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Trails
March 18, 2024
Explore the Outdoors with a Spring Hike
Jonathan Davies
Writer
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Return to the Trails

As another NEPA winter gives way to those first glimpses of early spring, life returns to our waking forests. Plump, green buds sprout from the fingertips of weary trees. Birdsongs echo over soggy meadows. Cool, clear streams, wide with the March thaw, run high within their rocky banks. Ponds bubble as frogs and yearling trout dart about in the shallows. The long-dormant sights and sounds of NEPA’s natural spaces beckons us back to the trails.

Let’s pack away those snow pants and puffy jackets and get outside for long, weekend hikes, cascading waterfalls, picturesque mountain views and a little soul rejuvenation. Here’s a handy list of awesome places in NEPA where you can do just that.

Spring Hiking Spots in NEPA
Bear Creek Preserve image
Bear Creek Preserve

Bear Creek, PA

Bring along your binoculars and maybe a camera for a hike at this Luzerne County favorite. Keep an eye out for a variety of songbirds, waterfalls and a stunning overlook.

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Beltzville State Park

Lehighton, PA

There’s no shortage of beautiful scenery at this popular state park in the heart of the Pocono Mountains. Enjoy 15 miles of trails, cool, historical remnants, waterfalls and an expansive lake.

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Big Wapwallopen Creek Trail image
Big Wapwallopen Creek Trail

Wright Twp., PA

This almost-secret and peaceful roadside trail runs along Big Wapwallopen Creek and through the dense forest of Penobscot Mountain. keep your eyes open for the perfect fishing spot along the certified Class A Wild Trout stream.

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Davis Crossing Preserve

Dalton, PA

This serene, Lackawanna County nature preserve is best known for its short, easy trails, plenty of wildlife watching, birding and a popular beaver pond.

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Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary

Honesdale, PA

Stroll nearly 600 acres of beautiful, green meadows, quiet forests and several ponds at this peaceful preserve in the Pocono Mountains. You can even combine many of the preserve’s short trails to make a continuous loop of the whole property.

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Dunmore Reservoir #1 Nature Trail

Dunmore, PA

Enjoy waterside views of Little Roaring Brook and the expansive reservoir mixed with the dense forest backdrop along the shoreline on this popular trail that often serves as a convenient escape from nearby Scranton.

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George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Preserve image
George and Lillian Picton Wildlife Preserve

Foster Twp., PA

The ponds and wetlands come alive in springtime at this North Branch Land Trust nature preserve. Watch closely for turtles, frogs, salamanders and more along the rugged trails.

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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Kempton, PA

Catch the spring raptor migration featuring osprey, eagles and many other birds of prey at the North Lookout. No beautiful birds, no problem. The amazing 70-mile view of the valley below easily makes up for it.

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Lacawac Sanctuary

Lake Ariel, PA

The trails at this tranquil sanctuary nestled in the northern Pocono Mountain lake region feature wetlands, wildlife, meadows, forests, ponds and the massive Lake Wallenpaupack.

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Lackawanna State Park

North Abington Twp., PA

Take your pick from roughly 18 miles of trails at this popular state park in northern Lackawanna County. Enjoy dense forest and lakeside trails, a stunning waterfall and plenty of wildlife.

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Little Rocky Glen Preserve

Factoryville, PA

Take in the picturesque views of the deep, natural gorge and swirling potholes on the easily-accessible .5-mile creekside trail. And don’t forget to pack a lunch and stop at the picnic pavilion.

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Locust Lake State Park

Barnesville, PA

Choose from three hiking trails of differing lengths at this beautiful state park in Schuylkill County. Enjoy gorgeous Locust Lake, several streams and quiet, dense forests.

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Susquehanna Riverlands

Berwick, PA

Explore the banks of the Susquehanna River on this peaceful, 2.8-mile trail in Columbia County. Keep an eye out for abundant river wildlife and plenty of unique migratory birds returning for spring.

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Promised Land State Park

Greentown, PA

Watch for the famous bald eagles at this secluded state park in Pike County. Choose from plenty of forested and lakeside trails, or check out the park’s unique Conservation Island.

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Ricketts Glen State Park

Benton, PA

Spring is the optimal time to check out the popular waterfall trails at this amazing state park in Benton. Outside of the park’s 22 beautiful waterfalls, you’ll also find incredible trails with unforgettable mountain vistas.

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Salt Springs State Park

Montrose, PA

Take a waterside hike along the Gorge Trail and Fall Brook Trail at this gem of a state park in Susquehanna County. And don’t forget to check out the famous Salt Spring and the Penny Rock.

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Sugar Notch Ridgetop Trail

Hanover Twp., PA

Experience unique, landscape views of the iconic Wyoming Valley and an old railroad bridge along this 3-mile, out-and-back mountain ridge trail just outside of Wilkes-Barre.

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Thomas Darling Preserve

Blakeslee, PA

Check out the vibrant marshlands and towering spruce forests along the 2.2-mile trail that runs through this expansive 2,500-acre preserve in the Pocono Mountains.

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Tuscarora State Park

Barnesville, PA

Bring the camera along to capture cool wildlife pics at this peaceful state park in Schuylkill County. Enjoy miles of trails through dense forests, along vast, open meadows and Tuscarora Lake.

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D&H Rail Trail

Union Dale, PA

Embark on an epic hiking journey, or take a simple stroll along the Lackawanna River on this extensive rail trail stretching from Simpson to the New York border. The relatively flat, crushed stone trail winds through rural Susquehanna and Wayne Counties.

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Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 04/07/2021.