Spring Hiking in the Pocono Mountains
It’s just about time to dig those sneakers out and kiss your winter boots good-bye for we hope at least the next nine months as we prepare for the big thaw. After a lengthy winter with very cold temps and mounds of snow, we can all look forward to the arrival of spring! It’s the season for renewal and rejuvenation and Pike County is a glorious place to visit, explore, play and stay.
As the snow melts, it’s easier to navigate by foot and we’re all anxious to stretch our muscles and get our blood pumping again as we inhale the fresh, earthy air. The perfect way to get outdoors, take in the sights and experience the area up close is to go for a hike! Pike County is home to many hiking trails for all levels from the outdoor enthusiast who is out for a casual stroll to the avid hiker looking for more challenging terrain. Here are some of our favorites:
This is a 32-mile trail along the Pennsylvania side of the park. The trail passes through forested areas and open farm fields with scenic views of the river and cliffs. All levels of hikers can experience this trail as its terrain varies between rugged foot paths and wide gravel sections. Highlight: Raymondskill Cliff, Mile 28.3 The cliff is visible for a long stretch of McDade Trail, but one of the best viewing spots is between Raymondskill Creek and Pittman Orchard.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Cliff Park Trail System
Highlight: Milford Knob Trail. The trailhead is located at North Contact Station on Route 209, just south of the junction with Route 206 in New Jersey. This trail is 1.3 miles and encompasses a challenging hike to the top of Raymondskill Ridge followed by an unparalleled view of historic Milford. This is a loop that preferably begins with the Milford Knob trail, followed by the Quarry Path to the Cliff Trail, and ending with taking the Cliff Trail north to the Knob overlook. Hikers will experience lowland forest and mixed hardwood forest.
State Game Lands #180: Shohola Falls Trail at Shohola Falls Recreation Area
Off Route 6, heading west from Milford is an 8.2 mile loop trail with a cascading waterfall. The terrain is rolling and wooded. Hikers can expect to see waterfowl and birds, a dam, lake and observation tower.
*While in the Milford area, you can rest your head at the Harrington House Bed and Breakfast. The rooms are stylish and cozy and the gourmet breakfast offered is delicious and satisfying.
Promised Land State Park, Route 390
There are about 50 miles of hiking trails throughout the park system and the surrounding Delaware State Forest. Highlights: Bruce Lake Trail—hike to a natural glacial lake, Little Falls Trail—see small waterfalls, or walk a loop around Conservation Island.
*After a fun-filled day spent at Promised Land State Park (which also offers seasonal activities such as swimming and kayak rentals), you may want to relax and regroup in one of the rustic cabins on the premises.
Lake Wallenpaupack Walking Trail, Route 507 and Route 6
This trail begins at the intersection of Route 507 and Route 6 and extends from the Tafton Dike to the Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, which is a mile and a half in its entirety. So, if people hike the whole length of the trail and back, it’s a three mile hike. Beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack is the attraction along this walk with ideal viewing points at the Tafton Dike and the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center. In addition to information on the area, the Visitors Center has a balcony with a viewing scope, which is perfect for spotting local wildlife, boaters and other activity. Another area of interest includes a stop at the Environmental Center.
*If you want to extend your visit, a comfortable, modern and affordable hotel is East Shore Lodging, right across from the Tafton Dike. The hotel offers a continental breakfast each morning and has an on-site gift shop. In the summer season, people can also enjoy scenic boat tours and boat rentals!