Hickory Run State Park
The 15,990-acre Hickory Run State Park, Carbon County, lies in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains. This large park has over 40 miles of hiking trails, three state park natural areas and miles of trout streams. Boulder Field, a striking boulder-strewn area, is a National Natural Landmark.
From I-80, take Exit 274 at the Hickory Run State Park Exit, and drive east on PA 534 for six miles.
From the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Exit 95 and drive west on PA 940 for three miles, then turn east on PA 534 for six miles.
The park is within a two or three-hour drive from Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York City and one hour from Allentown, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.
Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.
Top 10 Things to do at Hickory Run
1. Walk across Boulder Field.
2. Cool off your feet in waters below Hawk Falls.
3. Enjoy the solitude of Stametz Dam along Shades of Death Trail.
4. Throw a picnic! Play18-holes of disc golf followed by a picnic in Sand Spring Day Use Area.
5. View the Lehigh Gorge along Fireline Trail.
6. Pull a wild brook trout from Hickory Run or Mud Run.
7. Have an ice cream after swimming in Sand Spring Lake.
8. Cross-country ski Sand Spring Trail.
9. Spend a weekend with the family in a rustic camping cottage.
10. Visit a neighbor – Lehigh Gorge State Park!
Spend the Day
ORIENTEERING: The three permanent orienteering courses in the park are a joint venture of the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association and the Pocono Orienteering Club. The beginner course in the Sand Spring Day Use Area takes at least an hour to complete. An advanced course begins near the Saylorsville Dam and takes about four hours to complete. Detailed maps are available at the park office.
éPICNICKING: A large picnic area is near Sand Spring Lake which has a swimming beach, disc golf and orienteering. There are hundreds of picnic tables, restrooms, playground equipment, drinking water and trash containers. A picnic pavilion may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. If unreserved it is free on a first-come, first-served basis.
éSWIMMING: A sand beach at Sand Spring Lake is open from late May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. Swim at your own risk. A snack bar has sandwiches, drinks, ice cream and snacks.
DISC GOLFING: A 19-hole disc golf course is in the Sand Spring Day Use Area. The course is flat, moderately wooded and has crushed stone tees, basket holes and is about one mile in length. Please be cautious of picnickers when playing the first ten holes.
GEOCACHING: In this high tech treasure hunting game a Web site lists hidden containers called geocaches that players using GPS devices locate outdoors. Park staff and individuals have placed many caches in the park. Brochures on several educational caches developed by the park are available at the park office. Geocachers interested in placing a new cache within the park must contact the park office.
éFISHING: Anglers find excellent sport in many of the streams and lakes within the park boundaries. Some streams are stocked with brook and brown trout. Mud Run is a delayed harvest, artificial lure only stream. The lower 2.9 miles of Hickory Run, from near the Saylorsville Dam to the Lehigh River, is a catch and release fishing only area.
Fishing is discouraged in Sand Spring Lake and is prohibited in the swimming area.
The Lehigh River, which flows along the western boundary of the park, has warm-water game fish, trout and panfish. Francis E. Walter Dam, about 20 minutes north of the park, provides boating and angling for trout and warm-water game fish. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.
éHUNTING AND FIREARMS: Most of the park is open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are white-tailed deer, turkey, black bear and gray squirrel. The adjoining State Game Lands 40, 129 and 141 have additional areas open to hunting.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s car, trailer or leased campsite. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are in the park.
Hiking: 44 miles of trails
Most of the park trails were created by the Civilian Conservation Corps under the guidance of the National Park Service between 1936 and 1945. Many of the trails were old roads from the towns of Hickory Run and Saylorsville that flourished in the area between 1830 and 1900. As you hike, think of all the people and families that have used these trails in the past and preserve these trails for the use of future generations.
• Yellow blazes are hiking only trails.
• Blue blazes are hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
• Orange blazes are hiking and snowmobiling trails.
A Beach Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest
Beach Trail provides an easy walk from Sand Spring Lake to the campground. The trail stretches from the lower loops of the campground, passing by sites 17, 53, 152 and 158 below the amphitheater. From there it crosses PA 534, across the road bridge, and continues on the service road to the beach.
