Hike Here! Pocono Parks and Places

hiking the poconosRolling hills, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and evergreen forests: the Pocono Mountains offer 2,400 square miles of natural beauty for hikers. Here are some wonderful places to hike in the Poconos:

Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area, Route 115, Blakeslee,—approximately 130 acres of protected land featuring waterfalls that create deep pools of water bordered by rock-strewn banks. Walk along the Creek Trail to the lookout for an awesome view of the falls.

Beltzville State Park, Lehighton—The trails of Beltzville State Park follow wooded paths, old roads and mowed walkways through forests, creek valleys, fields and by the lake. The Saw Mill Trail, which is just west of the dam breast, offers a diverse historical hike. The trail passes the remains of a gristmill raceway, a dam and gateways, small ponds, a slate quarry from the 1700s, a wetland and a stream. The trails vary in length. A short description of each trail can be found in the “Beltzville Trail Guide,” which is available at the park office.

Big Pocono State Park, Camelback Road, Tannersville—Steep and rough grades are appropriate for experienced, physically fit hikers.

Bushkill Falls, Route 209, Bushkill,—Property features eight tumbling waterfalls. As one of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful and dramatic natural sights, Bushkill Falls makes an ideal day trip for hikers. Trails and bridges wind through the area and into a lush, emerald green forest.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, River Road, Bushkill—40 miles of the Delaware River roar within the park that is a sanctuary for eagles, bears and rattlesnakes, among other wildlife species.

Raymondskill Falls at Dingmans Falls Visitors Center, 224 Dingmans Falls Road, Dingmans Ferry—The tallest waterfall in the state, Raymondskill measures a mere four feet shorter than Niagara.

Gouldsboro State Park, Route 507, Tobyhanna—Rugged terrain makes hiking in this Northern Pocono park challenging, but fun.

Hickory Run State Park, Carbon County—This sprawling 15,990-acre state park sits at the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. Traverse more than 40 miles of hiking trails, see serene streams and conquer the famous Boulder Field!

Lehigh Gorge State Park, Luzerne and Carbon Counties—The 6,107 acres of park land follow the Lehigh River from Francis E. Walter Dam in the north to Jim Thorpe in the south. The Lehigh Gorge Trail follows over 20 miles of abandoned railroad grade along the river, providing opportunities for hiking, bicycling, sightseeing and photography. Be sure to check out Glen Onoko Falls!

Monroe County Environmental Education Center, Running Valley Road, Stroudsburg—This center sponsors numerous year-round activities, including guided hikes, within its Kettle Creek wildlife sanctuary.

Nescopeck State Park, Honey Hole Road, Drums,—This picturesque park encompasses rich forests and wetlands, creating diverse habitats for Pocono wildlife. Hiking trails follow the meandering Nescopeck Creek, and an environmental education center provides year-round programs.

Pocono Environmental Education Center, Emery Road, Dingmans Ferry—Located within the Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area, PEEC offers six trails for every fitness level. Some trails afford splendid views of the Kittatinny Mountains across the river.

Promised Land State Park, Lower Lake Road, Greentown—Encompassing about 3,000 acres in total, Promised Land State Park features 50 miles of immaculate hiking trails on the Pocono Plateau, 1,800 feet above sea level. The picturesque park is surrounded by 12,464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest, including natural areas. The forests of the park consist primarily of beech, oak, maple and hemlock trees. Two lakes and several small streams add to the park’s outstanding scenic beauty.

Ready to go? Hit the web before you hit the trails! Find your way to www.visitpaparks.com and plan your path today!