The Schuylkill River begins in the mountains of northern Schuylkill County. The region is best known for the vast quantities of hard anthracite coal that lay beneath the surface and helped fuel America's Industrial Revolution during the 19th and 20th centuries. The mines attracted thousands of immigrant workers from around the world to Schuylkill County, creating a rich and diverse cultural community. Many of the foods, crafts, languages, and artistic traditions that these groups brought with them survive in Schuylkill County today.
Visitors can experience the life of a coal miner by touring the Pioneer Tunnel, one of the longest operating coal mines in the region, in Ashland. Pottsville is the home to the Yuengling Brewery and was the site of the hangings of several of the infamous Molly Maguires in the 1870s. The Molly Maguire Auto Tour is a fascinating narrated journey through the lives and times of the Mollies that takes visitors to several of Schuylkill County's most unique communities. Outdoor enthusiasts will want to visit Locust Lake State Park and Tuscarora State Park for hiking, boating, and fishing opportunities. The area is home to numerous small towns, diverse cultural communities, and a wealth of recreational opportunities.