Whether hiking in solitude or enjoying an informative walk led by one of our naturalists, our guests have the chance to observe over 175 species of birds, wildlife such as bobcats and otters, as well as colorful woodland flowers and butterflies.
Length: 2.1 miles
Completely level and following the shoreline of Skytop Lake, this walk totals 2.1 miles, including back and forth distances between the Lodge and lake. Attached to the trees along the trails are 42 interpretive plaques describing the trees, shrubs, geology and ecology. Scenic vistas open not only to the 75-acre Lake but also to distant views of the Lodge and the rugged cliffs of West Mountain at our resort in Pennsylvania.
Length: 0.5 miles
This short, half-mile trail is located in the woods just beyond the back entrance, and is a brief walk from the Lodge. It is level but rough and rocky in some sections. Travelers can discover the Wildlife Viewing Shelter at the beginning of the trail. At the Wildlife Viewing Shelter, bird feeders and salt licks attract songbirds, deer, turkeys, squirrels and other wildlife from December to March. There is a Self-Guided Booklet available from the Activities Center for this trail.
Length: 0.5 miles
Although less than a half-mile in length, this trail is very steep and strenuous as it ascends 400ft. up the slopes of West Mountain via a series of switchbacks, rock steps, and metal cables for support. It begins behind Skytop’s old stables, reached either by car or by a short walk from the Lodge along Dutch Hill Road. The views from the top are spectacular, and by turning right onto the West Rim Trail, the hiker quickly reaches the Gazebo affording magnificent views of Skytop Lake, Camelback Mountain and the Delaware Water Gap.
Length: 1.2 Miles
This trail descends into a ravine known as Devil’s Hole. At several vantage points the beautiful Leavitt Falls can be viewed from both above and below, but great care should be taken due to large blocks of loose boulders and rough, slippery footing. The trail leaves the ravine and crosses a rocky section of forest dominated by huge white ash trees. It then ascends to the Golf Course, where it turns left and loops back toward the stream and footbridge. This trail should not be attempted in wet or icy conditions.
Length: 1.5 miles
Our most popular hiking and cross-country skiing trail begins across from the Adventure Center parking lot. The highlight of the trail comes at the end: the magnificent Indian Ladder Falls. Beautiful at any season, this 3-level waterfall was formed where the Leavitt Branch carved through layers of sandstone and shale on its descent from the Pocono Plateau. All along the stream below the falls there are pools where brook and brown trout can be seen, and lucky hikers might catch a glimpse of songbirds, porcupine, and even river otters.
Length: 0.5 miles
The Upper Falls Trail leads through a beech-birch-maple forest to a steep cliff overlooking scenic waterfalls created by the Leavitt Branch cascading into a deep rhododendron ravine upstream from Indian Ladder Falls. There are a few rocky areas and slight, short hills, but the trail is generally level. Mink and river otter live along the stream, and beavers have cut down many trees right along the trail. There are also lots of nesting songbirds, Indian pipes, and many species of colorful mushrooms in late summer.
Length: 2 miles
To experience a quiet walk in an undisturbed setting, far from the sounds of civilization, this is a trail to hike. There are some rugged, rocky sections, but the trail is generally level. There is a high diversity of natural communities along this trail: old Norway spruce plantations, hemlock stands, northern hardwood forest, mixed oak woods and open rock barrens covered with loose slabs of shale. As a result, the variety of wildlife is also wide, and signs of otter, red squirrel, porcupine, bobcat, beaver, mink, bear, deer, grouse, red and gray fox and coyote are often evident.
Length: 4 miles
The highlight of this trail is the Gazebo, at about 1900 feet in elevation, where there are magnificent panoramas of Skytop Lodge, the Lake, Camelback Mountain, the Delaware Water Gap and an endless stretch of forest. This is an excellent vantage point from which to watch migrating hawks and flaming foliage in autumn, or to just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature at any season. It’s not necessary to hike the entire trail at once – many people walk to the Gazebo via one route and return by another. The trail is also challenging for cross-country skiing in winter but steep sections are also used by downhill skiers who the right-of-way.
Length: 3 miles
An old, wide road leads from a small parking lot to one of the most picturesque vistas in the Poconos: the summit of Skytop, or East Mountain. On a clear day, the Delaware Water Gap and the ski slopes of Shawnee Mountain are visible in the distance, and Skytop Lake and the Lodge are in view right below the vista. Hikers have the chance to see warblers, hawks, hognose snakes, snowshoe hares and black bears.
Length: 7.5 miles
Goose Pond is one of the most isolated, wild places on Skytop’s property. Hikers have the opportunity to see a spectacular view straight from the Canadian wilderness – a forest of northern spruces and tamaracks and a thicket of Highbush blueberry that open up to the placid waters of Goose Pond and the dramatic hills of Skytop Mountain in the background. In the autumn, the blueberry bushes turn flaming red and the tamaracks is a golden yellow – one of Skytop’s most photogenic scenes. The route also contains marshes, blueberry swamps and open, boggy areas where a peat-mining operation existed many years ago – the old rusted machinery and peat mounds are still there. To fully enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Goose Pond Trail, we a half day is required, although we recommend planning for a full day. For safety reasons, the Activities Staff should be notified of your hike beforehand.
Length: 2 miles
This trail leads through young mixed oak forests and then along the edge of a white pine plantation, then continues to its end at the junction of the Trout Stream and Skytop Mountain trails, where the hiker can then go either up the mountain to the vistas or up the stream to Indian Ladder Falls.
Length: 1.5 miles
This trail runs downhill through pines, just a short distance from the Trout Stream parking lot. It is a great place to look for various species of owls, and has a small pond where amphibians come to breed in the spring.
Length: 1.9 miles
The Raven Trail features mixed oak forests, northern hardwoods, rock outcrops (with porcupine dens), scenic beaver marshes, a beautiful stretch of the Leavitt Branch with small waterfalls and a dark, mature Norway spruce grove. A great diversity of nesting songbirds, resident mammals, and amphibians inhabit the remote forests and wetlands along the trail, as well as many colorful spring wildflowers. There are several rocky, uneven sections, and a gradual uphill at the beginning.
Length: 1.33 miles
Some of Skytop’s largest trees can be seen at close range along this trail: sugar maple, tulip tree, white ash, white pine, shagbark hickory, red oak, white oak, chestnut oak, hemlock, rhododendron, and others. Winter wrens, woodland jumping mice, Louisiana waterthrushes, and other uncommon animals inhabit the undisturbed forests and streams surrounding this trail. There are 2 stream crossings over the Leavitt Branch (on big steppingstones with ropes for support), and a steep uphill section across the stream (with ropes).