B Bear Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest
This wide, grassy trail branches off of Fourth Run Trail and ends at the northern park boundary (white blazes). It is possible to walk the park boundary to get to Leonardsville or Stage trails, but this can be difficult due to thick vegetation and should only be attempted by experienced hikers.
C Blue Trail: 1 mile, easiest, cross-country skiing
This thin trail winds through a forest dominated by chestnut oak, mountain laurel (blooms mid-late June), and rhododendron (blooms early-mid July). Blue Trail is a connection between Pine Hill and Sand Spring trails. Blueberry picking is excellent along this trail close to the junction of Pine Hill Trail. Blue Trail also offers one of the best areas in the park to view mountain laurel when in bloom, but can be especially wet after rain or snow melt.
D Boulder Field Trail: 3.5 miles, more difficult
The trail runs between Boulder Field and PA 534. Parking is available off of PA 534 across from Hawk Falls, or at Boulder Field. The trailhead at Boulder Field is directly across the field from the parking lot (look for the big yellow blaze on a tree). A modest elevation change and the rocky nature of the trail near Boulder Field makes the 3.5 miles seem longer in distance. This trail runs through sections of hemlock, spruce and beech forests. Bears, owls, white-tailed deer, turkeys, snowshoe hares and ruffed grouse are sometimes encountered along the trail. Hikers should allow 4 to 5 hours for a roundtrip trek.
E Deer Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest
Parking is available at the trailhead along the Sand Spring Day Use Area road. The trail ends at PA 534. Deer Trail is an old logging road and is fairly open. In the spring and fall, vernal and autumnal pools along the trail are filled with various frog, toad and salamander species. Deer Trail is also an excellent trail for bird watching and listening for owls.
F Fireline Trail: 2.4 miles, most difficult, cross-country skiing
Parking is available in a small lot off of PA 534. Originally developed as an access road for firefighting equipment, this trail runs from PA 534 in the west, intersects Skyline and Gould trails, to an intersection with Hickory Run Trail. About 0.5 mile from the trailhead is a picturesque overlook of the Lehigh River and Lehigh Gorge State Park. This is one of the most beautiful spots in the park to watch a sunset. Fireline Trail is scenic, but sections of the trail are open, steep and rocky making for challenging hiking, especially in the heat of summer. Along this trail watch for songbirds including prairie warblers and eastern bluebirds, and hawks.
G Fourth Run Trail: 4.8 miles, more difficult, snowmobiling
The longest trail in the park passes through a wide variety of landscapes and habitats. Parking is available off of Boulder Field Road or by the park office. From the park office walk the road behind the chapel 0.3 mile to the trailhead. Ridge, Manor House, Stage, Bear and Stone trails intersect Fourth Run Trail. Fourth Run crosses the trail three times and is excellent fishing for native brook trout. The trail dives under the turnpike in a wide tunnel that is prone to flooding during heavy rain. Numerous blueberry and huckleberry bushes are along this trail.
H Gamewire Trail: 3.3 miles, more difficult, snowmobiling
Parking is available off of the exit road from Boulder Field or in the overflow lot of the Organized Group Tenting Area (OGT). This trail follows the boundary fence line that used to surround the game preserve of General Harry S. Trexler, who owned most of the property (from 1922-1933) that became Hickory Run State Park. The trail passes through an open forest with mountain and sheep laurel. The first 1/3-mile of the trail starting at the OGT can be very soggy in the spring and after rains.
I Gould Trail: 1 mile, easiest
Parking is available just west of the Youth Forestry Camp entrance on PA 534. The trail winds through deciduous woods and fields, crossing Goulds Run at the trail’s mid-point at an intersection with Skyline Trail. The southern portion of the trail ends at Fireline Trail. In the summer look and listen for indigo buntings, broad-winged hawks, field sparrows, and eastern bluebirds along the trail.
J Hawk Falls Trail: 0.6 mile, more difficult
Parking is available off of PA 534, just east of the turnpike overpass. The trail begins in rhododendron thickets and hugs the side of a hill down to Hawk Run. A large footbridge crosses the creek. The trail bears right at Mud Run, wanders through a tunnel of rhododendron and ends with a view of Hawk Falls, a natural 25-foot waterfall. This trail is also an access point for fishing in Mud Run, which is delayed-harvest and artificial lures only.
