Sometimes it’s hard to really comprehend how much natural beauty surrounds us in Pennsylvania. From the world’s largest pothole to ringing rocks, Pennsylvania’s state and county parks hold some of nature’s most wondrous secrets. Hickory Run State Park deserves a special mention on that list of parks with amazing secrets. You’ll definitely want to add this stunning state park in Pennsylvania to your itinerary for your next vacation.
Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County, at the base of the Pocono Mountains, sprawls across nearly 16,000 acres and is home to a pretty amazing National Natural Landmark.
Walk through a fossil – that's right, a fossil – of an ancient landscape that dates back to the ice age some 15,000 years ago. Only several such landscapes, including Hickory Run State Park's Boulder Field, remain today.
Boulder Field is nearly 2,000 feet long, 400 feet wide, and 10 feet deep and is comprised of boulders of various sizes, from as small as a few inches to as big as 25 feet. Hickory Run State Park welcomes visitors at Boulder Field but prohibits the taking of boulders as souvenirs and graffiti of any kind. Damage caused by vandalism is already threatening the natural landmark.
Explore this massive park on one of the many trails that cover 44 miles. The Shades of Death Trail, for example, challenges even the sturdiest of hikers with its one mile of difficult terrain. (It is, in fact, deemed the most difficult by the state.) But, if you dare trek the mile long trail, you'll pass the Stametz Dam and some of the state park's most beautiful scenery.
But, don't worry if you would prefer a less strenuous hike. You'll find plenty of easy hikes in the park as well. The half-mile Deer Trail, for example, promises an easy hike that passes along a former logging road and that is perfect for animal lovers who want to bird watch, see frogs and salamanders, and even hear the hooting of owls.
During your journey, you'll likely cross several footbridges. Don't forget to stop and snap a few unforgettable photos.
Another must see spot in Hickory Run State Park is the Stony Point Fire Tower. Daredevils be forewarned, however, that climbing the majestic tower is prohibited and the structure is protected by a barrier.
Streams abound in the state park, offering beautiful views as well as the ideal spot to catch brown and brook trout.
Perhaps there is no more beautiful natural wonder than waterfalls and, of course, you'll find beautiful waterfalls, like Hawk Falls, in Hickory Run State Park.
Sand Spring Lake features a sandy beach that welcomes swimmers daily every summer season from the end of May until mid-September, from 8 a.m. to sunset. Bring your own picnic or buy food, including snacks, sandwiches, drinks, and, of course, ice cream at the snack stand.
Hickory Run State Park provides the ideal backdrop for an overnight adventure. Bring your tent or rent one of the traditional or deluxe camping cottages.
Don’t stop with your visit to this amazing state park in Pennsylvania! Plan to visit these
stunning bluffs, the cave that’s hiding a natural phenomenon, and this skywalk that will make your stomach drop.