Johnstown Flood National Memorial

On May 31, 1889, Elias Unger, homeowner and head of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, awoke to find that over 10 inches of rain had fallen overnight. Hustling outside, he discovered the entire area flooded. He quickly gathered men to save the dam that the club owned, and he instructed one of his men to send a telegram to Johnston to warn the residents that the dam was about to break. The telegram was never sent because previous messages were constantly being sent about the dam, and nothing ever happened. Despite gallant efforts by Unger and others, at 2:50 p.m., the dam broke, sending over 14.55 million cubic meters of water down upon the residents of Johnstown. In the aftermath, Clara Barton and 50 volunteers treated many injured, but 2,209 people perished in the area. Learn more about the events at the Lake View Visitor Center, and see where it took place by hiking along trails at this park near South Fork, Pennsylvania. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Johnstown Flood National Memorial

Start your visit to the Johnstown Flood National Memorial at the visitor center, where you can watch a documentary outlining the events on that fateful day. Take a hike to see the outside of some of the cabins belonging to the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. Annually, on May 31, a wreath-laying ceremony is held along with the lighting of a luminary for each person who died on that day as water as wide as the Mississippi River came crashing through the community. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Johnstown Flood National Memorial

It is easy to get to Johnstown Flood National Memorial from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Take the Johnstown Expressway to the left exit to get on US 219 North. In about 5.2 miles, take the exit onto Pennsylvania 869 East. This exit allows you to get on Pennsylvania 869 West. Veer right to get on Ragers Hill Road, and continue straight to get on Rockville Road. In just a few feet, you need to make a sharp left to get on Frankstown Road. Finally, turn left onto Lake Road. 


733 Lake Road, South Fork, Pennsylvania 15956

Fee: Entry fee $0

Learn more about the Johnstown flood by visiting the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, where you can see a documentary, visit the dams remains, and see many areas that the flood impacted. Then, head to Johnstown to learn even more about the event and its aftermath, which was the first disaster responded to by the American Red Cross. Bringing your RV allows you to travel between sites easily. If you do not have one, rent one from RVshare.