If you’re looking for a back-to-nature vacation, Promised Land State Park in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania delivers a perfect ground for that. It invites you with 3,000 acres of land, 50 miles of trails, two lakes, 9 miles of shoreline, 170 mooring spaces, and numerous camping areas, some offering picture-perfect waterfront sites. Boating, fishing, swimming, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are leading activities in the park. In this post, you will learn in detail about things to do in Promised Land State Park.
I thought I knew Promised Land State Park by heart after camping there more times than I could remember. But after my recent trip there, I realized that a lot has changed in recent years. One thing for sure, thanks to new facilities, the park is up to date with the current health standards. Despite these modern-day improvements, many areas of the park seem almost untouched and offer a peaceful escape.
About 3,000 acres in size, Promised Land State Park is located on the Pocono Plateau, 1,800 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by 12,464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest, primarily consisting of beech, oak, maple, and hemlock trees. Two lakes and several small streams add to the park’s scenic beauty.
Promised Land State Park is in Pike County, 10 miles north of Canadensis, along PA Route 390. The park is easily accessed from interstate highways 80 and 84. The park is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia and 35 miles from the New York and New Jersey state borders.
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
PROMISED LAND STATE PARK
100 Lower Lake Rd
GREENTOWN PA 18426
Park Office: (570)676-3428
THINGS TO DO IN PROMISED LAND STATE PARK
Even if you don’t have a lot of time to spend at Promised Land State Park, you can at least have lunch there. Pack up your family and a picnic and head over. The Day Use Picnic Area is next to Promised Land Lake, in a scenic woodland setting.
The main beach, boat rental, and refreshment stand are all within a short walk. The area gets crowded on weekends close to the lake, but many tables in the wooden area remain empty.
Hiking in Promised Land State Park
Hiking is another popular day trip activity in Promised Land State Park. Visitors can explore 50 miles of trails. My favorite, Bruce Lake Trail, leads to a picturesque natural glacial lake. Little Falls Trail offers views of small cascades. Visitors can also take a loop trail around Conservation Island.
In early summer, blooming mountain laurel and rhododendron add to the beauty of the area.
Swimming in Promised Land State Park
From late May to mid-September, two sand beaches are open from 8 a.m. to sunset. Main Beach is located in the picnic area. It gets crowded on weekends when people arrive for an outing by the lake.
Another smaller beach is situated at Pickerel Point Campground at the far end of the peninsula. This one remains relatively empty. Both beaches are unguarded.
Boating is another popular activity in the park. The 422-acre Promised Land Lake offers approximately nine miles of shoreline, while the 173-acre Lower Lake has almost four miles. There are five boat launching areas. Five boat mooring areas provide a total of 170 mooring spaces, which may be rented from April through October each year.
Bring your own boat or take advantage of Promised Land State Park’s boat rental. Rentals offer rowboats, canoes, paddleboard, and one or two-person kayaks.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, muskellunge, yellow perch, sunfish, and catfish are all found in the lakes here. Ice fishing is popular on both lakes, with bass, pickerel, and panfish are the most common fish caught through the ice. A fishing license is required.
During established seasons, about 1,528 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and training of dogs. Common game species are deer, bear, and turkey.
Camping at Promised Land State Park
With six camping areas, Promised Land State Park delivers as an excellent destination for nature seekers. Campgrounds vary from rustic (flush toilets, no showers, and no electricity) to full hookup (sewer, electric, and water hookup on-site). All campgrounds are located near swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking.
Pickerel Poing Campground – the most popular!
With many waterfront sites, Pickerel Point Campground offers one of the best camping experiences among Pennsylvania state parks. The area has 75 campsites and three camping cottages. Limited sites and the camping cottages are open year-round.
The area has two shower houses with laundry facilities and one restroom. An unguarded swimming area is located at the end of the peninsula. Mooring and boat rental facilities are also available.
The campground offers rustic walk-in sites, electric sites, and full hookups with sewer, water, and electricity. Keep in mind that the most desirable sites in this area are walk-in, so you will need to carry all your things. But the distance is short, and your effort will pay off with the privacy and the scenic beauty of the waterfront.
RV and drive-in sites are available, but most of them do not offer much seclusion. If you want to be close to the water, look at the spots toward the end of the peninsula. I like sites 126 to 131 and 140 to 147.
Camping in style at Promised Land State Park.
These cottages are not directly waterfront but offer lovely views of the lake, electric heat, and outlets, bunk beds, table and benches, a grill, and a fire ring. Bathrooms and showers are nearby. In my opinion, this is the best accommodation in the park.
Other camping areas
Other camping areas in the park do not offer a waterfront location, but they still let you relax in the woods.
Stay at Rustic Cabins at Bear Wallow Colony
Nestled within evergreens and adjacent to Lower Lake, the Bear Wallow Cabin Colony has 12 rustic rental cabins that were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. Linens are not provided. These rustic cabins each have a fireplace insert, refrigerator, stove, electricity, bathroom, and an outdoor fire ring. Make your reservation here.
Making a reservation at Promised Land State Park
Make your reservation for camping in Promised Land State Park well in advance! Most campsites in Pennsylvania state parks can be reserved 11 months in advance to noon on the day of arrival. Advance reservations are available for almost all campsites.
Unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Act fast if you want to catch camping cottages or waterfront sites at Pickerell Point!
View the eagles’ nest from the Wildlife Observation Station
An active bald eagle nest sits in a large tree at the edge of Lower Lake. This nest is visible from the wildlife observation station, which is accessible from Bear Wallow Road, the same road leading to Bear Wallow Boat Launch.
The nest is active by early spring when the lake’s surface is no longer frozen. The eagle nest is located directly across the lake from the established wildlife observation station.
Visit the Masker Museum
In addition to outdoor activities, visits a museum. The Masker Museum at Promised Land State Park is one of the largest Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) museums features interactive stories, displays, artifacts, mounted animals, field guides, and bird observation area.
Look for the museum off of Pickerel Point Road by the amphitheater and Pickerel Point Campground. Admission to the museum is free. Please check with the park office to confirm hours.
Attend an environmental education program
Environmental Education programming is offered from April through October at both Promised Land State Park and Varden Conservation Area. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, recreational programming is offered on Fridays and Saturdays.
From late June through early September, the park provides a weekly nature arts and crafts program for children of all ages that is organized by conservation volunteers.
Winter activities include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.
Explore Delaware Forest
Alternatively, you can find many activities at Delaware State Forest totals 83,519 acres in Pike, Monroe, Northampton, and Carbon Counties that offers a great variety of outdoor activities. Named for the Delaware River, the forest represents characteristics of the Pocono region, with remote glacial lakes and bogs rich with plants, wildlife, and scenic beauty.
Visitors have access to over 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, 28 miles of ATV trails, and 13 lakes and ponds stocked with native species for fishing.
Explore Pocono Mountains
In addition to the park’s activities, you can venture out to explore the beautiful Poconos Mountains Region that has attracted nature lovers for generations. The top activities in the Poconos include hiking Mount Minsi in Delaware Water Gap, Pocono TreeVentures obstacle course in East Strausburg, Claws ‘N’ Paws is a petting zoo and animal park, and much more.
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