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Seasonal , Winter , Hiking & Biking , Local, State & National Parks , Sports & Outdoors

New Year’s Hikes to Ring in 2022

Lace Up Your Snow Boots & Start 2022 Off on the Right Foot

The New Year is all about fresh starts, and there’s no better way to celebrate than spending the day outside in the brisk mountain air. NEPA’s hiking trails are stunning all year round, but the snowy, tranquil forests are even more peaceful and picturesque in the winter. And while everyone else is holed up indoors, you often have the whole trail to yourself.

Hiking has become a New Year’s tradition thanks to “First Day Hikes,” a program where state parks across America lead guided hikes on January 1. Several NEPA parks are hosting First Day events to welcome 2022.

Guided First Day Hikes:

  • Beltzville State Park

    January 1 at 2 p.m.

    The Friends of Beltzville and park staff will lead a 3.5-mile trek from the Environmental Interpretive Center to the tower on top of the dam. Hikers will be rewarded with a view of the lake. Dogs are welcome.

    Learn More >

  • Lackawanna State Park

    January 1 at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. & 2 p.m.

    Lackawanna State Park is hosting three hikes for all levels. The early bird hike at 9 a.m. will guide you on a 2.5-mile loop through the park and Quarry Ridge Preserve. The 1 p.m. session features a half-mile kids hike on the Pine Trail. Then at 2 p.m., join for a gentle, paved walk at the Day Use Area.

    Learn More >

  • Nescopeck State Park

    January 1 at 9 a.m. & 1 p.m.

    Nescopeck State Park in Drums will host a moderate two-mile hike on the Nescopeck, Red Rock and Woodland Way trails. You’ll pass the beaver pond and Nescopeck Creek along the way. Two sessions are available, and registration is required.

    Learn More >

Or Embark on Your Own Adventure


If you can’t make it to an event, you can still take a hike at any of our local parks, nature preserves or trails. Just make sure to bundle up, check the trail conditions and pack the appropriate gear before heading out.

Put on a that huge, puffy parka, because the snowy views are definitely worth braving the chilly weather. From mountaintop vistas to family-friendly walks, we put together a list of awe-inspiring winter hiking spots.

NEPA Winter Hikes:

  • Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area

    Blakeslee, PA

    This nature preserve features three pristine hiking trails. Take the shorter Pine Trail for an easy stroll through the Pocono forests, or explore the Highland Trail and Creek Trail for views of Tobyhanna Falls.

    Learn More >

  • D&H Rail-Trail

    Simpson, PA

    The D&H Rail-Trail stretches 38 miles from Simpson to the New York border. Named Pennsylvania’s 2021 Trail of the Year, this quiet, gentle trail is perfect for winter walks, or even cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

    Learn More >

  • Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve

    Jessup, PA

    The Eales Preserve spans 2,250 acres along the top of Moosic Mountain. In the winter, the trails guide you through the wild, secluded beauty of the heath barrens and offer sweeping views of the Valley.

    Learn More >

  • Frances Slocum State Park

    Wyoming, PA

    Under a thick blanket of snow, this state park becomes a winter wonderland. Follow the Lakeshore Trail for views along the water, or discover the endless rows of towering evergreens on the Larch Tree Trail.

    Learn More >

  • Francis E. Walter Dam

    White Haven, PA

    Hiking trails surround this 80-acre reservoir, which serves as a water source for the Lehigh River. Take a winter walk along the creek and climb to the top of the vista for a view of the rolling Pocono Mountains.

    Learn More >

  • Gouldsboro State Park

    Gouldsboro, PA

    Enjoy the sound of snow crunching beneath your boots at Gouldsboro State Park. The Old Route 611 Trail is flat and wide for a relaxing walk through the snow.

    Learn More >

  • Hickory Run State Park - Local, State & National Parks - DiscoverNEPA

    Hickory Run State Park

    White Haven, PA

    With 44 miles of trails, this park offers so much to explore. Try the easy Hickory Run Trail through the frozen fields and forests, or take on the more challenging Fireline Trail, which leads you to an overlook of the Lehigh River.

    Learn More >

  • Lake Scranton Walking Trail

    Scranton, PA

    This smooth, easy trail will take you on a 3.5-mile loop around the lake. Located just a few minutes from downtown Scranton, it’s a convenient spot to spend a quiet afternoon reconnecting with nature.

    Learn More >

  • Lehigh Gorge Trail

    White Haven, PA

    The Lehigh Gorge Trail stretches 26 miles along the Lehigh River from White Haven to Jim Thorpe. This rail trail has a smooth, gentle grade with historic ruins, rushing waterfalls and dense Pocono forests along the way.

    Learn More >

  • Mauch Chunk Lake Park

    Jim Thorpe, PA

    Mauch Chunk Lake is a go-to spot during summer vacation, but the winter is just as awe-inspiring. The park is nestled along the mountain ridge with trails all around the shore and dam.

    Learn More >

  • Promised Land State Park

    Greentown, PA

    Between Promised Land and the surrounding Delaware State Forest, there’s over 50 miles of trails to explore. Take a loop around the Conservation Island Nature Trail or enjoy an short and simple waterfall hike on the Little Falls Trail.

    Learn More >

  • Thomas Darling Preserve

    Blakeslee, PA

    The 2,500-acre Thomas Darling Preserve is home to one of Pennsylvania’s largest native spruce forests. Take the loop trail to see the rich evergreen groves and frosty wetlands.

    Learn More >

Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 12/30/2020.

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