Seasonal , Spring , Hiking & Biking , Sports & Outdoors
Explore the Outdoors with a Spring Hike
Posted: March 15, 2022
Get Back on the Trails This Spring
As much as we love the pristine, snowy beauty of winter, we’re all eager to soak up the warm, sunny days of springtime. This time of year, NEPA’s forests come back to life, from the birds singing in the trees to the first green buds of spring peeking out after a long winter. Streams are flowing with crystal-clear snowmelt, and the ponds are teeming with frogs and fish. Mother Nature is coming out of hibernation mode, and it’s about time we did too.
Each day gives us a bit more daylight—all the better for exploring NEPA’s parks and trails. Along the way, you’ll discover rushing waterfalls, sweeping vistas and awe-inspiring wildlife. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and little sense of adventure.
Get outdoors and check out these local hiking spots. We’ve rounded up everything from the area’s most popular hikes to quiet, scenic trails that will take you off the beaten path.
Spring Hiking Spots in NEPA:
Bear Creek Preserve
Bear Creek, PA
Between the spring songbirds and the scenic overlook, you’ll want to pack your binoculars for this hike. The preserve also boasts several waterfalls, which are even more magnificent after a spring rain shower.
Beltzville State Park
In the middle of the Pocono Mountains, Beltzville State Park is known for its picturesque scenery. The park’s 15 miles of trails provide views of historical sites, including remains of a gristmill and a slate quarry, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Big Wapwallopen Creek Trail
Wright Twp., PA
Take a quick, peaceful walk along this roadside trail. Scout out a fishing spot while you’re there, because the creek is a designated Class A Wild Trout Water.
Davis Crossing Preserve
The short, easy trails at this nature preserve are perfect for spotting wildlife. A viewing stand overlooks the pond, where you can watch the busy beavers and beautiful birds.
Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary
At nearly 600 acres, this historic property encompasses meadows, forests and ponds. Take one of their short, gentle walking trails, or connect them together to make a loop of the entire preserve.
Dunmore Reservoir #1 Nature Trail
This family-friendly trail will guide you along the peaceful shoreline of the reservoir, with views of Little Roaring Brook and the dam along the way. The trail is just a quick drive outside the city, but it offers all the peace and quiet of nature.
George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Preserve
Foster Twp., PA
North Branch Land Trust protects NEPA’s native species at this tranquil nature preserve. The two ponds and surrounding wetlands are perfect for watching turtles, frogs, salamanders, birds and more.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
Late April and early May are the peak times for the spring raptor migration, where as many as 300 osprey, eagles and other birds of prey soar over Hawk Mountain. The North Lookout is one of the best places to watch, complete with a 70-mile view of the valley.
Lake Ariel, PA
Discover the untamed beauty of the Northern Poconos at Lacawac Sanctuary. The wetlands, meadows, forests and ponds are home to plenty of interesting plants and animals.
Lackawanna State Park
North Abington Twp., PA
About 18 miles of trails will guide you through the forest and fields. Take the Lakeshore Trail for the best views of the water, or check out the flowing dam at the base of Frost Hollow Trail.
Little Rocky Glen Preserve
Tunkhannock Creek has carved out a plunging gorge and natural potholes at this preserve, which is owned and maintained by Countryside Conservancy. Pack a lunch and hike the short trail to the picnic pavilion alongside the creek.
Locust Lake State Park
With three hiking trails of various lengths, visitors to this state park are sure to find their perfect path. No matter which you choose, each has its own unique views of the park’s beautiful streams and forests.
Hike the 2.8-mile trail along the riverbank at this relaxing property. Keep an eye out for wildlife, because the Pennsylvania Audubon Society has designated the Riverlands as an “important bird area.”
Promised Land State Park
For a twist on traditional hiking, Conservation Island in the center of Promised Land Lake features a 1.2-mile trail. Birdwatchers, keep an eye out for the park’s famous bald eagles who call the park home.
Ricketts Glen State Park
The famous Falls Trail reopens later in the spring, when all 22 waterfalls are roaring from the rain showers. To head off the beaten path, check out the vistas at the Valley View Trail and Grand View Trail before the leaves grow in.
Salt Springs State Park
Take a refreshing walk by the water on the Gorge Trail or Fall Brook Trail. Additional trails will lead you through the rustic farmland and dense forests of the Endless Mountains.
Seven Tubs Recreation Area
Named for a series of glacial meltwater pools, Seven Tubs creates a natural haven just minutes away from downtown Wilkes-Barre. The recreation area contains two hiking trails: the Main Loop, a short 0.3 miles, and the Audubon Loop, a longer 1.8 miles.
Sugar Notch Ridgetop Trail
Hanover Twp., PA
This three-mile, out-and-back trail follows the ridgeline of Wilkes-Barre Mountain. The route is fairly easy and includes an overlook of the Wyoming Valley below.
Thomas Darling Preserve
Explore the marshes at this 2,500-acre preserve in the Poconos. Don’t worry—the boardwalks will keep you high and dry during the hike.
Tuscarora State Park
This 1,618-acre park contains miles of trails across many habitats. Various species live throughout Tuscarora’s forests and meadows, so be sure to keep your eyes open for furry and feathery friends.
Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 04/07/2021.