“It’s time to gather at the lake”

The story of Keen Lake is the story of family. For more than 60 years, it has been our honor and privilege to have had even a small part of the memories our guests have made when they “gather at the lake.”

Hosting is our family tradition…

The Keen family has been calling this area of Pennsylvania home for generations… and with sixth-generation family members active in the family business, inviting families to enjoy the beauty of the northern Poconos is an integral part of the Keen family heritage. Our parents favorite saying was “You get the guests you deserve.” We’ve learned that by welcoming our guests as we would like to be welcomed has gifted us with wonderful families who have made Keen Lake a part of their own multi-generational tradition. Our commitment is to provide our guests with an experience that exceeds their expectations. We believe that anytime a family gathers is a cause for celebration!

Keen Lake History

Keen Lake has been a part of the Keen family since 1814 when the family purchased land on what was then Elk Forest tract. The resort office is located on the site of the original family homestead, which was destroyed by fire in 1832.

A gravity coal-mining railway system ran through the entire length of what is now Keen Lake Campground and Cottage Resort. Campsites are nestled along the rail system’s former tracks in a cluster known as Gravity Lane. The trains would have traveled on tracks that passed the Movie Lounge and rambled behind the Game Room and up and over two large stone bridges that anchor the Main Campground and the Trestle Area Campsites.

These trestles once provided support for the railroad infrastructure. A stone dam, which was created in the 1800’s to help push the canal boats along, still exists, although it has been structurally refurbished in recent years.

In addition to celebrating its rail history, supplying ice was one of the Keen family’s industries in the days of the Great Canal. Huge blocks of ice were carved out of the frozen lake and transported via the Gravity railroad to the Hudson canal in Honesdale and subsequently transported to Kingston, New York where they were marketed to homes as a way of preserving food. Ice blocks awaiting transportation were stored in the large wooden structure known as the Ice House. Many of the Pioneer Camping sites are nestled among the foundations of this building.

Other buildings of historical significance, located on the resort grounds include: The Island cottage located on Hermit Island, once the site of a great dance hall of the 1800’s. The School House cottage, now restored and remodeled, was formerly a one-room school house, which served the children of Canaan Township in the mid-1800’s. The Pre-Civil War Barn cottage was once home to a Blacksmith Shop, and has been designated as a historical landmark. The Cove, which houses the Hearth and Haven cottages, was built in 1887 and was home to gentlemen farmers. The outside structure has been restored. The unique pine woodwork and stone fireplace at the Hearth is original to the structure.