Last Minute Summer Hikes
August 10, 2014

Even though we are well into August, there are still a few weeks to get in some great family hikes before the kids head back to school. Check out these great outdoor destinations before the summer ends.

Big Pocono State Park

Located in Monroe County and part of Camelback Mountain, Big Pocono State Park offers a variety of hikes to choose from, based upon the level of difficulty you are looking for. If you have very little ones or inexperienced hikers, it would be best to choose the upper portion of South Trail along the southern side of Indian Trail (1.3 miles). The North Trail (1 mile) and the rest of South Trail (3 miles) have steep and rocky terrain so they are best suited for older children who are accustom to hiking. This is a good hike if you are looking to spend a couple of hours enjoying the outdoors. You can download maps from the park’s website.

Hickory Run State Park

At the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, Hickory Run State Park is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a great day trip. There are many different hiking trails to choose from, but be sure not to miss Boulder Field. It is literally a sea of boulders and it is amazing. You can either hike to Boulder Field or drive right to it. There are so many scenic hiking trails, a fresh water lake, waterfalls, and more. Definitely a must-do. Maps are available on the park’s website.

Pulpit Rock

This is one of my family’s regular hiking destinations. With a toddler in tow, it takes up much of our day because it is a more difficult hike with some rocky, steep inclines. It also requires stopping fairly often for snacking and resting, but it is definitely worth it. Once you reach the top, the panoramic views are breathtaking. This is a worthwhile hike any time of year, but surely not one to miss in the summertime. August 15th begins the autumn hawk migrations so if you go after this, you are likely to spot some raptors who are beginning their migration.

Bushkill Falls

Also referred to as “The Niagra of Pennsylvania,” Bushkill Falls certainly lives up to that name, with eight gorgeous waterfalls and four hiking trails to choose from. In addition, Bushkill Falls has areas for paddle boating, miniature golf, picnicking, and mining for gem stones. There is an admission fee to get into Bushkill Falls, but it is worth it. A map is available online.

Ricketts Glen State Park

Located in northeast Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen is a bit of a trek to get to, but it is definitely worth the travel time. It is one of our favorite outdoor Pennsylvania destinations. There are 22 amazing waterfalls in this park, a lake, and many trails to hike on. Bear Walk (1 mile), Beach Trail (0.8 mile) and Evergreen (1 mile) are the easiest, though of these only Bear Walk is blazed. Some of the other trails are somewhat difficult and can be very slippery, so be sure to keep a close eye on children if you tackle them. Proper footwear is a must. Maps are available on the park’s website.


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America’s National Parks are getting a lot of welcome attention right now, due to the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016.
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Need some fresh ideas for outdoor fun with your kids? Here are a few free or low-cost suggestions gathered from AMC experts!
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Tip of the Day

Climb a hill or small mountain to look at the foliage. The view—and the special snack—will make for a great adventure.

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