Hawk Run got its name from the Hawk family that owned a farm on the property across from the parking lot. The trail was an old road from Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe) and sometimes remnants of wagon wheels, nails and horseshoes can be found along the banks of Hawk Run.
Swimming is permitted only at the designated swimming area of Sand Spring Lake.
K Hickory Run Trail: 1.3 miles, easiest, cross-country skiing
Parking is available by the park office or along PA 534 near the trailhead. This trail starts along PA 534 on the sharp bend west of the park office. It descends into a field where the National Park Service built a picnic area and parking lot in the 1930s. Parts of the curbing can still be seen among the wildflowers. This is one of the best places in the park to see butterflies. After passing the field, on the left are foundations from the village of Hickory Run dating back to the early 1800s. A brick mill was established along the trail and sometimes these bricks, with Hickory Run printed on them, are exposed. (Please do not remove any of these bricks.) At the halfway mark of the trail a footbridge crosses Hickory Run to Sand Spring Trail on the other side of the creek. Hickory Run Trail does not cross the bridge, but narrows and follows the creek to end at Fireline Trail near the Lehigh River.
L Lake Trail: 0.6 mile, easiest, snowmobiling
Parking is available at Hickory Run Lake off of Boulder Field Road. The trailhead is about 100 yards up the road past the parking area. This short but very scenic trail runs around the back of Hickory Run Lake and connects to Stage Trail. Two streams must be crossed, but this is not a problem unless it has been raining heavily.
M Leonardsville Trail: 0.6 mile, easiest
Leonardsville Trail branches off the northern end of Stage Trail and ends at the park boundary (white blazes) with State Game Land 40. The trail resembles a tunnel through a remarkably dense stand of rhododendrons and at times can seem almost completely enclosed. A few small stream crossings are required. The trail is a good place to look for animal tracks because the surface is mostly dirt. During the 1800s this trail was the main road between the villages of Leonardsville and Saylorsville.
N Manor House Trail: 2.2 miles, more difficult, snowmobiling
Parking is available off of PA 534 at the Fireline Trail trailhead, or at the park office. Manor House Trail does not begin at the Manor House. When parking at the park office, follow the road behind the Chapel for approximately 0.3-mile to the Fourth Run Trailhead. Manor House Trail splits off of Fourth Run Trail and curves toward the park boundary (white blazes). The trail then follows the park boundary eventually leaving the boundary to meet PA 534 across from the Fireline Trail trailhead. Most of the trail is easy walking, but the ½ mile section closest to PA 534 is very rocky. Occasionally grouse, woodcocks, flying squirrels, deer and bear are seen in this area.
O Nature Trail: 0.4 mile, easiest
Parking is available in the pavilion parking lot. The trailhead is near the pavilion. This short loop meanders through a variety of tree and plant species. Halfway around the loop, Deer Trail branches off. Self-guided interpretive brochures corresponding with the numbered posts along the trail are available at the trailhead or the park office.
P Orchard Trail: 1.2 miles, most difficult
The trail begins at the end of an unpaved access road at the eastern edge of the park off of PA 534, about 0.25-mile past the Hawk Falls/Boulder Field Trail parking area, or it can also be accessed from Hawk Falls Trail. Orchard Trail is shaped like a spoon. Where the 0.5 mile “handle” of the spoon connects to Hawk Falls Trail the trail is steep and rocky. The loop section of the trail is a series of switchbacks down to Mud Run. This trail provides access to the Mud Run Natural Area and fishing in Mud Run, a delayed-harvest and artificial lures only stream. The trail is maintained by the Pocono Outdoor Club.
Q Pine Hill Trail: 3.9 miles, more difficult, cross-country skiing
Parking is available off of PA 534 at the trailhead, east of the campground. Most of the trail follows the park boundary and meanders through an oak/maple forest that is thick with mountain laurel. Blue Trail connects to Pine Hill Trail 1.6 miles from the trailhead. The latter portion of the trail descends toward the Lehigh River. The trail ends at the intersection of Sand Spring Trail. A short, steep, rocky section near the end of the trail is unsuitable for cross-country skiing.
