Johnstown Flood National Memorial | PARK AT A GLANCE

June 18, 1889, Harper's Weekly illustration depicts the Johnstown Flood

June 18, 1889, Harper’s Weekly illustration depicts the Johnstown Flood


On May 31, 1889, after two days of record heavy rain, the dam that held back the waters of Lake Conemaugh, an artificial mountain lake created for the enjoyment of Pittsburgh’s elite, broke, sending a wall of water fourteen miles down the valley towards the industrial city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Over 2,200 people were killed in the disaster. The Johnstown Flood National Memorial preserves the site of the dam and the clubhouse of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, and honors those who died in America’s most deadly flood.

Johnstown Flood National Memorial consists of a Visitor Center and Museum, the grounds of the former dam, and the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club’s clubhouse in St. Michael, a short drive from the Visitor Center. There are also two short hiking trails with historical relevance. The South Fork Dam Trail leads from the top of the dam to the bottom of the former Lake Conemaugh, and then through the gap in the dam created by the flood waters. The Carriage Road Nature Trail takes visitors along a short segment of the actual carriage road used by members and guests of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club to get from the railroad station in South Fork to the cottages along the lake shore.

The Johnstown Flood story entails much more than the story of the South Fork Dam and the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. To get a complete picture of the disaster, visitors may want to see additional sites along the path of the flood, most notably the town of Johnstown and its flood museum, and Grandview Cemetery where many of the flood victims are buried. These are not operated by the National Park Service.


The Visitor Center for Johnstown Flood National Memorial is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and President’s Day.

Park grounds and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Tours around the former Lake Conemaugh, with stops at the dam and the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club’s clubhouse, are held select days from June through September.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to visit the park’s Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the latest schedule.


There are no fees associated with entering the Johnstown Flood National Memorial.


Visitor Center and Museum
Allow 1-2 hours

Ranger Guided Van Tours
Allow 1-4 hours

Self-Guided Tour
Allow 3 hours

Hiking Trails
Allow 1 hour

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Last updated on October 6, 2021
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