State Forest is named in recognition of Gifford Pinchot's monumental contributions to forestry and his legacy of forest land conservation. He was an important figure in the American conservation movement tripling the nation’s forest reserves, protecting their long term health for both conservation and recreational use.

The Pinchot State Forest is Spread across 8 Unique Tracts and 3 Recreation Areas:


  • Crystal Lake
  • Elmhurst
  • Harvey's Creek & Avondale
  • Laurel Run &Deep Hollow
  • Mocanaqua & Wanamie
  • Montage
  • Moosic Mountain
  • Thornhurst

Recreation Areas

  • Manny Gordon
  • Moon Lake
  • Seven Tubs

For more information visit the Pinchot State Forest Website.

Natural Features

Most of the state forest lands of the Pinchot District are forestlands that characterize many of the mountainous areas near the confluence of the Susquehanna and Lackawanna rivers, Pocono Plateau, Northern Ridge and Valley, and the Glaciated High Plateau. The state forest is split evenly between the Susquehanna watershed and Delaware-Mid Atlantic Coastal watershed and contains a number of both exceptional value and high quality waterways.

There are many unique natural features of interest throughout the Pinchot State Forest, including:

Waterfalls & Features

  • Choke Creek Falls-Thornhurst Tract
  • Rattlesnake Falls-Montage Tract
  • Seven Tubs Geological Feature


  • Tillbury Knob-Avondale Tract
  • Montage Mountain Overlook
  • Pine Run Vista - Thornhurst Tract
  • Mocanaqua Overlooks
  • Joe Palooka Overlooks - Crystal Lake Tract

Large Rock Features

  • Mocanaqua

Unique Ecosystems

  • Spruce Swamp Natural Area
  • Hunting - All tracts except Recreation Areas
  • Camping
  • Primitive Camping - All tracts except for Recreation Area
  • Designated Camping - Moon Lake & Manny Gordon Recreation Areas, Thornhurst Dispersed Sites
  • Hiking - Trails at Thornhurst, Seven Tubs, Laurel Run, Moon Lake, Mocanaqua, Elmhurst
  • Mountain Biking - Featured Location is Moon Lake Recreation Area
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking & Canoeing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Scenic Overlooks, Drives, and Vistas
  • Bird Watching

For trail maps visit the Pinchot State Forest Map webpage.


Pinchot State Forest is managed primarily for dispersed recreation and facilities are generally limited. There are non reservable pavilions at both Moon Lake and Manny Gordon Recreation Areas where fires rings and restrooms are also available.

The Pinchot State Forest Resource Management Center and Thornhurst Maintenance Headquarters provide information, maps, and other resources.

Parking and trailheads are available throughout the forest.

Nearby Attractions
  • Nescopeck State Park
  • Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro State Parks
  • Ricketts Glen State Park
  • Lackawanna State Park
  • Frances Slocum State Park
  • State Game Lands 91, 119, 127, 135, 207
  • Bear Creek Preserve –Natural Lands Trust
  • Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve –The Nature Conservancy
  • Steamtown National Historic Site
  • McDade Park & Anthracite Heritage Museum& Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour
  • D&L Heritage Trail System
  • Warrior Run Trail System
This confirmation serves as your State Forest Campsite Permit for the campsite listed above. This permit is null and void if the reservation is cancelled or transferred prior to the date of arrival. You must have a copy of the permit on your person during your stay.

Occupants are also subject to the following permit conditions:
1. Campfires, when permitted, require that adequate precautions be taken to prevent the spread of fire into the forest. All other fires are prohibited. Campfires shall be attended at all times. Campfires in both fire rings and in fireplaces are prohibited when the forest fire danger is determined by the Department to be High, Very High, or Extreme and between March 1 through May 25 without authorization from the District Forester or designee. This prohibition does not apply to self-contained camp stoves when used in a safe manner. A person causing a wildfire, in addition to possible criminal penalty, is liable for all damages, costs of extinction and fines.

2. Dead and down wood may be gathered and burned when permitted but may not be removed from the site. Power tools and chain saws are not permitted.

3. Destruction of Property, damaging, defacing, or removing any sign, structure, equipment or other material is prohibited.

4. Occupants shall include at least one person 18 years of age or older. This permit may not be reassigned or transferred.

5. Pets are permitted on State Forest land if they are kept under control and attended at all times. Animal waste must be disposed of properly.

6. Disorderly conduct including the following is prohibited. Fighting or behavior that is threatening, violent or tumultuous; using obscene language or making obscene gestures; creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which does not serve a legitimate purpose of the actor; creating an unreasonable noise that may disturb visitors to State Forest land.

7. Sanitation and Food Storage:
Washing in a water outlet, spring, lake or waterway and discharging sewage, or gray water on or into ground or surface waters is prohibited. Toilets must be used where provided. In other locations, self-contained toilets must be used when required or human waste deposited in hole 4-6 inches deep, 200 feet from water, campsite, or trails and covered and disguised. Food must be stored properly . Littering or disposal of garbage or other material is prohibited.

8. Parking which obstructs a gate, road, trail, access way, entrance, exit or road turnaround on State Forest land is prohibited. Parking in area designated for a person with a disability, by the Department, is prohibited unless the vehicle has a valid plate or placard.

9. Cutting, picking, digging, damaging or removing a living or dead plant, vine, shrub, tree or flower on State Forest land without written authorization of the District Foresters or a designee is prohibited. Edible wild plants or plant parts may be gathered without authorization if they are gathered for own personal or family consumption.

10. Removing or disturbing historical or archeological resources from State Forest land without written authorization of the District Forester or a designee is prohibited.

11.Target Shooting of any kind is prohibited.

Violations: Violations of forest rules and regulations, or violations of a condition of this permit could result in any or all of the following consequences:
1. The permit may be revoked. This would result in the occupants being required to vacate the facility immediately.
2. The occupants may be required to leave the forest.
3. The occupants may be cited for a violation of the forest rules and regulations, a summary offense.
4. The occupants are responsible for any damage to campsite and related facilities that occurred during or due to their occupancy.

Pinchot State Forest camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Pinchot State Forest campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Pinchot State Forest or day pass availability.