R Ridge Trail: 1.1 miles, more difficult
Parking is available along the one-way road between Saylorsville Dam and the park office. When parking at the park office follow the road behind the Chapel to the Fourth Run Trail trailhead. Ridge Trail is narrow and winds through the valley carved by Hickory Run. Near the fordway are remains of a double sawmill and flash dam built in the 1830s.
S Sand Spring Trail: 2.6 miles, more difficult, cross-country skiing
The trail begins in the campground near sites 13 and 108 and soon crosses an unbridged stream. Blue Trail branches off 0.25 mile from the trailhead. Hikers can also access the trail downstream from the park office before the sewage treatment plant. Parking for this access point is at the park office or the parking lot several hundred yards west of the park office on PA 534. The lower part of the trail was built over the old railroad bed built that served the brick factory. A wooden water tower and waterlines seen along the trail are artifacts from the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration during the mid 1930s and 40s that originally developed the park as a National Recreational Demonstration Area. Thick rhododendrons and large birch trees shadow large portions of the trail. Sand Spring Trail ends at the junction of Pine Hill Trail near the Lehigh River.
T Shades of Death: 1 mile, most difficult
Parking is available by the park office or along PA 534 by the nature center and amphitheater. Although it has a gruesome name (attributed to the thick forests and rough terrain experienced by the early settlers), this is probably the most picturesque trail in the park. This rocky trail follows Sand Spring Run and meanders through rhododendron thickets and unique rock formations. There are also remains of logging mills and dams dating back to the early 1800s. Trout fishing is popular at the three dams found along the trail. Shades of Death is a favorite among bird watchers and is an excellent place to spot Blackburnian and black-throated green warblers in the spring and summer.
U Skyline Trail: 2.1 miles, more difficult, cross-country skiing
Narrow Skyline trail loops between Fireline and Gould trails. 0.3 mile from the Fireline Trail trailhead Skyline Trail branches off and meanders through a forest dominated by beech, gray birch and pitch pine. Skyline Trail loops through Gould Trail and heads on to cross Fireline Trail by the Lehigh River and continues on the edge of a steep slope that provides an excellent view of the Lehigh River, then merges with Fireline Trail.
V Stage Trail: 4.5 miles, more difficult, snowmobiling
This wide trail bisects the park. Once the stagecoach road from Bethlehem to Wilkes-Barre, the trail is surprisingly flat and shows the skill of the early road builders. Starting in the northwest section of the park, Stage Trail begins at the park boundary (white blazes), runs near group cabin camps. Leonardsville Trail can be accessed from this portion of Stage Trail. The middle section of the trail runs between parts of Boulder Field Road. This lovely section runs across the top of a ridge cloaked in hemlock trees. Lake Trail can be accessed from this portion. The eastern section of the trail begins on the exit road from Boulder Field and descends to the park boundary to become Old Stage Road in the village of Albrightsville. Boulder Field Trail can be accessed from this portion. The east end of Stage Trail is called Bergers Field which is designated as a bluebird area. Please do not disturb the bluebird nest boxes placed around the field.
W Stone Trail: 2.4 miles, easiest, snowmobiling
Parking is available in the Boulder Field parking lot. This wide trail passes sheep laurel, hemlocks and deciduous forest to the park boundary line. Follow the park boundary to the west to an intersection with Fourth Run Trail.
X Switchback Trail: 0.7 miles, more difficult
This trail connects Hickory Run Trail and Gould Trail. From Hickory Run Trail, the trail switchbacks up to the plateau, then meanders through a forest of beech, gray birch and pitch pine to an intersection with Gould Trail.
Tell us about your hike at Explore PA trails.com
Stay the Night
CAMPING: warm showers, flush toilets, some electric hook-ups
The large tent and trailer camping area has modern restrooms with warm showers, a sanitary dump station, a forested section and a grassy, more open section. A camp store has general camping supplies, ice, firewood and food.
The campground has modern facilities from the second Friday in April until the third Sunday in October when the dump station and all facilities with running water close for the season. Rustic camping continues until mid-December. Pets are permitted on designated sites.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
CAMPING COTTAGES: Three cottages in the campground feature wooden walls and floors, windows, porch, electric baseboard heat, lights and electric outlets. Each cottage sleeps five people in a single bunk and single/double bunk.
