Outdoor activities are a big reason people enjoy the Poconos so much. Some residents come here for the water sports such as boating or fishing. Some build here (either as a vacation home or a permanent residence) to take advantage of the great skiing. Others are enthralled by the great hiking trails. Here's a look at some of the best hikes in the Poconos region.
Known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania," Bushkill Falls is one of the Poconos’ best- known scenic attractions. Bushkill Falls is actually a series of eight waterfalls, nestled deep in the wooded Pocono Mountains. You can reach the falls via an excellent network of hiking trails and bridges that present you with fabulous views of the falls and the surrounding forest. You can choose your trails based on length and degree of difficulty.
The Green Trail provides a view of the Main Falls. It's approximately a 15-minute hike and there is no climbing involved. There are however steps.
- The Yellow Trail also affords a view of the Main Falls as well as a view of Lower Gorge Falls, Laurel Glen, and Upper Canyon. The hike takes about 45 minutes to complete.
- The Blue Trail takes you pas Pennell Falls and is approximately one hour and 15 minutes long.
- The Red Trail is designed for more avid hikers. It will take you past all eight falls (including Bridal Veil Falls). It’s a two-mile hike that takes a bit more than two hours to complete.
Click here for more information about Bushkill Falls hikes—including additional activities in the area.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park
Located in Carbon County, this park boasts four great trails.
- Switchback Trailis the most popular trail and follows the route of the former Switchback Gravity Railroad. The access to this trail is near the main entrance to the park. The trail is used for both hiking and biking. It's a great trail for viewing a variety of trees, including hemlocks, white pines, and American beech. The trail is shaded (making it great in the summer) and runs parallel to the Mauch Chunk Creek. The trail leads to Mount Pisgah for a magnificent overlook of the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
- Shoreline Trailis designated for hiking only (no biking) in order to preserve the sensitive wetland areas. The trail can be difficult to navigate in some areas so it’s not recommended for young or inexperienced hikers. It offers a picturesque view of the 345-acre lake.
- Fireline Trail is both a hiking and biking trail. The trail is an unimproved access road that also serves as a firebreak for the park/forest. The trail runs for approximately 3.5 miles and leads to the Switchback Trail below the dam.
- Orchard Trailand Board Bottom Trail are secondary trails that can be accessed from the Switchback Trail below the dam. While they are considered secondary trails, they present hikers and bikers with options for exploring one of the most scenic and serene areas of the park.
Promised Land State Park
This state park offers approximately 50 miles of hiking trails within the park and the surrounding Delaware State Forest. The forests within the park consist primarily of beech, oak, maple and hemlock trees. Hikers can also enjoy two lakes and several small streams. The trails offer splendid opportunities for nature study, relaxation and exploration.
- Bruce Lake Trail allows you to hike to a natural glacial lake
- Little Falls Trail gives you the opportunity to see the small waterfalls along the way
- Conservation Island can be reached via a self-guided trail guide that you can obtain at the park office
- All the trails lead through areas that are incredibly beautiful and rich in historic interest. These trails are particularly enjoyable from mid-May through mid-June when the native mountain laurel and rhododendron are in bloom. If you’re interested in leaf-peeping, the fall foliage usually peaks in early October.
Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all hiking trails in Promised Land State Park with the exception of designated snowmobile trails in the winter. Click here for additional information about what Promised Land State Park has to offer.
If you love to hike, lace up your boots and get out there to enjoy some of the best trails the Poconos have to offer!