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.
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.
This was our first visit to [Hickory Run State Park](http://Hickory Run State Park ) & we loved it. Hickory Run is in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. We had a full hook-up site in the back loop, pet friendly part of the campground. The sites in this loop were spacious and more in an open area, but we were along a wooded area which gave us some shade. It was a very quiet weekend for us as our loop was not crowded. The bath houses in this loop are non-flush/pit toilets. However, the other camping loops had shower houses and flush toilet restrooms. The other camping loops were located within the wooded areas and the sites appears closer together. There are pet friendly sites in the other loops as well. Even though it was a very hot weekend and our site was in an open area, we had a nice breeze and shade from the wooded area behind our site. The late afternoon sun did hit the front of our trailer, but we used this time for a nap or a went for a drive to explore the area.
There is a lot to do in the state park. Many hiking trails (44 miles of trails). They are rated from easy to difficult. We found the 2 trails we hiked - Hawk Falls and Shades of Death trails - where were rated "more difficult" were not bad to hike at all. We hiked both with your 2 large dogs. Both of these trails had a creek and waterfalls.
There was a large open field in the loop we camped in with a swing set on it. This was nice for families with children. There is a camp store which was loaded with anything you may need from grocery items, equipment, pans, and toys. One thing of note - if you require firewood, look for local sellers in the area rather than the camp store. It was $4.50 for a very small bundle of what we would use for kindling. Park Staff were very friendly.
We took a drive on 2 afternoons on a stone road through the woods to see the Boulder Field. It was a beautiful drive. We were on the lookout for bear, but only saw 3 deer. There is also a lake for swimming. Be aware that this area has a high bear population and all campers are required to keep food items in their vehicles or trailers when not at the site.
We would definitely recommend Hickory Run for all types of campers - RV, tent, pop-up campers. Lots to do for families. Or if you are like us and want to just kick back and relax, you can't go wrong.
Product Review: As a Ranger for the Dyrt, we get products to test from time to time - today we tested [Red Ledge Free Rein Jacket](http://Red Ledge Free Rein Jacket) We chose to review this jacket because our first two camping trips this season, it poured!! My husband got soaked while closing down outside and getting the trailer hooked up to head home. But… as Murphy's Law goes, we haven't had rain while camping since receiving the jacket. My husband was a good sport and "modeled" this jacket for me during a heat wave of over 90°. My husband normally wears a 2XL, which is what we ordered. It appears to be true to size as the jacket fits him well, even in the length of the sleeves.
The day after we got home… we got our rain! While my husband was not available, I decided to put the jacket on and go outside and test the jacket during a heavy down pour and stormy afternoon.
PROs: The jacket is well made, but not heavy or bulky. It has adjustable velcro cuffs on the sleeves so you can tighten the cuffs if you need. It has 2 front zippered pockets with a mess lining. It also has 2 zippered vents at the sides of the jacket. The hood has a cord on either side for adjustments.
Even though this jacket was 2 or 3 sizes too big for me, I was able to adjust the cuffs on the sleeves as well as the hood to give me a better fit. I stayed dry! The rain literally beaded up on the jacket, therefore the jacket did not get soaked through. Once I came inside, I could shake out the jacket and the water drops would just fall off the jacket. It dried quickly afterwards, but honestly because the rain never really saturated the jacket, "dried" may not be the correct word. Overall I was impressed with the quality of the jacket and how the water just rolled off it. I would recommend Red Ledge to anyone looking for rain gear that is lightweight, durable and, most of all, Works!!
CONs: At this point, I really can't say I could find anything wrong with this jacket.
Clean, great camp store, dog friendly loop, great hikes accessible from campground!!
Everywhere we hiked was great! So many beautiful trails and lots to do! We loved everything about this park except the actual campsites. The sites were very close together, and there wasn't a lot of privacy, which sucked for us. There were a lot of drunk New Yorkers yelling at all hours of the day and night. If we weren't surrounded by obnoxious people we probably wouldn't have minded the close proximity as much.The bathrooms were clean and close. And the camp store was packed floor to ceiling with supplies.
Great hiking, biking, and kayaking in the area. Great trails in the park. Have to get to the bolder field.
My brother and I took our kids here a few years ago for tent camping in August. The campground wasn’t very crowded and the sites were a decent size, we easily put two tents on our site. The bathhouse we used was a bit lacking and not really big enough for the amount of people it needed to handle. Lots to do in the area if you do your research.
My husband and I have camped at Hickory Run twice now. Once before we had our daughter and once when our daughter was 7. Both times we had our dog with us. We enjoyed our stay. The other campers were quiet and considerate. The bathhouse was in a good condition. Our only complaint was that some of the dumpsters were full so we had to locate one that wasn't. As with any camping experience, check the layout of the campsite before booking to make sure the layout will accommodate your equipment.