ORGANIZED GROUP TENTING: Nonprofit adult and youth groups can rent one or more of the 13 group sites. Across PA 534 from the campground, this rustic area is open year-round and has picnic tables, fire rings, non-flush toilets and water spigots.
ORGANIZED GROUP CABIN CAMPS: Camp Daddy Allen holds 124 people and Camp Shehaqua holds 149 people. The camps are open from the second Friday in April through the third Sunday in October. Located in a wooded setting with adjacent play fields, the camps share a swimming pool that is open from about June 1 to Labor Day. Groups must supply their own certified lifeguards.
Enjoy the Winter
ICE SKATING: When conditions permit, Sand Spring Lake is available for ice skating. Ice thickness is not monitored.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: The 14 miles of designated trails are marked with blue blazes.
SNOWMOBILING: The 21 miles of designated trails are marked with orange blazes.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Diverse habitats and forest types, extensive wild areas and unique geological formations make Hickory Run an excellent outdoor classroom. From March to November, an environmental education specialist conducts hands-on activities, guided walks and presentations on the natural and historical resources for school groups, scouts, civic organizations and the general public. Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Group programs must be arranged in advance by calling the park office. Teacher workshops are available.
Devastation and regrowth is the history of the land that would become Hickory Run State Park. The last ice advance halted in the park, covering half of the park in ice and making an arctic-like climate. The glacier eradicated most life present at the time and left as its legacy a region of poor, rocky soil that is almost impossible to farm.
The first humans to the area found dark forests of evergreens and seemingly bottomless swamps and bogs. Hickory Run became territory claimed by the Lenni Lenape, Susquehannock and the Iroquios Nation, but no known American Indian settlements occurred in the area. The first colonists named the area “Shades of Death” for the dark forests, numerous swamps and rocky, unfarmable soil.
After the American Revolution, the government encouraged settlement by giving away land for free, in warrants of about 400 acres. Cuthbert, Ord, Cist and Decatur were some of the original land grantees. Most did not settle in the area, but sold their warrants. Robert Morris purchased land in 1794. Morris is known as the “financier of the American Revolution” and signed all three important early American documents.
In 1838, the Upper Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal was completed on the Lehigh River and ushered in the boom time for the region. Enterprising men like David Saylor and Isaac and Stephen Gould erected mills on the streams. In 1839, there were six mills on Hickory Run and two mills on Mud Run, then called Muddy Run. A town arose on the banks of Hickory Run and boasted one of the earliest post offices in the county.
A stagecoach road between Allentown and Wilkes-Barre was built through the area and the town of Saylorsville arose, just upstream of Hickory Run. The hotel in town could sleep 150 people. The road has become Stage Trail, and foundations are all that remain of the town.
Loggers clear-cut the forests but did no replanting, which contributed to flooding. In 1849, several dams broke on Hickory Run, flooding the towns of Saylorsville and Hickory Run. At least seven people died and most were buried in the small cemetery near the park office. The blacksmith, Jacob West, lost four of his children and his wife, yet survived them for 40 years until being buried alongside them.
The flood, one of many, only slowed the removal of the trees. Forest fires became a problem on the cleared land. In 1875, the Great Fire began near Mud Run and smoldered for several days before sweeping north to Monroe County. The fire destroyed many mills and houses and damaged cut and standing timber. The population began to dwindle.
The park office, the Manor House, a residence, a barn and the Chapel are all structures that remain from the old town of Hickory Run. Other traces of the town include a cemetery, foundations and roads.
Little is known of the time between the 1890s and 1918. Forest fires raged and floods carried away the soil. Not since the glacier had the land been so devastated.
In 1918, Allentown millionaire General Harry C. Trexler began buying land. Trexler began his career as a clerk, but soon branched into logging and other industries, becoming a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Trexler purchased the land at Hickory Run for one purpose:
“I would like to see Hickory Run developed into a state park where families can come and enjoy wholesome recreation.” (Lehigh County Historical Society, The General and His Captain, 1984)
Trexler opened his land to public hunting and fishing. One thousand acres were fenced off to propagate game animals and a fish hatchery was established. Wardens patrolled the propagation area, and part of the path they walked has become Gamewire Trail. Trexler died before his plans could be completed.
