8 Must-Visit Poconos Parks and Recreation Areas For Kids and Family

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The fresh air, mountain views, and possibility for unrivaled adventure are what keep people coming back to the Pocono Mountains, no matter what brings them there for the first time. One of the wonderful Poconos Park is the finest way to truly appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Whatever the adventurous spirit seeks is just waiting to be revealed. To get started, check out our list of the top Poconos state parks. Our guide is the only way to guarantee an amazing mountain break with information on all of the area’s greatest parks!

Tobyhanna State Park

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Autumn season in this peaceful Poconos state park 

Tobyhanna State Park’s 170-acre lake glitters invitingly against the surrounding forests and hills of the Pocono Plateau at the northern end of Monroe County. Hike or cycle along the 5.1-mile Lakeside Trail to circle the shore, or get out on the water for some fishing and paddling.

In this warm water fishery, common species include bass, pickerel, yellow perch, catfish, and sunfish, as well as stocked brook and brown trout. In the summer, splash around on the sandy beach, and in the winter, go ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowmobiling, snow tubing.

Opening hours: At 8:00 AM – sunset from Monday to Sunday

Location: 114 Campground Rd, Tobyhanna, PA 18466, The United States

Contact: +1 (570) 894-8336

Further Reading: The 8 Best Poconos Ski Resorts You Should Visit

Hickory Run State Park

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Let’s go hiking!

Just like its name, you can visit Hickory Run State Park to see a part of the world that has remained relatively unchanged for the past 20,000 years. Boulder Field, an archaeological wonder designated as a National Natural Landmark, features stones of all sizes stretching towards the horizon.

If you are willing to learn more about how it formed and the history of the area, let’s visit the beautiful, immersive visitors center along Route 534, then set out on a hike to scenic Hawk Falls. The Sand Spring Day Use Area includes a 19-hole disc golf course as well as a lake where you can enjoy the beach and go swimming in the summer or ice skating when the water freezes in the winter.

Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM from Monday to Sunday

Location: 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661, The United States

Contact: +1 570-443-0400

Beltzville State Park

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Enormous green hill

Beltzville State Park encompasses over 3,000 acres of Carbon County’s beautiful forests and hills, as well as a sprawling 949-acre reservoir with nearly 20 miles of shoreline.

The sandy beach would be a good ideal for soaking up some rays in the summer, and boat launches at Pine Run East on the northern shore and Preachers Camp on the southern shore provide water access for most types of recreational boats (maximum boating speed is 45 mph).

A boat rental service is available throughout the summer. You can also bring your own vessel (with current state registration) and have your wonderful spring or autumn fishing trip; the waters are stocked with warm and cold water game fish and panfish.

If you prefer to stay on land, there are 15 miles of hiking trails that circumnavigate Beltzville Lake and branch off along tributaries such as Wild Creek, Pohopoco Creek, and Sawmill Run. Visit the beautiful Harrity Covered Bridge, which was built in 1842 and was relocated to its current location near the boat rental when the dam was being built.

Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM from Monday to Sunday

Location: 2950 Pohopoco Dr, Lehighton, PA 18235, The United States

Contact: +1 610-377-0045

Explore more: The Best Poconos Honeymoon Destinations For Couples

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

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Sunset while hiking

The borough of Delaware Water Gap, known as the Poconos’ gateway, is also the southern gateway and namesake for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Delaware River flows through the heart of these 70,000 acres, which extend north to Milford and are managed by the National Park Service. While being here, we suggest you should hike or bike along a section of the McDade Recreational Trail, discover a hidden lake, or visit the state’s two tallest cascades, Raymondskill Falls and Dingmans Falls. 

Edge of the Woods Outfitters provides equipment as well as rentals and river trips. Smithfield Beach, Bushkill Access, Eshback Access, Dingmans Ferry, and Milford Beach all offer public boat launches. While there is no admission fee to the National Recreation Area, there are additional amenity fees to access Smithfield Beach, Bushkill Access, Dingmans Ferry, and Milford Beach from April to October.

Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM from Monday to Sunday

Location: 1978 River Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324, The United States

Contact: +1 570-426-2452 or go to its website nps.gov

Lehigh Gorge State Park

The rocky cliffs and lush mountainside north of Jim Thorpe are now a hotspot for recreational activity, but this Carbon County landscape was once a hotspot for industrial activity. In the 1800s, the rich Anthracite coal deposits in the hills were mined, and locks and canals were built on the Lehigh River to transport the coal.

While some historical relics, such as Turn Hole Tunnel, can still be seen, the 6,107-acre Lehigh Gorge State Park is also a great place to reconnect with nature. Waterfalls can be found along the D&L Trail, which runs through the park along the river, and whitewater rafting trips with local outfitters like Jim Thorpe River Adventures and Whitewater Rafting Adventures are also widely known.

When the ground is covered in snow during the winter, sections of the Lehigh Gorge Trail are open to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. You don’t want to miss these interesting activities in this amazing Poconos state park with your family and friends. 

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Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM from Monday to Sunday

Location: S Lehigh Gorge Dr, Weatherly, PA 18255, The United States

Contact: +1 570-443-0400

Read more: 7 Of The Best Poconos Wedding Venues In Pennsylvania

Upper Delaware Recreational River

The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, another park in the Poconos that once bustled with natural resource transportation, is an unspoiled stretch of winding water managed by the National Park Service.

The Delaware & Hudson Canal ran through this section of the river and commissioned the construction of the Roebling Aqueduct, the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the United States, designed and built by the Brooklyn Bridge’s engineer. The Zane Grey Museum is nearby, and it is the home of the writer who wrote Western classics such as “Riders of the Purple Sage”.

There are public river boating access points on both the Pennsylvania and New York sides of the Delaware, and you can hire canoeing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting trips with local outfitters such as Kittatinny Canoes and Lander’s River Trips.

The Upper Delaware is well-known for its excellent angling opportunities and is home to a variety of fish species. The park is home to a variety of animals, making it an excellent location for wildlife viewing, and bald eagles are frequently spotted in the area during the winter months.

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Opening hours: Unless the river is blocked due to flooding, ice floes, or other hazardous situations, it is open 24 hours a day, all year. From 10:00 PM until 5:00 AM, public river access is closed.

Location: 274 River Rd, Beach Lake, PA 18405, United States

Contact: +1 570-729-7134 or go to its website nps.gov for more information

Promised Land State Park

Promised Land State Park was one of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first official state parks. It first opened in 1905 with a campground where visitors could stay while enjoying the forests and lake.

Civilian Conservation Corps facilities and roads were added to the park in the 1930s as part of the park’s recovery from the Great Depression (CCC). The Masker Museum, which is open to the public and free of charge, tells their story today, as well as natural history displays, a native plant garden, and a bird observation area.

Visit the museum or the park office to find out more about the family fishing program, which provides loaner poles, bait, and tackle. There is a boat rental concession off PA 390, just south of the Day Use Area, that is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, as well as five boat launches on the main Promised Land Lake and the Lower Lake. It should be noted that the two lakes are not connected for boat traffic, and only electric motors are permitted.

If you want to spend some time in the sun and sand, the main lake has two beaches: the Day Use Area and Pickerel Point. Explore 50 miles of hiking trails, including the Conservation Island Loop and the Bruce Lake Trail, which leads to a natural glacial lake. Refuel with a hearty meal at Promised Land Inn Bar & Restaurant after a long day in the fresh air.

May you need to know: Winter Activities: Best Things To Do In The Poconos In The Winter

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Opening hours: 

  • 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM from Monday to Friday
  • 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM on Saturday
  • 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Sunday

Location: 100 Lower Lake Rd, Greentown, PA 18426, The United States

Contact: +1 570-676-6010 


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