Hickory Run State Park is located in the Western Poconos, about 30 minutes away from Jim Thorpe and 20 minutes outside of Lake Harmony/Split Rock area. Once we got past the 76 summer Friday traffic, the trip wasn’t bad at all. We were able to get to the park, check in and set up camp with plenty of light left. Hickory Run State Park is huge, at 15,990-acres, has two lakes and a huge boulder field.
The campsite is really large too with both RV and primitive site options. There is a camp store where you can grab all the necessities including firewood, ice, rubber spiders. The bathrooms were clean and from a conversation, I overheard, recently redone with new shower stalls and tile.
We camped at site 1, one of the walk-in sites, fairly close to the parking lot. I would definitely recommend looking at the map if you plan to camp here. A lot of the more central sites seemed like they were completely on top of one another and really out in the open.
Our first night we were met by the most brazen racoon I’ve ever seen. He came into our site with no fear and walked right up to the picnic table. After we scared him off, we could hear screams throughout the campground as he terrorized the other campers. There’s also some bear activity in the area, so it’s important to be sure everything is locked up in your car.
One of the best parts of site 1 was that it lead right to the Shades of Death trail (separate post to follow!) On Saturday morning we hiked the trail and then went to Sand Spring Lake about a mile or so from the campground. It was, unfortunately, an overcast day and the forecast was calling for rain so after floating around for a bit, it started to get a little chilly. Next, we drove to nearby Hawk Falls. It was a cool, moderately easy hike, and the falls were beautiful, but it was really overcrowded.
After that, we drove around Lake Harmony and stopped at Piggy’s for lunch. It’s definitely the type of restaurant you’d expect in the Poconos. The food was really good, a great breakfast and lunch spot! Once we finished eating, we headed back to camp and started a fire. Shortly after it POURED! We rigged together a lean-to with one of the tarps we brought to try to keep the fire going. It was actually pretty fun waiting out the storm and waking up both mornings to rain on the tent was pretty relaxing.
Sunday morning we made a delicious breakfast over the fire and headed out to search for swimming spots. We also went and checked out the boulder field. It’s a pretty far drive into the woods but is a really amazing site. After packing up camp, we went to the Linesville Creek and walked to a spot that opened to the Lehigh River. It was super chill and quiet. The only other folks we saw were a few kayakers that passed by.