In 1935, the National Park Service purchased Hickory Run to create a national recreation demonstration area. These areas were placed near large urban centers to provide fresh air recreation for lower class urban dwellers. In 1936, Works Progress Administration workers arrived and began building roads, trails, fire roads, water lines and the group camps. In 1939, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established Camp NP-6. The CCC camp was adjacent to the current campground by the CCC Dam. A playground and open field now occupy the site where 200 young men had their camp.
In 1945, the Hickory Run National Recreation Demonstration Area was transferred to Pennsylvania and became Hickory Run State Park.
Why Hickory Run?
Run is a colloquial name for a stream. Most of the local streams are called runs, but why Hickory Run when there are so few hickories in the area?
A logical theory is that when settlers arrived in the area they found many hickory trees. The logging era could have removed the trees, but there are very few hickory trees in the park today. If there once were many trees, there should have been a good seed base to regrow the hickories. This theory cannot be proven unless logging records can be discovered.
The other theory for the name is based on a story from the early inhabitants of the town of Hickory Run. They say that the first explorers up the stream valley found a huge hickory tree surrounded by pine trees. This unique tree formation inspired the name. Recent explorations of the lower reaches of Hickory Run have failed to discover the huge hickory tree or the pine grove, but the story and name live on.
About 20,000 years ago, a giant sheet of ice at least one mile thick straddled Hickory Run. The western part of the park, including Hickory Run Lake, was underneath the glacier. The land to the east is higher and was not covered by the glacier, but was greatly affected by the cold climate. Boulder Field was created in this unglaciated area.
The western side of the park is covered in the end moraine of the glacier. Like a giant bulldozer, the glacier scraped the land, and rocks, sand and other debris was pushed along and frozen to the glacier. When the glacier melted and retreated, this debris was dropped, making a landscape of bogs and glacial till called a moraine.
The rocky soil of the area is called glacial till. The steep valleys of the western side of the park were carved by the billions of gallons of water that streamed away from the melting glacier. To see the change in the landscape, observe the terrain and trees as you drive Boulder Field Road. The boundary is at Hickory Run Lake on the way to Boulder Field.
The eastern side of the park did not escape the melting glacial water. Before the glacier, Hawk Run and Mud Run probably gently flowed together. But, Hawk Run drains the highlands of the unglaciated side of the park. Mud Run drains glaciated land from east of the park. The floodwaters from the melting glacier eroded Mud Run quicker than Hawk Run, creating the spectacular waterfall, Hawk Falls.
The habitats of the glaciated side of the park are characterized by sphagnum moss bogs, evergreen trees and thin, moist soil. Blackburnian warbler, red-breasted nuthatch and northern waterthrush are common to this habitat. In the spring, spotted and Jefferson salamanders and wood frogs migrate to the bogs to breed.
The habitats of the unglaciated side of the park are characterized by beech and chestnut oak trees on predominantly flat land. American redstart, red-eyed vireo and scarlet tanager are common to this habitat.
At the campground, that straddles the two areas, you can hear six species of thrush—American robin, wood thrush, hermit thrush, Swainson’s thrush, veery and eastern bluebird.
In early May, before any trees have leaves, the serviceberry trees flower. In mid-June, the plentiful mountain laurel blooms, followed in late June to early July by the rhododendron. In mid-July, the highbush blueberries bear fruit, providing a feast for bears, birds and many other animals.
The Bear Truths
Many Pennsylvania state parks are habitat for black bears. Although they appear cute and cuddly like a teddy bear, black bears are wild animals.
A black bear can scramble up a tree like a raccoon and sprint as fast as a race horse. Bears use their claws to tear apart rotting logs to find food, and those claws also work well to open garbage cans and coolers. The size and strength of a black bear is astonishing.
Black bears have poor eyesight and fair hearing, but an excellent sense of smell. Aromatic scents coming from your personal items can attract a curious and hungry bear from a great distance. Bears are attracted to the smell of toothpaste, deodorants, air fresheners, food and even the clothes worn while cooking. Store all such items inside a vehicle. At primitive, walk-in campsites, suspend food between two trees, ten feet in the air and three feet from either tree.
Black bears normally avoid people, but bears dependent on eating human food can become aggressive when people get between them and food.
