Are you looking for an outdoor adventure for your next getaway weekend in the northeast? Whether you're road tripping across states, flying, or live nearby in Scranton, Hickory Run State Park offers an exciting time for all its guests.
Operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Hickory Run State Park is located in Carbon County in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains. This is a 15,990-acre park with ample hiking trails, miles of trout streams, and three state park natural areas. But the main draw to this area in White Haven, Pennsylvania, is actually a rare geological attraction known as a boulder field.
The Famous Boulder Field
Designated as a National Natural Landmark, the boulder field looks like something out of a science fiction movie. The boulder-filled land is barren of any vegetation and spans 400 by 1,800 feet. This incredible site has remained almost unchanged for 20,000 years.
The field is only accessible when snow is not present, as the dirt road is not routinely maintained. To reach the field you must hike 5 miles on the one-way Boulder Field Trail. While hiking, make sure to respect the land and follow the rules. Tempting though it may be, you should not stack or move rocks. Make sure to also wear proper footwear, and obey all posted signs and regulations. To learn more about the field, read the brochure, the park guide, or stop by the park office for additional educational materials.
Activities at Hickory Run State Park
If you're looking for outdoor adventure, there's no shortage of activities at Hickory Run. This large park boasts 44 miles of hiking trails, an 18-hole disc golf course, trout fishing, swimming in Sand Spring Lake, and environmental education programs at the Visitor Center.
Some popular trails for hikers include the 0.6 mile Hawk Falls Trail and the easier 1 mile Blue Trail, perfect for wildflowers and blueberry picking. Hawk Falls Trail leads to the gorgeous 25 foot Hawk Falls as well as fishing at Mud Run.
In spite of the name, one of the prettiest trails at the park is the 1 mile Shades of Death Trail. This trail features logging mills and dams that remain from the early 1800s, as well as three dams that are prime trout fishing spots. This trail follows Sand Spring Run and winds through rhododendron patches and interesting rock formations.
If you're wanting a beautiful sunset hike, follow the Fireline Trail just a half mile from the trailhead to a lovely overlook of the Lehigh River and Lehigh Gorge State Park. Other summer outdoor activities include biking and whitewater rafting.
In the winter months, this Pennsylvania State Park features 14 miles of cross-country skiing trails, ice skating, and snowmobiling.
When weather permits, you can enjoy ice skating on Sand Spring Lake. Snowmobiling can be done on 21 miles of designated trails that are marked by orange blazes.
Camping at Hickory Run In Pennsylvania
There are many options when it comes to staying overnight at Hickory Run State Park, including tent and trailer sites with modern restrooms, a sanitary dump station, electrical hookups, and some with full-service hookups (sewer, water, electric).
Modern facilities are available for campers from the second Friday in April until the third Sunday in October. After that, only rustic-style camping is available. Pets are permitted in certain campsites, and a camp store sells general supplies like ice, firewood, and food. There are also four campsites that provide accessibility for those with disabilities.
This Pennsylvania State Park also rents 5 camping cottages (3 regular and two deluxe) for organized group events.
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