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.
Where to start?! This is my favorite campground, public or private. The sites are large and many are somewhat private in terms of visual barriers. Some bathrooms are latrines, but they also have beautiful, fully updated showers and restrooms available. The camp store had good hours and is stocked to high heaven; you could come here with just the clothes on your back and buy everything you need for a very comfortable stay. To top it all off, the park itself is stunning. This is probably the largest, most well-kept public campground I have ever been to, and I'm dying to return.
We also saw a dung beetle, which was awesome.
Very nice, peaceful campground. Boulder field is very cool!
this area is so beautiful. a ton to explore and a huge frisbee golf course. the inner loops have nice bathrooms. we were in the outer loop far from the rest of the campground and they only had ports potties and hand sanitizer. I wish we had been on the inner loop for the bathrooms, but we had a huge tent site that fit 4 tents on it. Hike to the waterfall, it is beautiful.
Lots to explore. The rock field is one of a kind and not to be missed. The campsites were well spaced with lots of shade options. Only complaint is that the bathrooms were pretty dirty.
I would say this campground is very typical of all the PA State Park campgrounds we've stayed in. Nothing particularly special, but nice enough spots and bathhouse. More importantly is everything in the park around the campground! Make sure you check out the boulder field, and do some hiking.
Seems like we are always vacationing on the cusp of winter and it can be super challenging to find campgrounds that are open. We stayed here in November (during hunting season) and there were several groups of hunters camping in quaint little RVs.
The sites are open with little tree coverage and ours backed up to the road leading into the campground (which unfortunately was a high traffic road in the daylight hours). While most of the campground and its amenities were closed for the season, the restrooms remained open and well kept.
The sites have nice gravel drives with large picnic tables and fire pits. I can imagine that during the busy time the sites might seem a bit close to one another but for when we were there it was perfect.
So if you're looking for a place to rest your head in the less popular months, this spot is nice and most importantly OPEN!
Stayed two nights at two different sites. Heavily recommend getting campsites in the mid-60s. They come with a little more room and seclusion. Come with fire pit, parking spot, picnic table, flush toilet, running water. Competitive pricing.
The campground is a little bit crowded, and the bathrooms could be a bit nicer, but there's plenty to do in the park. Everyone says to go to the Boulder Field, and you should, because it's an interesting geological feature, it's beautiful, and it's just plain fun. But there's more to do in the park. The highlight of our weekend was Hawk Falls. It's a short hike, and the falls are beautiful. Even in late August, the water was COLD. You aren't allowed to swim there, but you're likely to see people jumping off the falls into the deep pools below - I cringed every time someone jumped. The swimming beach was much more inviting for taking a dip, and the restrooms/concession stand is modern.