There's something for everyone at Hickory Run State Park on the western edge of the Pocono Mountains region. Tucked between Lake Harmony and Jim Thorpe, this Carbon County state park stretches almost 16,000 acres and is open from sunrise to sunset all 365 days of the year. Explore more than 40 miles of hiking trails leading to waterfalls and a geologic wonder, Boulder Field, wander through the exhibits at the beautiful visitor center, and plan for fun in the sun and fun in the snow. Keep reading to learn more about all the things there are to see and do at Hickory Run State Park in the Poconos.


Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center

1. Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center

The perfect place to start your visit is the Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center and Office along Route 534. Opened in 2020, this energy-efficient building features timber trusses and wood panelling, harking back to the park's origins in the Civilian Conservation Corps era of the 1930s. Get a taste of the natural beauty you'll find throughout the park as you walk through the educational exhibits. Find your favorite hiking trail on the map etched into the stone pavement out front. Step inside the Visitor Center with Pocono Television Network through the video below.

Boulder Field National Natural Landmark

2. Boulder Field National Natural Landmark

It's called Boulder Field for a reason: huge rocks, up to 26 feet long, cover the ground almost as far as the eye can see. This ancient landscape is one of Hickory Run State Park's most striking features. It was formed about 20,000 years ago as Pennsylvania's last Ice Age glacier began to melt. The extreme periglacial conditions created the unique terrain visitors can explore today. Watch your footing as you step from one giant boulder to the next; on average, the mix of red sandstone and quartz conglomerate boulders extend beneath you to a depth of 10 to 12 feet.


Hickory Run State Park's Boulder Field is accessible by hiking trail or by car. Follow the 5-mile one way dirt road loop off of Sand Spring Road to reach the parking lot; keep in mind that due to ice and snow, the road may be closed during winter.


Waterfalls and Hiking in the Park

3. Waterfalls and Hiking in the Park

Get out your hiking boots and prepare to trek through forests of spruce, hickory, and hemlock studded with mountain laurel, rhododendron, and plentiful wildlife. The .6-mile trail to beautiful Hawk Falls winds down the hill, crosses the creek and circles back for a stunning view of the 25-foot natural cascade.


Another popular Hickory Run State Park hike is the dramatically-named "Shades of Death Trail." The early European colonists who named the area found the land to be inhospitable due to dense forests and unsuitable soil for farming, but today this scenic, one-mile, out-and-back trail offers plenty for advanced hikers to enjoy.


For a panoramic view of the Lehigh River, head up to the Skyline or Fireline Trails. Wherever you venture, remember to leave no trace and take any trash with you to preserve the trails for future generations.


Hickory Run State Park - Hiking

  • Route 534
  • (272) 808-6192

Hickory Run Sate Park encompasses 44 miles of scenic hiking trails. Trails range in distance and terrain, leading through areas rich in historic and visual interest. Thick foliage, waterfalls, rocky areas and streams punctuate the pathways…

Hawk Falls

  • Route 534
  • (272) 808-6192

Hickory Run Sate Park's Hawk Falls is a 25-foot, natural waterfall accessible via scenic hike. 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…

Stocked Trout Streams at Hickory Run

4. Stocked Trout Streams at Hickory Run

The "run" or stream that gave the state park its name is one of many prime and pristine fishing locations for anglers to visit. From Hickory Run to Hawk Run to Mud Run to Fourth Run, choose from stocked waters and wild trout streams. Stop by the CCC Pond near the campground to access a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier. Check out this list of locations to check more details and regulations. Don't forget your Pennsylvania fishing license! The Lehigh River winds along Hickory Run State Park's western border and is open year-round for fishing from Francis E. Walter Dam to Sandy Run, with not only trout but warm water game fish and pan fish. For even more angling information and tips, be sure to check out our trout fishing blog!


Swimming at Sand Spring Lake

5. Swimming at Sand Spring Lake

Summer visitors can splash in the water and enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Sand Spring Lake, open to swimmers from late May to mid-September during daylight hours. Stop by the snack stand to cool off with ice cream and drinks. The Sand Spring Day Use Area also features a shower house and picnic pavilion, with restrooms, a playground, and a disc golf course nearby. The half-mile Beach Trail provides an easy route between the campground and the lake.


Hickory Run Camping and Cottages

6. Hickory Run Camping and Cottages

To truly immerse yourself in the local landscape, book a campsite or cottage at Hickory Run State Park. There are tent sites, pet-friendly sites, full hookups for RVs, plus deluxe camping cottages. The campground is open the second Friday in April through the third Sunday in October, with select rustic campsites and cottages remaining open to the end of deer season in December. Black bears are common in Hickory Run State Park and, while cute, can be dangerous. Take advantage of the campground's bear-proof lockers and use caution at your site. Browse even more great campgrounds throughout the Poconos.


Pack up the car and get away from it all with a Poconos camping trip.

Winter Adventures

7. Winter Adventures

Bundle up and head out to Hickory Run State Park for winter fun! When the temperature is right, get out your ice skates and glide across the frozen Sand Spring Lake. Blue blazes mark 14 miles of cross-country skiing trails, while orange blazes mark 21 miles of or snowmobiling trails. Rentals are not available, so you'll want to bring your own equipment and keep an eye on the snow and ice conditions winter report.


Restaurants near Hickory Run State Park

8. Restaurants near Hickory Run State Park

Start or end your day in Hickory Run with a delicious meal in nearby small towns. Located 15-20 minutes away, Lake Harmony offers many dining options, from breakfast at Piggy's Restaurant to dinner with a view at Nick's Lake House. Drive roughly 30 minutes to explore the historic winding mountain streets filled with shops and restaurants in popular Jim Thorpe.


Lake Harmony

Lake Harmony is a hot spot for outdoor adventure! From snowsports to watersports and thrilling NASCAR action, there’s always something happening around this Pocono Mountains town!

Jim Thorpe

Offering both the charms of a European village and the thrills of a mountain sports destination, this historic town is one of the great gems of the Pocono Mountains.


No matter the time of year, Hickory Run State Park is a great place for outdoor adventure. Find a place to stay to give yourself more time to explore and enjoy the fresh air. Browse local dining and more things to do in the Poconos to plan the perfect getaway!


Picture Yourself at Hickory Run State Park