If you come in contact with a black bear, try chasing it away by making loud noises like yelling, honking a car horn or banging a pot. Notify a park employee if you have difficulties with bears.
Never approach a bear and be especially wary of mother bears and cubs.
Hickory Run has three state park natural areas, one of which is also a National Natural Landmark. A state park natural area is an area within a state park of unique scenic, geologic or ecological value that will be maintained in a natural condition by allowing physical and biological processes to operate, usually without direct human intervention. These areas are set aside to provide locations for scientific observation of natural systems, to protect examples of typical and unique plant and animal communities and to protect outstanding examples of natural interest and beauty.
Boulder Field: This rocky landscape is a National Natural Landmark and state park natural area. Boulder Field appears striking because of its flatness and the absence of vegetation over the large area of 400 feet by 1,800 feet. Some of the boulders are 26 feet long.
Mud Swamp: This remote, emergent wetland is dominated by spruce trees and is a good example of a habitat more common in boreal areas.
Mud Run: This remote, nearly pristine mountain stream is lined with rhododendron and eastern hemlock. The stream has a viable native brook trout population.
Access for People with Disabilities
éThis symbol indicates facilities and activities that are ADA accessible. This publication text is available in alternative formats.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. www.800poconos.com
Lehigh Gorge State Park: Lehigh Gorge State Park contains 6,107 acres of land and about 30 miles of the Lehigh River. Recreational opportunities include: hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and whitewater boating. About 20 miles of abandoned railroad grade follow the river and are available to hiking and biking and provide access for hunting and fishing. Whitewater boating is a major attraction of the park. This section of the Lehigh River is Class III whitewater and is popular for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Specific boating regulations apply. Inexperienced boaters should not attempt the Lehigh River without qualified guides. Outfitted trips are available from concessionaires who provide transportation to and from the river, rafts, guides, and all safety equipment. For more information, including a Lehigh Gorge State Park map, contact the Hickory Run State Park office at 570-443-0400.
Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor: Lehigh Gorge State Park is in the Audubon’s Lehigh Reach of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. The Corridor stretches more than 150 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, in eastern Pennsylvania, and follows the historic routes of the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad, the Lehigh Navigation, and the Delaware Canal. The Corridor showcases the extraordinary natural, cultural and recreational resources and works to conserve the heritage of the area. Corridor landings (visitor centers) are available throughout the region to direct visitors to many opportunities that tell the stories that make the region so nationally significant. www.nps.gov/dele
Exploring Audubon’s Lehigh Auto Tour: Lehigh Gorge State Park and Hickory Run State Park are featured in a unique auto tour entitled Exploring Audubon’s Lehigh. The tour focuses on famed naturalist John James Audubon’s 1829 visit to the Rockport area of the Lehigh River Valley and explores the valley’s natural and historical landscapes. Brochures and CDs are available at several locations along the 53-mile route, including the Hickory Run State Park office. Signs mark the route and identify tour stops. The tour begins in Jim Thorpe at the Old Mauch Chunk Landing or in White Haven at the Lehigh Canal Depot. The tour is located within the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. www.audubonslehigh.org
Protect and Preserve Our Parks
Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park.
• Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. Your personal safety and that of your family are your responsibility.
• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
• Please camp only in designated areas and try to minimize your impact on the campsite.
• Firewood Advisory: Firewood may contain non-native insects and plant diseases. Bringing firewood into the park from other areas may accidentally spread pest insects and diseases that threaten park resources and the health of our forests. Campers should use local firewood. Do not take wood home and do not leave firewood - Burn It!
• Prevent forest fires by having a fire in proper facilities and properly disposing of hot coals. Do not leave a fire unattended.
• Because uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors, pets must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash, caged or crated. Pets are prohibited in swimming areas.
• Do your part to keep wildlife wild! Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance and do not feed or approach wild animals.
• Please park only in designated areas and obey all traffic regulations.
In an Emergency
Contact a park employee or dial 911. For directions to the nearest hospital, look on bulletin boards or at the park office.
Hazleton General Hospital
700 East Broad Street
Hazleton, PA 18201
For More Information Contact:
Hickory Run State Park
R.R. 1, Box 81
White Haven, PA 18661-9712
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Information and Reservations
Make online reservations at: www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations.