Are you daring enough to hike the Shades of Death Trail? This is just one of the hiking trails available to visitors at Hickory Run State Park. Not to worry though, the trail is not nearly as ominous as its name. Hickory Run was established as a state park in 1945 following a long and storied history of devastation and restoration. The first settlements in the area occurred following the American Revolution, when landowners began building mills on the local creeks. By the mid-1800s, the area was clearcut, then experienced several incidents of fire and flooding. In 1935 the area was purchased by the National Park Service (NPS) for use as a recreation area, and many of the roads, campgrounds and trails were developed. Ten years later, the NPS transferred the land to the state of Pennsylvania for use as a state park.
Just 30 miles south of Scranton, Hickory Run State Park is a 16,000-acre natural area in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. The area features numerous trout streams, boulder fields, wetlands and restored forests. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, from birds to black bears. The park’s large campground features more than 300 tent, trailer and RV sites, as well as a few walk-in sites and camping cottages. Some campsites are ADA accessible. Park facilities include restrooms with showers, drinking water, two playgrounds, amphitheater, fishing pier, dog-walking area, and a camp store. There’s also recycling and dump stations. The Shades of Death and Beach trails are accessible right from the campground. Campsite rates range from $15–$40/night; cabins and cottages range from $38–$105/night.
There is no shortage of outdoor play to be enjoyed on your visit to Hickory Run. On warm days, cool off with a dip in Sand Spring Lake, or go wading below Hawk Falls; cast a line for brook and brown trout in Hickory Run or Mud Run; or test your precision at the park’s disc golf course. There are also several geocaches hidden in the park if you’re up for a little treasure hunting. If you’re packing hiking boots, you have 44 miles of trails to wander. Choose from short, family-friendly nature and wildlife-watching trails, to the more strenuous Boulder Field Trail, which traverses a 16.5-acre field of sandstone boulders that predate several of North America’s ice ages. In winter, many of the park’s trails are open for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Our first visit to a PA state park and we couldn't have picked a nicer park to begin with. Stayed in the Pet Loop in our 19ft trailer. Site was nice and long and fairly level. Lots to do at the park - checked out Boulder field, hiked the shades of death trail, and took our two pups on several walks that they loved. Nice quiet campsite, checked out several other nice sites for future visits.
Lots of hiking trails, a very cool boulder field, and plenty of solitude. Black bears wander around though, so make sure you put away food and scented things. One came right through our campsite. Also has an excellent camp store that is stocked with literally anything you’d ever need.
Late spring camping, high 50’s in the evenings and warm days. Fishing at the local creeks was excellent as they are typically spring fed, they keep trout all year long. Biking along the Lehigh River was a great choice and the views are majestic. The new visitors center is a welcoming place, Road traffic at times was annoying as campers don’t respect 15MPH Speed limit. Site was clean, our site was self contained with my ALiner and I didn’t need to use the facilities. I’ll visit again and enjoyed my stay.
We had a wonderful time in this park (July 2019). So so much to do, plenty of hikes (Hawk Falls was super crowded and Shades of Death was our favorite), Boulder Field is a must see. We camped mid week so there weren't many others around. Wooded sites and so quiet! Clean enough bathrooms. Site size differs a lot so make sure you really know how much room you need or want.
Our first visit to Hickory Run State Park was in 10/19. I was a little nervous when I booked as I booked the last site available in the pet loop. It was the first site in the center as you enter the loop. However, it worked out great. The sites are a little close together but the way they are angled you have just enough privacy. We camped in our small travel trailer in site #219. A small electric only site. The bathrooms were clean. Shower stalls had small changing area to keep your belongings dry. The dump station was very convenient with several stations. The hiking trails were beautiful. I especially loved the Shades of Death Trail. The fall is an amazing time to visit to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Great location lots of hiking trails right in the park and many more close by
This campground felt huge and was totally packed for Memorial Day weekend. The bathrooms were fine but definitely got crowded and dirty (it rained off and on so lots of mud tracking). The sites are nice but pretty close together. Overall it was a good experience considering that it was a busy holiday weekend with some rainy weather.
There are lots of things to do when staying here. We took an awesome hike down to the waterfall, fished at the lake, played on the playground, swam at the beach, and visited the boulder field.
The camp store is just incredible! You could get lost for hours in there!
The first place I slept in a hammock all night! It was a gorgeous stay!
We stayed in the cabins here off season. It was great and looked like a lot of fun during the season. Great hiking at the boulder field that was great too. If the gates are open, you may even be able to do a little off-roading in your vehicle… just stay away during bear (maybe even deer) hunting season.
The reinforced site pad made it nearly impossible to properly drive tent stakes in.
Fire ring was the flip up/down type.
Site seemed to be very well maintained and we saw maintenance workers a few times, never visited by camp hosts or rangers.
Sites were closer together than I’m used to, making for a less than restful weekend seeing as we were across from a family reunion. But they sure had fun!
Bathrooms were clean, showers had attached changing areas.
Nice hiking, shades of death trail has a fantastic man made dam waterfall.