​Promised Land State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Promised Land State Park is located in the heart of the beautiful Poconos in Pike County, Pennsylvania, not far from Allentown and Scranton. This area was once the hunting grounds of the Minsi Tribe of the Wolf Clan of the Lenni Lenape American Indians. The land was purchased by Shakers who tried to farm and build a life on the rocky land, but their attempt failed. After contracting the forest to be timbered the Shakers left the area. Over time, the area was clear cut and became mostly treeless. It wasn’t until Pennsylvania purchased the land around 1902 and the Civilian Conservation Corps took over that this area was transformed into a beautiful park. If you want to learn more about the history of the park's foundation you can visit the Masker Museum, which is one of the largest museums in the state dedicated to the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps' efforts in the area.

Promised Land camp opened in 1933 and the rebuilding of this area began. Promised Land State Park has 3,000 acres surrounded by 12,424 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest. The park is accessible from I-80 and I-84, and is an RV camper’s dream come true with all the amenities and year-round activities available. You will love hiking, horseback riding, and biking in this idyllic Northeastern Pennsylvania escape. This state park offers plenty of aquatic adventures such as boating and fishing at two serene lakes, the Promised Land Lake and Lower Lake. Not only are the warm weather options plentiful, but winter options like skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing are also available. Whenever you decide to bring your RV, you’ll be guaranteed a wonderful time.

RV Rentals in ​Promised Land State Park

Transportation in ​Promised Land State Park

Driving

The park is easily accessible using I-80 and I-84. Getting through the park in an RV should be fairly easy as well as the roads are easy to maneuver. The few problems that you might run into are going to be during the off-season when certain roads become closed off. Roads at Lower Lake Campground tend to be the first to close. Also, if you’re trying to get to the cabins, the roads getting there can be quite narrow, so go with caution.

Parking

You should be able to find plenty of parking available for all vehicles, including RVs and campers. If you’re having any trouble, you can park across the street at the Day Use Area, where you’ll have some more parking options. There is also overflow parking available for when the park starts getting full.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in ​Promised Land State Park

Campsites in ​Promised Land State Park

Reservations camping

Lower Lake Campground

There are six camping areas in the park, varying from rustic to full hook-ups. The Lower Lake Campground is made up of the Northwoods, Rhododendron, and Hemlock Hills areas. The best area for RVs in the campground is Beechwood, which offers 106 total sites that can accommodate vehicles up to 100 feet long. Northwoods has 48 sites, while Rhododendron has 63 sites.

All of these areas in this campground have warm showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, and a dump station nearby. You’ll also find electricity at each site, with the exception of some sites at Rhododendron. Keep in mind that the areas of the campground close for the winter season, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Some areas of the campground do allow pets, but not all of them. So be sure that if you’re bringing your furry friend along that you choose an RV camping area that works best for you and your pet. When you stay at Lower lake Campground, you’ll be conveniently close to hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. All of these campground are open seasonally.

Pickerel Point Campground

Pickerel Point Campground is on a peninsula on the southern side of Promised Land Lake and has 75 campsites. While there are some rustic walk-in sites, and cabins available, there are also electric sites and full hookup sites with water, sewer, and electric hookups. This makes it the perfect campground for any RV camper, as you’ll have everything you could possibly need. There are even ADA accessible campsites available, and certain sites are available year-round, unlike at Lower Lake. You’ll be able to find two shower houses with laundry facilities and one restroom area. When you stay at Pickerel Point, all of your RV camping needs are sure to be met.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds at this state park.

Alternate camping

Hemlock Hill Equestrian Campground

If you travel with your horses, Hemlock Hill Equestrian Campground has 6 individual sites. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring, lantern post, and stall for either 3 or 4 horses. The campground area includes a vault toilet, water for horses, a manure pit and is adjacent to miles of horse trails in Delaware State Forest.

Primitive Campgrounds and Cabins

The Pines Campground at the northwestern end of Promised Land Lake, offers 58 rustic campsites without electricity. The restrooms do have flush toilets though. The Deerfield Campground is open seasonally and offers 34 campsites with no hookups. However, flush toilets are available. Pets are welcome at all of these sites.

Bear Wallow Cabin Colony, nestled within evergreens and adjacent to Lower Lake, has 12 rustic rental cabins that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Each have a fireplace insert, refrigerator, stove, electricity and outdoor fire ring and adjacent private bathroom.

Seasonal activities in ​Promised Land State Park

In-Season

Hiking

There over 50 miles of hiking trails in Promised Land State Park and the surrounding Delaware State Forest. There are splendid opportunities for nature study, relaxation, and exploration. Hike Bruce Lake Trail to a natural glacial lake, hike Little Falls Trail and see waterfalls along the way, or walk a loop around Conservation Island.

Biking

Taking the bike out on a few trails is a great way to experience all the serene nature. Bike riders share the six-mile paved road around Promised Land Lake, Lower Lake Road, and in the park’s six campgrounds, giving you lots of scenic variety. Mountain biking is permitted on designated trails only within the Delaware State Forest.

Picnicking

Next to Promised Land Lake in a scenic woodland setting, you will find the Day Use Picnic Area which has parking, a playground, water, trash containers, a sand volleyball court, basketball hoop, and restrooms, all for your convenience and entertainment. Two picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance. There are also picnic pavilions available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Swimming

The Day Use Picnic Area includes a main beach for swimming and sunbathing. The Pickerel Point Beach is on the end of Pickerel Point is also available for swimming. There’s no better way to cool off from the heat of summer than by taking a refreshing dip in the water. So make sure you pack your swimsuit in your camper.

Visiting the Masker Museum

The Masker Museum has 2 themes - the natural history of Promised Land and the Civilian Conservation Corps history in the park. The natural history sections feature mounted animals, interactive displays, field guides, and a bird observation area. The museum also has a native plant garden and bird feeding stations. The Civilian Conservation Corps section features interactive stories and artifacts that tell the story their efforts in Promised Land. Make sure you park your rig at the Masker Museum before you leave.

Off-Season

Snowmobiling

There are up to 23 miles of designated trails available for registered snowmobiles once the deer season is over. These trails are located on both state park and state forest lands, and you’ll have easy access to these trails when you stay here for the winter season in your camper.

Cross-Country Skiing

Skiing is allowed on all trails, but the best places to go though is the Bruce Lake Natural Area and Conservation Island, as these have the best trails. Cross-country skiing can be a great way to spend some quality time with the family, all while getting outside and enjoying the cold winter season.

Snowshoeing

Once snow begins to cover the ground, you might be hesitant to head out on the trails. Luckily, there is a solution, and that is strapping on snowshoes and embracing the snow. Snowshoes are available for loan from the park, as long as you have a photo ID. Make sure that there is at least six inches of snow before asking for a pair though. If you want to hurry onto the trail just make sure those snowshoes are ready to go in your rig.

Ice FIshing

When conditions permit, you can go ice fishing on either lake here in the park. Bass, pickerel, and panfish can be caught in both lakes, but Lower Lake is specifically designated for hold trout for you to catch. Make sure that the ice is at least four inches thick so that you don’t run into any problems while you’re out on the ice.

Ice Skating

Ice skating can be a lot of fun, and you can do go ice skating right here in the park. As long as conditions permit, visitors can ice skate on Promised Land Lake. Ice must be four inches thick for one skater and seven inches thick for a group of skaters, so that skating can be safe.

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