Each month, the Northeast PA chapter will share a Trail of the Month to explore. Log miles at the Wallenpaupack Lake & Creek Trails this October for a chance to win a $50 REI gift card. Share your photos on social media with #NEPA165 to be entered to win.
This Scenic Trail Provides Beauty & Energy to NEPA
October is National Energy Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to hike the Wallenpaupack Lake and Creek Trails in Pike County and learn about the area’s rich history in hydroelectric energy production. These two connected trails are ideal for all skill levels and offer beautiful views for all four seasons, whether you enjoy walking, hiking or snowshoeing. The Wallenpaupack Creek Trail is owned and maintained by Brookfield Renewable, which owns and operates the Wallenpaupack Hydroelectric Dam. The Wallenpaupack Lake Trail is situated on Brookfield property and is maintained by Palmyra Township, Pike County.
The Wallenpaupack Lake Trail begins on the south side of the Tafton Dike and goes north along the shore of Lake Wallenpaupack toward downtown Hawley. Continue along the top of the dike, past the visitor center, public beach and Wallenpaupack High School before connecting to the Creek Trail at the PPL Environmental Learning Center. Watch bald eagles cruising the skies and osprey nesting in platforms near the dam. In the summertime, don’t miss Gresham’s Ice Cream Shoppe on Lake Wallenpaupack Road. This local staple offers sweet treats for the whole family! Grab a cone, take a seat on the dike and watch all the boats on Lake Wallenpaupack.
Access the Wallenpaupack Creek Trail from the PPL Environmental Learning Center, which has educational exhibits about the building of the dam and historical exhibits. Stroll through the butterfly garden, view the aquatic life of the lake with microscopes or try out angling with loaner fishing tackle. Call ahead before your visit for the center’s hours.
Along the Creek Trail, enjoy wildlife viewing from observation decks or read the informational signs about the region’s hydroelectricity production. Cross the wooden bridge up and over the flowline that carries water from the dam to the power plant, and you’ll get the best view of the Wallenpaupack Dam, a feat of engineering built nearly a century ago using steam and mule power.
When your adventure comes to an end, make your way down the road to Hawley, where you can find many restaurants, shops and antique dealers. The historic Hawley Silk Mill houses numerous shops and galleries, as well as a coffee shop and brewery. A local favorite, Wallenpaupack Brewing Company, is located between Hawley and Lake Wallenpaupack. Stop there for a great meal and locally brewed beer, or check out one of the many restaurants along the lake with amazing sunset views.
While in the area, you can book a tour with Wallenpaupack Boat Tours or jump in the water at Palmyra Township Public Beach along the Lake Trail. Make sure to plan a visit around one of the region’s seasonal festivals, like Wally Ice Fest in the winter or the famous Wally Lake Fest in August. You won’t want to miss out on the fun. Don’t forget to visit the Pocono Mountains Visitors Center for more information about local activities and attractions.
Counties: Pike & Wayne
Length: Lake Trail – 3.0 miles out and back; Creek Trail– 1.2 miles out and back
Surface: Lake Trail – Paved/Gravel; Creek Trail – Gravel/Mulch
Accessibility: The Tafton Dike portion of the Wallenpaupack Lake Trail is wheelchair accessible. Parking for persons with disabilities is available on both sides of the dike. All ages/skill levels. Pets and bikes are not permitted.