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Trails
December 27, 2023
New Year’s Hikes to Ring in 2024
Ireland Davies, Intern
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Lace Up Your Snow Boots & Start 2024 Off on the Right Foot

There’s no better way to reflect and reset than by breathing in cool mountain air on a New Year’s hike. All across NEPA you’ll find snowy trails, tranquil forests and picturesque views that’ll do the job. If you need a bit of friendly encouragement, join a group of fellow nature-lovers on a First Day Hike.

Guided First Day Hikes:
Beltzville State Park image
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.

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Lackawanna State Park image
Lackawanna State Park

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

Lackawanna State Park will host two guided First Day hikes, one in the morning for early risers and a second in the afternoon, perfect for a post-New Year’s brunch excursion. Both will take hikers along the Snowflake and Frost Hollow Trails.

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Lehigh Gorge State Park image
Lehigh Gorge State Park

January 1 at 10 a.m.

Welcome the new year with this easy 2-mile walk on the rail trail from White Haven to Tannery and back. This guided hike at Lehigh Gorge State Park is free, but registration is required.

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Nescopeck State Park image
Nescopeck State Park

January 1 at 1 p.m.

Venture out on this easy, 2-mile hike at Nescopeck State Park to kick off 2024. The hike starts at the park office and connects to Lake, Hill and Nescopeck trails. Registration required.

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Vosburg Neck State Park image
Vosburg Neck State Park

January 1 at 2 p.m.

Vosburg Neck State Park will host a guided First Day hike along the River Trail. The trail is half a mile out, making the round trip about 1.2 miles. Along the way, enjoy views of the Susquehanna River.

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Or Embark on Your Own Adventure

Even if you can’t make it to a First Day event, you can still hit the trails on your own time. January 1st is just the beginning. You can spend all winter, and the rest of the year, exploring hundreds of NEPA trails and parks.

Whether you’re exploring old reliable spots or discovering new favorites, you’ll never run out of trails to trek. Break out your parka and boots, grab those hiking poles and see what nature has to offer here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

NEPA Winter Hikes:
Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area image
Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area

Blakeslee, PA

With 130 acres to explore, this nature preserve has incredible views and trails for all skill levels. The shorter Pine and Highland Trails are a bit more laidback. And the Red Blazed Creek Trail is a perfect intermediate hike for those seeking a bit of a challenge.

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D&H Rail-Trail image
D&H Rail-Trail

Simpson, PA

Stretching 38 miles from Simpson to the Pennsylvania-New York border, hikers can hop on this trail all across NEPA. Whether you’re walking or cross-country skiing, you’ll see plenty of wildlife, stunning views and even a few historic sites along the way.

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Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve image
Dick & Nancy Eales Preserve

Jessup, PA

Head up Moosic Mountain for one of the most incredible views of the valley. Eales Preserve’s walking trail winds through secluded heath barrens and forests. For a truly stunning sight, catch a sunrise or sunset atop the peak.

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Frances Slocum State Park image
Frances Slocum State Park

Wyoming, PA

This state park is so much more than a summer family favorite. Take the Lakeshore Trail for views of the frozen lake. And catch a glimpse of the park’s diverse wildlife and habitats on the Deer Trail.

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Francis E. Walter Dam image
Francis E. Walter Dam

White Haven, PA

This 60-year old dam doubles as one of the most tranquil spots to observe the beauty of the Poconos. The icy reservoir and snow-covered trails will leave explorers feeling like they are on another planet.

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Gouldsboro State Park image
Gouldsboro State Park

Gouldsboro, PA

With trails of varying length and difficulty, Gouldsboro State Park has a bit of something for everyone. For a peaceful winter stroll, Old Route 611 keeps things breezy and scenic.

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Hickory Run State Park image
Hickory Run State Park

White Haven, PA

There’s much to see and explore across Hickory Run’s 44 miles of trails. Hickory Run Trail winds through frozen fields and forests. Meanwhile, the Fireline Trail presents a bit of a challenge, but leads to a stunning overlook of the Lehigh River.

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Lake Scranton Walking Trail image
Lake Scranton Walking Trail

Scranton, PA

This easy 3.5-mile loop around Lake Scranton is ideal for wintry waterfront strolls. The flat, paved path makes this an accessible trail for adventurers of all abilities to have a laidback winter excursion.

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Lehigh Gorge Trail image
Lehigh Gorge Trail

White Haven, PA

Hiking, cross-country skiiing and even snowmobiling are all on the table when you hit the 26-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail. Located within Lehigh Gorge State Park, explorers will come across icy waterfalls and historic ruins along the way.

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Mauch Chunk Lake Park image
Mauch Chunk Lake Park

Jim Thorpe, PA

Just as beautiful as it is during the warmer months, Mauch Chunk Lake Park is truly a special place during the winter. Follow shorter trails along the lake and dam or take the Switchback Railroad Trail for a bird’s eye view of Jim Thorpe.

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Promised Land State Park image
Promised Land State Park

Greentown, PA

Catch a glimpse of Promised Land’s incredible wildlife in the quiet of winter. Explore more than 50 miles of trails while keeping an eye out for the park’s treasured bald eagle pair in the snow-covered trees.

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Thomas Darling Preserve image
Thomas Darling Preserve

Blakeslee, PA

Follow a 2.2-mile loop trail through 2,500 acres of meadows and marshes. The preserve’s boardwalks make it easier to hike in winter conditions, ideal for viewing one of Pennsylvania’s largest spruce forests covered in snow.

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