Must-Visit Places in Pennsylvania: Discover the Natural Wonders of Hickory Run State Park

Pennsylvania is a state rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, offering a diverse array of attractions for travelers. Among the top places to visit in Pennsylvania, Hickory Run State Park stands out as a premier destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Nestled in the picturesque Pocono Mountains, this park offers a unique blend of scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and geological wonders that promise an unforgettable experience.

Exploring Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run State Park, located in Carbon County, spans over 15,000 acres of lush forests, clear streams, and diverse wildlife habitats. This expansive park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring over 40 miles of hiking trails, several stunning waterfalls, and unique natural formations that make it a must-visit destination in Pennsylvania.

Top Attractions at Hickory Run State Park

  1. Boulder Field One of the park’s most iconic features, Boulder Field is a National Natural Landmark that attracts visitors with its vast expanse of rocks. This 16.5-acre field was formed during the last ice age, creating a landscape unlike any other in the region. Walking across the boulders is a surreal experience, offering a glimpse into the geological history of the area. It’s a perfect spot for photography and a must-see for geology enthusiasts.
  2. Hawk Falls Hawk Falls is one of the park’s most popular attractions and a highlight for waterfall lovers. This picturesque waterfall cascades down a rocky cliff into a crystal-clear pool, creating a serene and captivating scene. A short, easy hike from the trailhead leads to Hawk Falls, making it accessible for visitors of all ages. The surrounding forest adds to the charm, providing a tranquil setting for relaxation and reflection.
  3. Shades of Death Trail Despite its ominous name, the Shades of Death Trail is a beautiful and serene path that winds through dense forests and along Sand Spring Run. The trail features diverse flora and fauna, making it a favorite among nature lovers and birdwatchers. Along the way, you’ll encounter small waterfalls, moss-covered rocks, and the peaceful sounds of flowing water. This trail is perfect for those seeking a leisurely hike in a serene setting.
  4. Hickory Run Lake For those who enjoy water-based activities, Hickory Run Lake offers a peaceful retreat for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery, providing a perfect setting for a relaxing day on the water. Picnic areas are available nearby, making it an ideal spot for family gatherings and leisurely afternoons.

Activities and Adventures

Hickory Run State Park offers a wide range of activities year-round, catering to all types of outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to hiking and water activities, the park features trails for mountain biking and horseback riding. During the winter months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

For campers, Hickory Run provides numerous camping options, including tent and RV sites, as well as rustic cabins for a more comfortable stay. The park’s campgrounds are well-maintained and provide easy access to all the park’s attractions.

Tips for Visiting Hickory Run State Park

  • Plan Ahead: Check trail maps and park information before your visit to make the most of your time at Hickory Run.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring plenty of water, snacks, and appropriate gear for the activities you plan to enjoy.
  • Respect Nature: Follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the park’s natural beauty. Stay on designated trails and dispose of waste properly.
  • Be Prepared: Weather conditions can change quickly, especially in the mountains. Dress in layers and be prepared for varying conditions.


Hickory Run State Park is a true gem among the places to visit in Pennsylvania, offering a diverse range of natural attractions and activities that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or a chance to connect with nature, this park delivers an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit to Hickory Run State Park and discover the breathtaking beauty and unique features that make it one of Pennsylvania’s top destinations.

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