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Things to Do , Local, State & National Parks , Sports & Outdoors

Things to See & Do at Promised Land State Park

Escape into the Wild Heart of the Poconos

Take a short drive south of Lake Wallenpaupack, and the bustling towns and fun-filled resorts give way to a different side of the Poconos. Out here in rural Pike County, wilderness still reigns supreme, and destinations like Promised Land State Park in Greentown provide a place to truly get away from it all.

Between the park and the surrounding Delaware State Forest, the area boasts over 15,000 acres and 50 miles of trails to explore. Take a hike to enjoy stunning scenery year round, from the lush mountain laurel and rhododendron blooms of late spring to the blazing fall foliage to the quiet, snowy wonderland of winter. Meanwhile, the park’s two lakes provide tranquil spots for fishing and boating. And if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the pair bald eagles that nest in the park each year.

With so much room to roam, you’ll find endless adventures at Promised Land State Park. Grab a park map and check out these highlights.

 

Step Back into Promised Land’s History

 

Special thanks to the dedicated staff at Promised Land State Park.

 

Over 20,000 years ago, this part of the Pocono Plateau was covered by a sheet of ice nearly a mile thick. It left behind a landscape dominated by rugged highlands, pristine glacial lakes and dense evergreen forests. Early settlers realized that farming was nearly impossible with the rocky soil, so lumber became the area’s main industry. The forests were clear-cut and ravaged by wildfires until the land was virtually treeless.

Yet, Promised Land wasn’t beyond saving. The state started purchasing the land in 1902, and Promised Land soon became Pennsylvania’s fourth state park. Reforestation was a top priority. In fact, between 1902 and 1933, the state planted more than 370,000 trees.

The park continued to grow and thrive thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). During the Great Depression, this program provided young, single men with jobs in America’s public lands. From 1933-1941, CCC workers set up camp at Promised Land and helped plant trees, fight forest fires, build roads and trails, create campgrounds and more. Many of their original buildings still survive today, such as the rustic Bear Wallow Cabin Colony.

The history of Promised Land is practically as vast as the land itself. Make sure to visit the park’s Masker Museum, which is full of displays and artifacts from the CCC days. They also have exhibits about the natural history of the area. The museum is typically open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and admission is free.

 

Little Falls Trail

 

Special thanks to the dedicated staff at Promised Land State Park.

 

Located on the western edge of the park, the Little Falls Trail follows along the banks of the East Branch of Wallenpaupack Creek. The trail passes several small cascades, with the tallest measuring about 10 feet high. These waterfalls may be “little,” but the trail certainly doesn’t lack in beauty. Between the babbling creek and lush Pocono forests, you’re in for a scenic, peaceful hike.

The trail is a one-mile loop, although you can extend the hike by connecting to trails in the Delaware State Forest. The path can be muddy, rocky and root-y at times, but it’s still easy enough for families. The trail starts near the dam on Lower Lake Road. Parking is available right across from the trailhead.

 

Conservation Island

 

Special thanks to the dedicated staff at Promised Land State Park.

 

Explore Conservation Island on Promised Land Lake. A loop trail will take you around the whole island, guiding you through the forests and along the shoreline. You’ll enjoy plenty of views of the water on this serene trail.

The entire loop is a little over a mile long with a flat, gentle surface. This easy trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a nature walk with the kids. In the winter, the conditions are perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Parking is available off of Park Avenue, across the bridge from the trailhead.

 

Promised Land Lake

 

Special thanks to the dedicated staff at Promised Land State Park.

 

Of the park’s two lakes, Promised Land Lake is the largest and offers the most amenities. The lake features two sand beaches—one at the Day Use Picnic Area and another at Pickerel Point—where visitors can swim and sunbathe all summer long. The main beach also has a seasonal concession stand that’s perfect for a lakeside picnic.

The lake is open to electric motors only, making it a quiet, relaxing spot for paddlesports. Right off of PA-309, a boat rental stand offers rowboats, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats. The boat rental is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.

 

Plan a Trip

 

Special thanks to the dedicated staff at Promised Land State Park.

 

Promised Land is home to so many treasures that it’s impossible to see everything in one day. All the more reason the spend the night! The park offers several camping areas ranging from rustic tent campsites to full-hookup RV spots and cottage rentals.

In this part of the Poconos, there’s no end to the adventure. While you’re in the area, be sure to explore all that the region has to offer. Check out these cool attractions, all within 10 miles of the park.

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