A visit to Hickory Run State Park in Luzerne County, Pennslyvania, gives you access to the incredible foothills of the famed Pocono Mountains. Twenty thousand years ago, this park was once covered in ice by a glacier at least a mile thick. When the ice melted, it left rocks and other various debris that created what is called "moraine landscape."
There are over 40 miles of trails to explore at the park, and if the National Natural Landmark Boulder Field isn’t enough for you, you’ll surely be impressed with Hawk Falls. In the summer, when it’s hot, go for a swim at the Sand Spring Lake, or if you enjoy fishing, head over to Hickory Run or Mud Run to cast a line. Other popular activities within the park include picnicking, playing a round of disc golf, wildlife viewing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
When deciding on the perfect time to visit Hickory Run State Park, be aware that the winters in the region can be pretty harsh, with temperatures dropping into the teens. Summers, on the other hand, are very enjoyable, averaging in the upper 70s. The fantastic campground at the park is suitable for RVs up to 40 feet in length and features full-hookup, electric-only, and primitive sites, so you have plenty of options as to where you can stay. Hickory Run State Park remains open all year round, so you can visit anytime you wish. Park your rig and enjoy the best of every season!
Driving to and from Hickory Run State Park is not too difficult thanks to its location in eastern Pennslyvania. You can get near the park from I-80 or 476, and from there you can take the 534 from either direction to enter the park. If you need to get any supplies before your arrival, there are plenty of places where you can stop, including Wilkes-Barre (around 20 miles away), Stroudsburg (around 32 miles away), and Scranton (around 32 miles away). You are also only 50 minutes from Allentown, 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, and two hours from New York City.
If you’re planning to drive to the nearby Boulder Field, the route to get there is a dirt road, so you might find it difficult to go in your RV. If your RV is longer than 30 feet, you might have a harder time through the campground too, as it is a wooded area with roads a little narrower. It’s not impossible, just not as easy as getting around in a smaller rig.
There are parking lots at trailheads that are perfect for your smaller vehicle, but not recommended for RVs. The picnic and day-use area has a much larger parking area that should suit your RV just fine. Once the park is full though, there are no overflow parking options. If you are staying at the park, it is recommended that you park your rig in the campground and not in the parking lots.
Hickory Run State Park has one RV-friendly campground that is regarded as the best place to stay in the area if you are traveling with an RV. The campground is on the larger side and features a total of 381 sites to choose from, including 115 electric sites and 15 full-hookup sites. You’ll also have access to hot showers, flush toilets, and a dump station if you aren't staying at one of the full-hookup sites.
Pets are permitted at the Hickory Run State Park Campground, but there are some sites that don't allow them. For this reason, it is best to check online prior to your arrival on what sites your furry friend will be allowed at. All sites are back-in only, and while there are a few sites that can accommodate RVs that are 40 feet long, most of the sites within the campground are suited for RVs that are on the smaller side.
The campground closes in mid-December for the winter and opens back in mid-April, so keep that in mind when planning your RV trip to Hickory Run State Park.
If you’re looking for something a little different than staying in the RV, you have the option to stay in a cottage. There are three regular cottages and two deluxe cottages to choose from. The regular cottages can sleep up to five people, and have the basic necessities. The deluxe cabins have a little more, such as a kitchen stove and refrigerator. Both types of cabins have electricity and heat, but no running water or restrooms. Luckily, there are shower and restroom facilities nearby, along with potable water and rustic pit-latrines that you can use.
For even larger groups, there are also two group cabin areas that are available for reservation. The cabins are massive with Camp Daddy Allen suitable for 124 guests, while Camp Shehaqua can accommodate up to 149 people. Both of the group cabins are only open during the peak season that runs from mid-April until mid-October. Some of the facilities that the group camping guests can use include a swimming pool, sports fields, and there are also restrooms within walking distance.
Visiting Hickory Run State Park with a group? Thanks to the impressive infrastructure of the park, you have the option to stay at one of the 13 group sites. All 13 sites are not suitable for RVs, so if you have a group and plan to stay here, you will have to bring your tents. All of the group campsites are primitive, with no hookups available, but there is an area that all group sites can use that has water collection points, picnic tables, fire rings, and non-flush toilets.
Reservations for the group camping areas can be made online prior to your arrival, and this is recommended so that you can guarantee that you will have a place for your group to stay.
For those interested in staying at the Hickory Run State Park with a tent, you will be pleased to know that all of the sites within the campground are suitable for tents. You can stay at the powered or primitive sites, but there are no tent-only specific camping areas unless you are visiting with a group. Making a reservation for a tent site is the same as a regular RV site, so you can use the online reservation portal prior to your arrival.
There are all kinds of hiking trails available here in the park for you to enjoy. The trails range in difficulty level, but whether you’re an expert hiker or a beginner, you’ll have access to stunning views and peaceful nature. You won’t run out of new scenery either, as there are over 40 miles of trails to explore. The most popular time to go hiking is during the early summer months when the plants in the area are in full bloom.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to have a family get together, there are lots of picnic tables scattered throughout the park that you are welcome to use completely free of charge. There is a bigger picnic area by the lake, and you can enjoy the water and a few games of disc golf while you’re there. If that’s not big enough, you can reserve the pavilion up to 11 months in advance for those visiting with larger groups.
When it’s warm enough, Sand Spring Lake is the perfect place to cool off and go for a swim. Get to experience the sand between your toes at this beach and cool off in the refreshing water. You can also get snacks, drinks, and ice cream at the snack bar located here. The park is also home to a swimming pool, however, only those staying at the group cabins are permitted to use it throughout their stay.
There are lots of wildlife that reside here in the park, and if you’re lucky you might be able to spot some animals. Black bears are pretty common, but if you see one, don’t get too close to it. Many people also come to the park to go birdwatching. There are many different species of birds that you might get to see, and identifying them all can be a lot of fun. If you need any advice on the best places to do some wildlife viewing in the park, you can ask one of the friendly park rangers for their advice.
If you come in the wintertime or when there is snow on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy cross-country skiing. There are 13 miles of ski trails available here in the park, so there is plenty of room to go explore. Before you pack your skis, keep in mind that none of the trails are groomed, so expect a natural skiing experience with plenty of adventure to be had. You will be able to see where the trails are thanks to the blue blazes that are marked along their route.
If you didn't pack your skis, you can still enjoy all the fun that the wintertime offers so don’t let the snow get in the way of enjoying the scenic trails located at Hickory Run State Park. Snowshoeing is a great way to get out explore all the same trails you can in the summer, but while walking in a wintry wonderland. There are no snowshoes available for rent at the park, so remember to bring them in your motorhome before setting off on your journey.