Pennsylvania is a land of water, greenery, wild nature and wonder, and nowhere do these things combine as prettily as they do in Hickory Run State Park. Established in 1945, this sweeping stretch of the Keystone State is located on its eastern side, not too far from New York, Allentown and other vacation-worthy destinations.
Looking to learn more about Hickory Run State Park? Here are seven facts you didn’t know you needed to know.
Whether you’re here for the day or the week, it’s nice to know you’ve got lots of ground to cover. The park totals 15,990 acres in Carbon County, sprawled across the foothills on the western side of the Pocono Mountains.
With that much room to roam, it’s no surprise that there are more than 40 miles of hiking trails, covering many different types of terrain. Think yellow beaches, dark forests, waterfalls and rivers, and even a boulder field … see below!
The natural beauty brings visitors from all over the United States and the world to revel in its surreal beauty. Many couples choose to get engagement photos taken here, and others elope in this beautiful area.
Want to plan a full-blown wedding in this gorgeous neck of the woods? It’s a great choice for that too, either in the park or at an all-in-one destination such as Skytop Lodge.
Is your idea of heaven a little slice of stream, some shade, a deep fishing hole or two, and hours to yourself? If so, Hickory Run is the place to be.
There’s a huge variety of fishing spots here, with natural fish populations as well as stocked brown and brook trout in some locations. For those with disabilities, you’ll find an ADA-accessible fishing pier on the CCC Pond near the campground, so no one needs to miss out.
Find the full list of fishing locations here.
Wait, you’re wondering, did I hear that correctly? A boulder field? An actual field of boulders?
Yep, you heard right. Hickory Run’s 16-acre boulder field is so unusual that it’s been named a National Natural Landmark, one of only 27 in Pennsylvania. It was formed as ancient glaciers scoured the earth and tore up boulders, bringing them along in its path and depositing them. Once the glacier melted, the boulders were left gathered in this wide area … unusual topography indeed.
Today, it’s tons of fun to climb across a boulder field. You might not think 16 acres could give you such a good workout, but spend a day climbing around on these bad boys and you may think again.
Okay, that’s a lie … it’s not actually haunted (that we know of). But it does boast a hiking path called the Shades of Death Trail, which is pretty creepy, no? Especially when you see the trailhead, which combines a cheerful, yellow-lettered park sign with an old-fashioned wooden bridge into the silent woods.
Still, don’t let that scare you! This waterfall-filled trail is only about a mile long, and while the park rates it as a difficult hike, that’s only due to some tricky footing at a few points. Make sure to wear good shoes and you’ll be just fine, even with little ones.
You can find the Shades of Death Trail on Route 534, near the historic Hickory Run Chapel. If you need assistance, call the Visitor’s Center. Speaking of which …
Want to go camping? Need a map? Wondering about the weather? The Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center can help.
If you need assistance planning your trip or booking one of the park’s hundreds of traditional or electric-ready campsites, rangers are available to answer questions and help you use the website. Call 272-808-6192 to learn more, or head to the visitor center, whose vestibule is open 24/7 with maps, toilets and 2,400 feet of exhibits.
Make sure to take a picture with the amazing circular map mosaic in the center’s front yard, the perfect way to memorialize your trip!
Feel like grabbing dinner in civilization after a long day in the woods? No problem. The park is located within a three-hour drive of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and New York City, both excellent places to go out and re-immerse yourself in humanity.
Looking for somewhere closer? You can get to Allentown and Scranton in less than an hour. Perhaps you and your special someone(s) would like to treat yourselves to a Dunder Mifflin Walking Tour in Scranton or see the Liberty Bell Museum in Allentown.
Okay, so this isn’t the kind of thing anyone wants to know, but it’s still good information to have: the spotted lanternfly is something you need to watch out for. This invasive insect arrived in the United States from China and Southeast Asia, making its first appearance right here in Pennsylvania, back in 2014
It is now a major crop pest for grapes, stone fruits and apples, among others. Plus, its honeydew attracts stinging insects, which are dangerous for people with allergies.
If you want to help stop the spread, always inspect all your gear before leaving the park. Remove and destroy any bugs you see, and never carry wood out of the area, as it may contain egg masses that can hatch in new places.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming of cheerful news … we know just where you should stay when visiting Hickory Run State Park!
If you’re a camping fiend, go ahead and enjoy the park’s accommodations, from rustic to RV-ready. However, if you like to enjoy Mother Nature during the day and come back to luxury at night – as most of us do on vacation – there’s nowhere better to stay than Skytop Lodge.
With more than 5,000 acres to explore, you’ll find everything you need to connect with family, deepen your romantic relationship, or enjoy that solo getaway you’ve been meaning to take for ages.
Skytop is the perfect mix of nature and nurture – an ideal place to enjoy gorgeous wilderness surroundings, with the tools to pamper yourself day and night. Enjoy our seven restaurants, pay a trip to the spa, or go climbing in our Treetop Adventure Course. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it here!
Want to learn more? Feel free to get in touch with questions or to make a booking today!